Everyone had that album – 2001
This is the first of what I hope to be a series of articles based around classic albums that were, at the time, ubiquitous. As Mr. Wayne Cambell said of Frampton Comes Alive: “Everybody in the world has Frampton Comes Alive. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it”. Well I can think of a few records from my youth that achieved similar status.
1. Dr. Dre – 2001
Off the back of Eminem’s blossoming solo career as a shock-rapper, Dr. Dre recorded the album in ’98 and ’99, I guess with the intention of proving himself as a producer and rapper after seven years without an album and with few credits as aproducer since then. Stil D.R.E. was the lead-ff single and that was just ridiculously big amongst er.. twelve and thirteen year-old rural white kids in Cheshire who’d just discovered rap music. We were all getting into the older G-funk stuff at around the same time as well so it just felt like a huge dose of Dre all at once.
I seem to remember Forgot about Dre doing even better than the previous single, probably on the strength of Eminem’s guesting, but it actually reached one place lower in the UK chart – 7 instead of 6. Eminem was just huge. Hell, even my girlfriend has the Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers LPs – more on which some other time.
Then came The Next Episode while this was still a good single, I wasn’t such a big fan. Looking back now, I often come back to this single as being, for me, the beggining of the end for my love of new hip-hop. I just look at the video, the expressions of the rappers and Nate but most of all Kurupt as the camera-mugging hype man are just too swaggy, too earnest and too far removed from anything I liked about rap. It’s not brag rap but it is a brag video and it’s just offputting.
Kurupt in this reminds me of Martin Lawrence’s character in Do the Right Thing. Hiding behind the real stars then periodically jumping in to say something hard before scuttling back to where he can’t be hit.
Still, the album was good wasn’t it boys and girls?
Next time: Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication