7. Snoop Doggy Dogg "Gin & Juice" (1993)
Producer: Dr. Dre
Label: Death Row, Interscope, Atlantic
The reason that Snoop became Snoop is because, like Elvis Presley, he was fun and dangerous at the same time. Isn't that the essence "Gin & Juice"? Now pushing 20, the song still emits an aura of licentiousness, malfeasance, and malice, but you can't bring yourself to leave the party, and you don't and shouldn't, because "Gin & Juice" is the best party that rap music has every thrown.
If "Nuthin But a G Thang" takes place at the dawn of the evening, when the drop-tops are still cruising the boulevard, then "Gin & Juice" is the sound of six hours later, when everyone has reached a state of gurgling inebriation and no one is saying "no" to anything.
What a heady blend this is: Piano, synth, bass, drums, and the indispensable "gangsta whine." It's a George McCrae sample, sure enough, and Dre undoubtedly pays tribute to the seedy atmosphere of McCrae's original, but this beat was another beast altogether. Like so many of his greatest works—especially from the 1992-1995 period—"Gin & Juice" is a work of lushness and sublime density, and yet it flows forth as though poured from God's own liquor bottle.