Today marks the anniversary of the debut solo albums of two hip hop superstars: the iconic Snoop Dogg and A Tribe Called Quest's Q-Tip.
Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle was released on this day in 1993, a little more than a year after the Long Beach rapper was featured heavily in Dr. Dre's own legendary debut album, The Chronic. Building on the West Coast sound pioneered by Dre, Doggystyle helped to cement the laid back, funk-influenced sound of the "G-Funk" subgenre as the defining style of mainstream 90's hip hop. Even though Doggystyle is Snoop's first solo album, his trademark melodic flow and playful lyrics were already fully developed and were lauded by both critics and fellow rappers upon Doggystyle release. While Doggystyle wasn't instantly regarded as a flawless masterpiece upon its release like Dre's The Chronic, it is now regarded as one of the most important and influential hip hop albums of the 90's, and is certainly one of the most commercially successful -- Doggystyle has earned a quadruple Platinum certification from the RIAA, with over eleven million copies sold worldwide.
Six years later on the same day, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest proved that he could still rock the mic solo with his debut album, Amplified. Produced by the legendary J Dilla, Q-Tip successfully transitioned his trademark abstract lyricism and skill as an emcee over from group work to a solo act. Praised for its seductive beats and clever lyrics, Amplified peaked at #4 on Billboard's Hip Hop charts and earned Q-Tip a Gold record of his own. While their most recent album has proved that A Tribe Called Quest is an unstoppable musical tour-de-force when the entire band gets together, Q-Tip's solo debut is proof that each of ATCQ's members are a force to be reckoned with in their own right.
By Michael Lacerna for RAPstation.com