In January 1993, there were still burned-out buildings in South Central Los Angeles. It hadn’t been a year since the acquittal of four police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King. Anger at the verdict had not cooled, and you could hear it in the music on the radio, in songs like “Nuthin’ but a G Thang” and “Dre Day,” singles off Dr. Dre’s solo debut, released mid-December, 1992.
Dr. Dre’s The Chronic was in part a response to the riots, but its incendiary sound began long before the first match was lit. Five years earlier, his previous group, NWA, put out “F- - - tha Police.” Dre made the beat, and Ice Cube took the first verse.