20 Ways Dr. Dre's The Chronic Changed Music

20 years later, the legacy of this classic album lives on.

20 Ways Dr. Dre's The Chronic Changed Music - Dr. Dre's classic solo debut, The Chronic, dropped 20 years ago today, Dec. 15. But it wasn't just an amazing album?it was a game-changing cultural event. The Chronic transformed rap, music and popular culture forever. Here, BET.com honors the album's 20 years with a rundown of 20 ways the album changed music inside and out. Light it up. ?Alex Gale    (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) 

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20 Ways Dr. Dre's The Chronic Changed Music - Dr. Dre's classic solo debut, The Chronic, dropped 20 years ago today, Dec. 15. But it wasn't just an amazing album—it was a game-changing cultural event. The Chronic transformed rap, music and popular culture forever. Here, BET.com honors the album's 20 years with a rundown of 20 ways the album changed music inside and out. Light it up. —Alex Gale  (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images) 

How the West Was Won - Though Ice T, Too Short and N.W.A. first put West Coast hip hop on the map, The Chronic was a geographic game-changer. For the next several years, Cali rap wasn?t just in the building anymore?it owned it. Snoop Dogg and Tupac broke through soon after, and artists from all over, including Da Brat and Redman, showed a heavy West Coast influence.  (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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How the West Was Won - Though Ice T, Too Short and N.W.A. first put West Coast hip hop on the map, The Chronic was a geographic game-changer. For the next several years, Cali rap wasn’t just in the building anymore—it owned it. Snoop Dogg and Tupac broke through soon after, and artists from all over, including Da Brat and Redman, showed a heavy West Coast influence. (Photo: Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The G-Funk Era - On The Chronic, Dr. Dre (and his co-producers) revealed a brand new sound: G-funk. Anchored by live instruments, wah-wah guitars, whiny synth melodies, clean sonic and heavy Parliament-Funkadelic influence, G-funk was a sharp departure from the darker, sample-heavy East Coast-based sound that dominated hip hop at the time. It was rap with a decidedly West Coast bent, and changed the sound of the genre forever.    (Photo: Sal Idriss/Redferns)

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The G-Funk Era - On The Chronic, Dr. Dre (and his co-producers) revealed a brand new sound: G-funk. Anchored by live instruments, wah-wah guitars, whiny synth melodies, clean sonic and heavy Parliament-Funkadelic influence, G-funk was a sharp departure from the darker, sample-heavy East Coast-based sound that dominated hip hop at the time. It was rap with a decidedly West Coast bent, and changed the sound of the genre forever.    (Photo: Sal Idriss/Redferns)

Snoop Dogg Breaks Out - Snoop kicked in the door with his classic turn on ?Deep Cover,? but his domination on The Chronic?he appeared on 11 of the 16 tracks?is what made him a true star. Doggystyle, which came out a year later, was the first debut album to enter the charts at No. 1, but it wasn?t really Snoop?s first LP. The Chronic was. And 20 years later, he's still one of rap's biggest names.    (Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Snoop Dogg Breaks Out - Snoop kicked in the door with his classic turn on “Deep Cover,” but his domination on The Chronic—he appeared on 11 of the 16 tracks—is what made him a true star. Doggystyle, which came out a year later, was the first debut album to enter the charts at No. 1, but it wasn’t really Snoop’s first LP. The Chronic was. And 20 years later, he's still one of rap's biggest names.  (Photo: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

When Rap Beef Got Real - Diss tracks had been a part of hip hop since the beginning, but "F--k Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')," which called out Eazy-E, Luke and Tim Dog, elevated them to a new, scarier level. Rather than just a string of insults and ya-mama jokes, Dr. Dre threatened to shoot, beat down and even rape his foes on the track. And the hilarious video, which featured Eazy E and Luke impersonators, was straight-up character assassination. This song is the moment when rap beef got real.   (Photo: Interscope)

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When Rap Beef Got Real - Diss tracks had been a part of hip hop since the beginning, but "F--k Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')," which called out Eazy-E, Luke and Tim Dog, elevated them to a new, scarier level. Rather than just a string of insults and ya-mama jokes, Dr. Dre threatened to shoot, beat down and even rape his foes on the track. And the hilarious video, which featured Eazy E and Luke impersonators, was straight-up character assassination. This song is the moment when rap beef got real. (Photo: Interscope)

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Rap Meets the 'Burbs - Rap had been making inroads into suburban, mainstream America for years, but The Chronic broke through like never before. "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" was party-starting, nationwide hit; all the sudden, you'd hear 808s on Main Street. Rap was becoming as American as apple pie.  (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

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Rap Meets the 'Burbs - Rap had been making inroads into suburban, mainstream America for years, but The Chronic broke through like never before. "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" was party-starting, nationwide hit; all the sudden, you'd hear 808s on Main Street. Rap was becoming as American as apple pie. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)

Stranded on Death Row - The Chronic introduced Death Row's shockingly deep roster?Dr. Dre, Snoop, Nate Dogg, Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage, RBX?and immediately made it hip hop's biggest powerhouse for much of the decade. Other classic, best-selling releases, including Tupac's All Eyez on Me and Snoop's Doggystyle, followed, and stars including Hammer and Left Eye later gravitated to the label.   (Photos From Left: Chris Weeks/Liaison Robert Mora/Getty Images)

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Stranded on Death Row - The Chronic introduced Death Row's shockingly deep roster—Dr. Dre, Snoop, Nate Dogg, Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage, RBX—and immediately made it hip hop's biggest powerhouse for much of the decade. Other classic, best-selling releases, including Tupac's All Eyez on Me and Snoop's Doggystyle, followed, and stars including Hammer and Left Eye later gravitated to the label.  (Photos From Left: Chris Weeks/Liaison Robert Mora/Getty Images)

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Enter Suge Knight - The Chronic immediately made Death Row's co-founder, Suge Knight, who also co-produced the album, major players. Suge quickly became one of the most powerful—and feared—execs in the biz, and he was a key player in many landmark events to follow. He infamously bailed out Tupac and signed him to Death Row, and he was as major instigator (and maybe worse) of the bloody bicoastal rap feud that helped lead to the deaths of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. And then there are the behind-the-scenes myths, such as Knight hanging Vanilla Ice from a balcony, that people still talk about today.  (Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for LMVH)

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Warren G Mounts Up - Warren G introduced himself on The Chronic, recording backing vocals, co-producing tracks throughout and appearing on "Deeez Nuuuts." A vital architect of the G-funk sound, he later broke out on his own with his timeless duet with Nate Dogg, "Regulate," which launched his debut album, Regulate...The G-Funk Era, to 3 million sales. (Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)

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The Doctor Is In - Dr. Dre was already recognized for his ground-breaking production for N.W.A. and The D.O.C., but with The Chronic he became a rap legend—and a crossover superstar. The album also introduced his now-familiar gift for discovering and breaking new talent. Back then, it was Snoop, Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, RBX and Lady of Rage. But in the years to come, he would also introduce Eminem, 50 Cent, Game and Kendrick Lamar . The Chronic made his long, legendary, incredibly impactful career possible.  (Photo: John Sciulli/Getty Images for Clear Channel)

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Crew Love - The Chronic had Dr. Dre's name on the marquee, but it was really a crew album, with multiple contributions from Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage, RBX and others. They were introduced on the album and then launched their own solo careers, and now-familliar path to rap tardom. The Chronic paved the way for another classic crew LP, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, and set an impossibly high bar for the group albums that followed, such as Maybach Music Group's Self Made series. Crews like Ruff Ryders and Roc-A-Fella became the standard. Rappers have always had posses and entourages, but after The Chronic, they couldn't just be contraband carriers and security?they had to have talent.  (Photo: Tony Barson/WireImage)

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Crew Love - The Chronic had Dr. Dre's name on the marquee, but it was really a crew album, with multiple contributions from Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, Lady of Rage, RBX and others. They were introduced on the album and then launched their own solo careers, and now-familliar path to rap tardom. The Chronic paved the way for another classic crew LP, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, and set an impossibly high bar for the group albums that followed, such as Maybach Music Group's Self Made series. Crews like Ruff Ryders and Roc-A-Fella became the standard. Rappers have always had posses and entourages, but after The Chronic, they couldn't just be contraband carriers and security—they had to have talent.  (Photo: Tony Barson/WireImage)

Rappers Boss Up - After The Chronic's groundbreaking success, Dr. Dre's role as founder and executive at Death Row became the new measure of success for rappers. Tired of merely working for major labels, artists began starting their own, or demanding the labels that emply them give them their own imprints. Nowadays rappers own sports teams and major clothing lines, but The Chronic and Dre paved the way.  (Photo: Ken Weingart/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)  

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Rappers Boss Up - After The Chronic's groundbreaking success, Dr. Dre's role as founder and executive at Death Row became the new measure of success for rappers. Tired of merely working for major labels, artists began starting their own, or demanding the labels that emply them give them their own imprints. Nowadays rappers own sports teams and major clothing lines, but The Chronic and Dre paved the way.  (Photo: Ken Weingart/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)  

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Real Rap Becomes Big Business - With 3 million records sold in America alone, The Chronic was one of the best-selling rap records to date, setting a new, higher bar in terms of the genre's commercial expectations. Though the Beastie Boys and crossover acts like MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice had previously sold more, this was the first time a raw gangsta rap record made such an impact on the charts. When Diddy laced the Notorious B.I.G. with a synthy, G-funk-influenced beat for "Big Poppa," it wasn't because they wanted to sound like Dr. Dre; they just wanted to sell like him.   (Photo: Simon Burchell/Getty Images)

Dr. Dre, Featuring Snoop Dogg – 'Nuthin’ But a G Thang' - Snoop Doggy Dogg and Dr. Dre is at the door... to help you wind your child down for bedtime. Listen here.(Photo: Death Row Records)

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They Wanna Be Like Compton - The Chronic made L.A. gang culture a worldwide phenomenon. Suddenly kids in Japan knew the names of streets in Compton; teenagers in France were wearing baggy khakis and plaid pants; you could see gang signs being flashed in South Africa. (Photo: Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup)

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The Chronic's Southern Exposure - The G-funk sound The Chronic introduced had a huge influence on the rapidly growing Southern rap for the better part of the decade. Check the synth whine on Master P's "'Bout It, Bout It"; the live bass and wah guitars on Outkast's "Southernplayalisticadillacmusik"; the funky samples and gangsta leanings of UGK's 1996 classic Ridin' Dirty. Even Jermaine Dupri's mentorship of Da Brat and Kris Kross was possibly influenced by Dr. Dre's sound and Snoop's styling. The Chronic defined the West Coast sound, but the South repurposed and incorporated G-funk into its own regional style.   (Photo: Elsa/Getty Images)

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Nothing But a Gangsta Party - KRS-One, N.W.A., and Ice T and others pioneered gangsta rap, but The Chronic made it bigger than ever. Hip hop this hardcore had never made it the radios of suburban America before. Two decades later, gangsta is still rap's default setting, for better and worse, and it's all because of The Chronic. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Nate Dogg - The G-Funk all-star was a munitions specialist in the Army before he put his talents to use in music. He once said he enlisted to "see if I was a man."(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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Nate Dogg Has His Day - The world first heard the singular voice of Nate Dogg on The Chronic. At a time when hip hop and R&B often had an antagonistic relationship, Nate skillfully molded the two with his immediately recognizable baritone. Before health problems took his life last year, he was hip hop's go-to hook man, helming hits for Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Eminem and many more.  (Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Tha Dogg Pound Escapes - Tha Dogg Pound made their debut on The Chronic, with both Daz and Kurupt kicking several verses and Daz helping produce several tracks (though he was just credited for drum programming). The duo released their own multi-platinum first album, Dogg Food, three years later, and have been mainstays of the West Coast rap scene ever since, with several albums released together and solo. Daz, along with Dr. Dre, is considered an architect of the classic G-Funk sound, and later produced classics for Snoop and Tupac.       (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

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Tha Dogg Pound Escapes - Tha Dogg Pound made their debut on The Chronic, with both Daz and Kurupt kicking several verses and Daz helping produce several tracks (though he was just credited for drum programming). The duo released their own multi-platinum first album, Dogg Food, three years later, and have been mainstays of the West Coast rap scene ever since, with several albums released together and solo. Daz, along with Dr. Dre, is considered an architect of the classic G-Funk sound, and later produced classics for Snoop and Tupac.      (Photo: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Up in Smoke - Years before Wiz Khalifa rolled his first J, The Chronic made it cool for hip hop to light up. What was once just a party pastime all the sudden became a way of life for rappers. In the years to follow, Method Man, Wiz, Currensy and several other MCs would practically make a career out of cannibas-laced bars and imagery.    (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

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Up in Smoke - Years before Wiz Khalifa rolled his first J, The Chronic made it cool for hip hop to light up. What was once just a party pastime all the sudden became a way of life for rappers. In the years to follow, Method Man, Wiz, Currensy and several other MCs would practically make a career out of cannibas-laced bars and imagery.   (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

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Skit Parade - De La Soul, Public Enemy and Dr. Dre’s own N.W.A. had made album skits an artform, but the hilarious interludes on The Chronic — including "$20 Sack Pyramid" and the intro to "Deeez Nuuuts" — made them a necessity. Since then, nearly all rap LPs have featured skits, sometimes several of them, for better or worse.  (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)

Rap Gets Live - At a time when hip hop was dominated by sampling, The Chronic brought live instruments into the mix. Dr. Dre and his team of musicians replayed and interpolated samples, giving them their own gangsta funk (and saving publishing money on the way). In the decade that followed, OutKast producers Organize Noize, the Neptunes, The Roots, keyboard maestros Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, and several other producers and artists that eschewed sampling came to prominence.  (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Beats By Dr. Dre)

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Rap Gets Live - At a time when hip hop was dominated by sampling, The Chronic brought live instruments into the mix. Dr. Dre and his team of musicians replayed and interpolated samples, giving them their own gangsta funk (and saving publishing money on the way). In the decade that followed, OutKast producers Organize Noize, the Neptunes, The Roots, keyboard maestros Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, and several other producers and artists that eschewed sampling came to prominence. (Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Beats By Dr. Dre)