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The 50 Greatest Debut Albums in Hip-Hop History

44. The D.O.C., No One Can Do It Better

Label: Ruthless/Atlantic
Release Date: 6/16/1989

Even though Straight Outta Compton was a more explosive statement, No One Can Do It Betteris the point at which the West Coast conclusively disproved its inferiority to the East. Part of that had to do with the influence of New York on the album. Dr. Dre and the D.O.C. summoned the creative synergy of Marley Marl and Big Daddy Kane on songs like "D.O.C. and the Doctor," "Lend Me An Ear," and "Whirlwind Pyramid," all of which invoke the viciously percussive rhymes of the Cold Chillin' era. ("Beautiful But Deadly," meanwhile, is a brilliantly blatant rejoinder to Rick Rubin's heavy metal hip-hop.)

While those songs might have been the N.W.A. camp's way of telling New York "we can beat you at your own game," the other half of the album was a premonition of the new L.A. sound that would come to fruition on The Chronic. On "No One Can Do It Better," "Let the Bass Go," and "The Formula" the bass becomes more important than the drums, conjuring the post-apocalyptic Blaxploitation atmosphere that would soon be synonymous with the streets of South Central. Smack in the middle of these two styles is "It's Funky Enough," a classic single mean enough to convert New Yorkers but dank enough to intoxicate Los Angeles.

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