Today in Hip Hop History: November 16, 1999
The 1990s are arguably the best decade in hip hop history. During that ten year span, not many hip hop artists outdid the work of Dr. Dre. Between N.W.A., G-Funk, and co-signing Snoop Dogg and Eminem, Dre emerged as one of the most successful faces in the industry.
To cap off his prosperous 90s era, the legendary producer released his second studio album, 2001, through his own Aftermath Records in 1999. 2001 followed up Dre’s classic debut album, The Chronic, which he had released 7 years before. He served the album with a film-like layout; including interludes, skits, and moments that conceptually setup the album as a movie script.
2001 contains production from Dre himself and Mel-Man, with the help of Lord Finesse. It features outside vocals from Devin The Dude, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kurupt, Xzibit, Mary J. Blige, MC Ren, and several more.
Critics cited the album for its G-Funk influence and keyboard-heavy production alongside its controversial lyricism that glamorized sexism, gangster lifestyles, violence, and drug usage. Despite the common motifs among hip hop, Dr. Dre crafted an explicit album excessive by most standards.
Dre released 2001 in a state of defense. Fans and hip hop followers began doubting his career because it had been so long since his previous effort. Despite this, the album is arguably a hip hop classic. It peaked at #5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart list. The album has gone 7x RIAA Certified Platinum since its conception and contained several quintessential Dr. Dre songs.
Since its release, Dr. Dre has become the face of the hip hop industry with his Beats By Dre headphones, savvy business deal with Apple Music, and West Coast Hip Hop choke-hold. His influence on hip hop remains ever prevalent with the 2015 release of film Straight Outta Compton and direct mainstream influences among artists YG and ScHoolboy Q.
17 years later and we at True Too have yet to forget about Dre. Stream the album exclusively on Apple Music and for all things hip hop, keep reading at True Too.