The original Chronic has stood the test of time since its original release in 1992 and is widely known in the urban community as one of the classic albums in hip hop.
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Released only eight weeks after Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds, Death Row released this posthumous album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, under the name of Makaveli, a pseudonym derived from the Italian politician Niccolo Machiavelli, who faked his own death and reappeared seven days later to take revenge on his enemies. Naturally, the appearance of Don Killuminati so shortly after Tupac's death led many conspiracy theorists to surmise the rapper was still alive, but it was all part of a calculated marketing strategy by Death Row.
Doggystyle is the debut album from American rapper Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, released by Death Row Records on November 23, 1993. The album was recorded soon following the release of Dr. Dre's landmark debut album The Chronic (1992), to which Snoop Dogg contributed significantly. The style he developed for Dre's album was continued on Doggystyle. Critics have praised Snoop Dogg for the lyrical "realism" he delivers on the album and for his distinctive vocal flow. Despite some mixed criticism of the album initially upon its release, Doggystyle has earned recognition from many music critics as one of the most significant albums of the 1990s, as well as one of the most important hip hop albums ever released. Much like The Chronic, the distinctive sounds of Doggystyle helped introduce the hip hop style of G-funk to a mainstream audience, bringing forward West Coast hip hop as a dominant force in the early 1990s. As of 2008, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has certified Doggystyle quadruple platinum in sales, and it serves as Snoop Dogg's highest-selling album. Doggystyle debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, and sold 802, 858 copies in its first week alone, which was the record for a debuting artist and the fastest-selling hip hop album ever until Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP in 2000. Doggystyle is included in The Source magazine's list of the 100 Best Rap Albums, as well as Rolling Stone magazine's list of Essential Recordings of the 90s. About. com placed the album in number 19 of the greatest hip hop/rap albums of all time
A lot happened to Snoop Doggy Dogg between his debut, Doggystyle, and his second album, Tha Doggfather. During those three years, he became the most notorious figure in hip-hop through a much-publicized murder trial, where he was found not guilty, and he also became a father. Musically, the most important thing to happen to Snoop was the parting of ways between his mentor Dr. Dre and his record label, Death Row. Dre's departure from Death Row meant that Snoop had to handle the production duties on Tha Doggfather himself, and the differences between the two records are immediately apparent. Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail. In essence, all of the music on Tha Doggfather reworks the funk and soul of the late '70s and early '80s, without updating it too much -- there's not that much difference between "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" and "Oops Up Side Your Head," for instance. Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating. At over 70 minutes, Tha Doggfather runs too long to not have several filler tracks, but if you ignore those cuts, the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history.
Murder Was the Case is a 1994 short film and soundtrack album starring Snoop Doggy Dogg. The 18 minute film was directed by Dr. Dre and Fab Five Freddy and chronicles the fictional death of Snoop Dogg and his resurrection after making a deal with the Devil. The film's title comes from Snoop's song of the same name from his debut album, Doggystyle, which was released a year earlier. The album topped the Billboard 200 on the number one spot on November 5, 1994 with 329,000 one week sales as well as on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. The following week it stayed on top with 197,000 copies sold and was certified Gold. The album is certified 2x platinum with 2,030,000 copies sold. The single "What Would You Do" was included on the Natural Born Killers soundtrack and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in the 38th Annual Grammy Awards in 1996.
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