On this day, exactly 23 years ago (December 15, 1992) Dr. Dre released his debut album “The Chronic“
As of 2015, the album has sold 5.7 million copies in the United States, and was certified three times Platinum by RIAA on November 3, 1993. The album first appeared on music charts in 1993, peaking on the Billboard 200 at number three, and peaking on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at number one. The album’s three singles became top ten Billboard singles.”Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang” peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and at number one on both the Hot Rap Singles and Hot R&B Singles charts.”Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” became a top ten single on four different charts, including the Hot R&B Singles (number 6) and the Hot 100 (number 8).
The Chronic received widespread acclaim from contemporary music critics. Rolling Stone ’s Havelock Nelson wrote that the album “drops raw realism and pays tribute to hip-hop virtuosity.” On Rolling Stone ’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it was noted that “Dre funked up the rhymes with a smooth bass-heavy production style and the laid-back delivery of then-unknown rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg.
In 1994, “Nuthin’ but a “G” Thang” and “Let Me Ride” were nominated at the 36th Grammy Awards, with the latter winning Best Rap Solo Performance for Dr. Dre. That year, readers of Hip Hop Connection voted it the fourth best album of all time, leading the magazine to speculate, “In a few years’ time, it could even be remembered as the best rap album of all time.”
The Chronic was included in Vibe magazine’s “100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century” and it was ranked at number six in their “Top 10 Rap Albums of All Time”. Rolling Stone ranked it at number 138 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The record ranked at number eight in Spin magazine’s “90 Greatest Albums of the ’90s” and in 2005, it was ranked at number thirty-five in their “100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005”. The Source magazine originally gave the album four and a half mics out of five and it was added to The Source‘s 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2005, MTV Networks listed The Chronic as the third greatest hip hop album in history. In 2006, Time magazine ranked it as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time and it was listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In a retrospective issue, XXL magazine awarded The Chronic a perfect “XXL” rating.