Producer: Dr. Dre, Mel-Man, Scott Storch
Label: Aftermath, Interscope
"Still D.R.E." was crucial because it was the total renewal of the Dre brand. Just as "Dre Day" completed restarted Dre's career following the uptempo singles of N.W.A., "Still D.R.E." recalibrated his sonic signature for yet another generation of rap fans. This time it was neither the explosive rhythms of Straight Outta Compton, nor the blunted shuffles of the Death Row days. It was a new vision of the indigenous L.A. freeway cadence—an expansive glide with detailing that gleamed like chrome in the sun.
The fact that Dre and Snoop could reconvene on a track with a very similar purpose to "Dre Day" without emulating their past accomplishments was huge—not only for Dre's career for hip-hop at large. "Still D.R.E." proved that there was prosperity in reinvention. It was possible to build on your history without demolishing it completely.
Just ask Snoop and Busta Rhymes, two rappers who emulated Dre and thrived in the coming decade, where many of their peers vanished. Of course, not many possess Dre's creative stamina or his business savvy, let alone his ability to combine the two. Among his many talents is timing: He not only understands how to construct a beat, but when to introduce it.