After the messy dissolution of Death Row records Dr. Dre found himself adrift in an unfamiliar world. By the mid ‘90s the once formidable west coast hip-hop scene was fragmented and weakened by years of overindulgence. By the time The Chronic 2001 emerged at the beginning of the new millennium many still doubted that Dre was capable of creating anything that could rival the sheer majesty of his work with Death Row. The brashly titled and unapologetically confrontational Chronic 2001 laid those doubts to rest with a series of radio-ready singles that blended the crisp G-Funk of Dre’s past with a newfound sense of symphonic grandeur. But the real gems here are a series of guest laden albums cuts — “The Watcher” and “Some L.A. N***az are the finest of these — that find a veritable who’s who of Golden Era Los Angeles rap royalty spitting fire over some of Dre’s sparest, fiercest beats. Though The Chronic 2001 is marred by a handful of dismal and unimaginative sex raps that reprise all of the venom, but none of the joyous humor of Chronic classics like “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” Chronic 2001 is otherwise the equal of its illustrious predecessor in almost every respect; a true hip-hop classic from one of the greatest producers to ever approach the boards.

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