Sixteen years ago today, Dr. Dre released the follow up to the undisputed classic, “The Chronic”. “2001” came at a time when Dre was finding his way out of The Death Row situation and a huge comeback after the horrible compilation ” Dr. Dre Presents The Aftermath”. ‘Been There Done That”, anybody?
Raise your hand if you watched the whole thing.
Anyway, it was time for a return to his roots and the sound that made him, a true pioneer of this genre. Assembling another all-star cast, including familiar faces like Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg and Kurupt paired next to Chronic newcomers such as Devin The Dude, Xzibit, and even Eminem, this was THE album to play at that time. So October 13th, 1999, Dre dropped the first single “Still D.R.E.” featuring Snoop Dogg.
I chose this video in particular, to show the solidarity of the West Coast at this time. If you look closely, you can see Tray Dee, Ras Kass, and Xzibit. Also, this was performed live at The Tunnel in 2000. A club which many consider one of the hardest places in New York during this era. So a few months after this, a new single emerged and the magic continued. This time, paired up with Eminem, who I KNOW wrote his verse, January of 2000, saw the release of “Forgot About Dre”.
With a marketing scheme, like none other, the hits continued. On July 3rd, 2000, Dre released my personal favorite from this album. Featuring Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Nate Dogg.”The Next Episode”.
RIP Nate Dogg. This was the best tune on that album in my personal opinion. This is the tune that held truest to the original Chronic, with basically a Dogg Pound reunion without Daz. Still a classic nonetheless. Still dropping singles in the year 2001, Dre released his final single from the album with “The Watcher”. Written by Jay-Z, this was the perfect piece to state his position in the game.
Now the next song was not a single, but an excellent way to end the album. Dre released “The Message” featuring Mary J. Blge and Rell, written by Royce The 5’9. An ode to his brother Tyree who got killed.
Pay homage to one of the best albums of the past 20 years.
West West y’all.