Dr. Dre’s 1992 album, ‘The Chronic’, is the greatest rap album ever made, as Jeff Weiss rightly argues.
Incredibly, in this oral history of the album’s creation, it’s revealed the album almost never got made.
Despite the success Dre had experienced with N.W.A, he was entangled in contractual problems with his former crewmate Eazy-E’s label. For that reason, as well as Death Row’s dodgy reputation, The Chronic had a hard time finding release. It took the shepherding of renegade upstart Interscope Records, the financing of convicted drug kingpin Michael Harris and the steady hand of Suge Knight, an intimidating former defensive end, to give it life.
I’m digging the 2012 trend of oral histories.