I've always been a big fan of Death Row records. If you've read my editorial(oddly enough in the Editorials section) on the label, then you'll know that the last few years haven't been too easy for them. With Tupac's death in '96 and Suge being incarcerated in '97 things began going badly. And, due to their apparent downfall, Snoop left to join No Limit Records, Nate Dogg left, followed by Kurupt and after dropping a solo LP, Daz also left. The majority of the artists who were around when they were at the top of the industry left.
Of course, Death Row didn't die. They signed many new artists, the odd thing being that some of them sounded very similar to artists which were formerly on the label. YGD The Top Dogg sounded just like Snoop and Tha Realest sounded just like Tupac. This has caused some controversy. Anyway, Dr. Dre(who had been the first major artist to leave Death Row) had been planning (for several years) to release 'The Chronic 2000' in 1999. But, somehow Death Row (in an attempt to offend Dre) came out with this compilation before Dre could release his LP. So, now Dre is going to rename his LP.
Anyway, enough with the long-winded history. I'm almost certain that if you're checking out this review you know a little about Death Row Records.
'The Chronic 2000' is a twenty eight-track compilation, compiled of some unreleased older material and newly released material. It features two previously unreleased Tupac tracks ('Who Do You Believe In' which also features Yaki Kadafi and 'Late Night' which features DJ Quik & The Outlawz). Presumably these two tracks will be some which will generate more sales, and, they are good quality tracks. 'Late Night' has some laid back, yet bouncy beats and all the emcees featured on the track flow well. 'Who Do You Believe In' is my favourite out of these two tracks, it feels like one of the 'deeper' Tupac tracks. 'Pac fans will know exactly what I mean by that statement.
The compilation features quite a lot of Dogg Pound material. By Dogg Pound, I mean the actual duo; Dat Nigga Daz aka Daz Dillinger and Kurupt. Not those two plus Nate and Snoop(who co-incidentally aren't anywhere to be found on this). 'The Chronic 2000' features two previously unreleased DPG cuts; 'Because Of You Girl' which features the Tupac-esque emcee, Tha Realest and 'Roll Wit' Us.' 'Because Of You Girl' has a very simplistic beat and the usual DPG style rhyming, I swear that if I hadn't seen the tracklisting, I would have believed Tha Realest to be Tupac. The resemblance between the two is uncanny. Daz is featured on a few other cuts too, but Kurupt is only on the two mentioned above.
An emcee which is showcased prominently on this compilation is Tha Realest. He has five tracks, which are said to be by him, but, they all feature at least one guest. Usually two or more. He is also featured on 'Because Of You Girl' and 'It's Goin' Down.' Something tells me that Death Row are gonna try and blow this guy up. The thing which sticks out about him the most, without a doubt(and throughout this review I've mentioned it many times) is his resemblance to Tupac. Their voices and flows are practically exactly the same. 'Stand Strong' is a track that feels so much like a Tupac track you'll be thoroughly shocked. Danny Boy and Jewell guest on the track and they literally provide a track reminiscent of 'Keep Your Head Up,' in the sense that it talks about hard times and staying strong. I have to mention the track by Tha Realest; 'Easy To Be A Soldier When There Ain't No War' featuring Swoop G & Lil' C-Style. This is the most blatantly titled diss track in a long while. Of course, it's dissing No Limit. Why ? Because Snoop left Death Row and joined No Limit. It isn't the most viscious diss track of all time, however there are a few stand out lines. And, if for some reason you don't think it's a diss to No Limit and Snoop, then the line "Fuck Snoop Dogg and Master P" should confirm it. I'm not going to get too in depth and spoil it for you, but check that cut out.
Another one of the emcees which is prominently showcased on here is VK. She has three tracks on here and features on one by Michel'le. She sounds kind of like the female emcee Sole (not the El-P disser but the female emcee) and has quite a bit of skill. On 'Curiousity' she talks about wondering about who her father is and asking her mother. After that, she find out that her father actually raped her mother. She was the result. It's a pretty dope track. She also rhymes on the title track 'Chronic 2000' featuring Treach.
Many other artists are showcased on here too, including; Top Dogg(aka YGD Tha Topp Dogg), Mac Shawn and more. But, that would require many more hours of reading time for you. If you want to know my opinions on other tracks then email me about it. I'm only mentioning exactly what I feel needs to be mentioned about the compilation. A track which just NEEDS to be talked about is 'Presenting Milkbone' by Milkbone & Naji. This is essentially a diss track to Eminem, the reason for it was sparked off by Eminem's rhyme on 'Just Don't Give A Fuck' when he said ""I'm Nicer than Pete, on a Serch to crush a Milkbone / I'm Everlasting, I melt Vanilla Ice like silicone." Now Milkbone has to reply. The least he could have done is a good job of it ! The hook consists of "Hi...Your name is...what...slim shady since you actin' like a baby then I guess without no maybe's" and you have some great lines like "Subtract Dre on his day and yall add the math after," "I don't believe this I'm getting dissed by this musical beavis," "I'll make you famous saying, Hi, my name is Mr. Anus." This is truly the worst diss track I have ever been unfortunate enough to hear.
In the end though, this compilation isn't altogether bad. It has some nice rn'b tracks on it from Danny Boy and Michel'le. Plus some previously unreleased Tupac and Dogg Pound material. It also features quite a lot of quality new material. But, it does have some poor tracks. In fact, it has a lot more than I would have liked to have had to hear.
A nice compilation. But it hasn't thrown Death Row back to the top like it had been intended to.