Well, when I finished off my post for Nas’s Illmatic I did say that my next album would be The Chronic by Dr. Dre and here we are. I’ve now listened to what appear to be the epitome of east and west coast rap. Or at least the big game-changing albums for those genres in the 1990s. It’s Nas versus Dr. Dre and, for me, there’s a very obvious winner… and it isn’t Dr. Dre.
Honestly, from the moment that The Chronic started I knew that this would be no contest. By the end, I was starting to mentally chart where this would rank with the other 192 albums that I have already crossed off. Whilst I can appreciate that this is an album of great influence and that this was a massive debut that launched many a career – it’s also the embodiment of pretty much everything that turns me off of rap music.
Now, I know it wasn’t all pimps and hos and the trappings that go along with it, so much of The Chronic falls into this territory that there were swathes of this album that I just found off-putting. It also really heavily features Snoop Dogg whose style of rap has never really worked for me.
Whilst I can appreciate that this album was an early rap album to move away from mostly samples and focus more on creating original music – this just was not an album that inspired enjoyment for me. It may be a trailblazer, but just not one to have a song make its way onto my personal playlists.
So this ends my little experiment looking at rap music and will probably be the last time I’m going to be dabbling with this genre for a while. It would appear that I’ve somehow crossed off the vast majority of rap and hip-hop albums from this Top 250 and, for now at least, it will be back to the 1970s to mop up some more soul and/or classic rock.