How Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ wove it’s way into the fabric of our late-teens.
Despite multi-platinum success with his group N.W.A. and growing reputation as a top-shelf producer, Dre (aka Andre Young) was in a make-or-break situation and back living with his mother in large part to signing bad, onerous contracts while with NWA and Ruthless Records. Because the contract was so binding, the legend goes, Dre and his impresario Suge Knight of Death Row Records, had to pay Jerry Heller and Eazy-E (aka Eric Wright) anywhere from 25 to 50 cents for each album sold of “The Chronic”
With such situations informing the dis tracks for the album, where Dre and his entire roster, took turns unloading on Eazy-E and Jerry, a masterpiece was hatched in LA, at the same time the community was fracturing because of terrible race relations and riots were turning the ghetto streets inside-out. Back by oodles and oodles of Parliament/Funkadelic, esoteric soul recordings and a healthy dose of 70’s funk and blaxploitation films, Dre committed to wax what would ultimately become hip-hop true breakout record when it would go on to sell 5 million copies and bring G-funk and gangsta to the mainstream.
Continued in Part Two