Dr. Dre

"Let Me Ride" is the third hit from The Chronic and serves as a perfect example of the G-Funk blueprint of utilising George Clinton & Bootsy Collins’ P-Funk hit "Mothership Connection" and integrating samples from James Brown and Bill Wither’s 1971 "Kissin’ My Love" were also experimented with in this track with "Swing Down, Sweet Chariot" chiming on every chorus and cutting high pitched hooks behind the typical heavy baseline and well-executed rhyme performance from Dre alone. Additional background vocals supported by Jewell, Ruben and Snoop Dogg’s occasional input. The single was released October, 1993 and hit the Rap Singles chart at number three. Dre was awarded at the 1994 Grammys for Best Rap Solo Performance on "Let Me Ride."

The Chronic is by far the most influential hip-hop album on the west coast, an archetypical exhibit of the new era in music. The definitive work of genius swayed the balance of power in hip-hop in the west coast’s favour for the duration of Dr. Dre’s finest hour of instituting a distinguishing west coast G-Funk genre of sound engineering and record production. The stage has launched the careers to some of hip-hop’s most gifted MC’s, Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, Daz, Lady of Rage, Nate Dogg and Warren G. These became previews to Dr. Dre and Death Row’s sweep in record sales over the following years releasing gold and platinum west coast heavy hitters for the artists stranded on Death Row. G-Funk was the hottest vibe in hip-hop and Death Row owned the rights, this certainly cemented Death Row’s place in hip-hop’s industry. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg rode the path of success high and were rewarded along the way. The Billboard charts album lists, The Chronic hit number one on the R&B/Hip-Hop and number three on the Pop charts. It was included in Vibe's "100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century Vibe" and ranked 137 in Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and Essential Recordings of the 90's. The album was listed at number eight in Spin Magazine’s 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s, and was even ranked sixth in Vibe's Top 10 rap albums of all time. Sales from the album sent it three times platinum. Industry insiders and critics claim ‘The Chronic’ is clearly the best produced hip-hop album of all time. It went three-times platinum that year.

After riding high on Chronic, Dre headed back into Death Row’s studios to work on the debut album of the west coast’s wickedest MC, Snoop Doggy Dogg. Much like Dre’s opener, Doggystyle reinforced the talent out of Long Beach’s finest performers, Tha Dogg Pound who set the tempo for the record with their untamed persistence on the mic. Dre executed the engineering without fault and every track was hot. The album opened with a take-off scene of Super Fly sampling Curtis Mayfield’s title track, followed by another Parliament-Funk track from ‘(Not Just) Knee Deep’ to set the ambience of Dre’s continued ascension of G-Funk dominance. Snoop flowed in perfect parallel symmetry to the beat of some of the old school’s best kept melodies revived in Dr. Dre’s lab. The record produced singles, ‘Who Am I(What’s My name)’ sampled George Clinton’s ‘Atomic Dog’ in the chorus and ‘Knee Deep’ again for the baseline. This was the biggest single of 1993 going straight to number one on Billboard’s Rap Single chart and stayed there for three weeks. ‘Gin n Juice’ was the second single off Doggystyle following the first in being another early classic G-Funk and Long Beach collaboration The production contains use of Slave’s ‘Watching You’ in the chorus and George McRae’s "I Get Lifted" in the baseline. The single was nominated for Grammy’s Best Rap Solo Performance of 1995. The album was released November 23, 1993 and exceeded the success of ‘The Chronic’ selling an amazing 5.9 million copies in the US alone and stayed on the Billboard 200 album charts at number one for three weeks. It was at this stage the highest selling hip-hop album ever. The second half of the album was done in a few days. At a time where Dre was serving under house arrest he had no place else to be, so they drunk nine-fifths of Hennessy and polished it off. Dre has astounded the world of hip-hop again by dropping another platinum-selling G-Funk bomb to set the standards higher and reiterate his presence as the greatest hip-hop producer in the industry.

In between major recording productions Dre had fallen out with his wife, singer Michel’le who left to engage in relations with his CEO Suge Knight who was estranged from his own wife, Sharitha Knight. Dre and Michel’le had son, Marcel together. This was Dre's fourth. Behind the scenes Dre and Knight’s business relations seethed.

Dre had been living the high-life lifestyle in Los Angeles since his employment with Ruthless Records. He owned a large mansion house in Calabasas with four-car garage complete with an array of automobiles. He lived down the road from Ruthless’ manager, Jerry Heller and continually held parties for the Death Row family who would turn the events into melees with the heavy gang presence of Suge’s entourage who would consume the neighbourhood with vehicles being driven dangerously and drunkenly, ever-present gangsta-rap with loud thumping bass-lines deafening neighbours, public group-sex orgies with groupies and turning Dre’s French Colonial living room into a boxing ring. Over the last four years of Dre’s life he had been caught in turmoil of the industry, he pleaded guilty to battery of a New Orleans police officer, escaped criminal assault charges by settling out-of-court with former ‘Pump it Up’ hostess Deniece Barnes and pleaded no-contest to breaking the jaw of rap producer Damon Thomas. He led several L.A.P.D. squad cars on a high-speed chase that ended horrifically when he drove off a cliff. Dre found himself under house arrest in 1992 to serve in his beautiful estate home. Unfortunately the house had burned down during a notorious Death Row party barbecue involving hardcore Blood gang members. Jerry Heller had driven past the house and witnessed a drunken Dre in the street laughing with friends as his house burnt to the ground. He had temporarily moved into an apartment on Venice Boulevard but was promptly evicted. By 1994 the twenty-nine year old most sought after record producer in hip-hop who was named by Newsweek ‘The Phil Spector of rap’ was back living with his mother.

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