3. Snoop Dogg "Gin & Juice" (1994)
Producer: Dr. DreBefore the Death Row Records empire crumbled to the ground like some kind of hip-hop version of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were the baddest boys in Black pop. Death Row was led by super-producer Dr Dre, whose aural mixture of yesteryear soul and contemporary swagger made his emerging G-Funk a global soundtrack.
Critic David Browne described the G-Funk sound as, “…fluidly weaving together a gaggle of background singers and rappers, quirky samples, his trademark horror-flick keyboard lines. Yet, the music was only one side of the funk, with Snoop's “witty and gritty” vocals being the lyrical component that made the world scream, “Rollin' down the street smokin' Indo, sippin' on gin and juice.”
According to journalist Kevin Powell, who covered the Death Row camp extensively in the 1990s, the song was a essentially a freestyle. “Snoop smoked mad weed,” Powell wrote in 2007, “and had the uncanny ablity to craft hit records off the top of his head.”
As for Dre, he once rapped "I don't smoke weed or sess / cause it's gonna give a brother brain damage," but later called his solo debut The Chronic—so draw your own conclusions. As the second single released from Snoop's seminal debut Doggystyle, the party jam “Gin and Juice” was nominated for a Grammy.