Dr. Dre

Nuthin' But a "G" Thang

Song Review by

Dr. Dre had introduced his protégé, Snoop Doggy Dogg, to the world on the 1992 soundtrack single "Deep Cover," but it was "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang," the first single from Dre's smash album The Chronic, that really put him in the public eye. Although more chilled-out than the deeply funky follow-up, "Dre Day" (borrowing a sample from Leon Haywood's "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You"), "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" was perhaps the archetypal G-funk single. It blended Parliament/Funkadelic beats with a stop-start bass line, gently wah-wahed guitar, nasal-sounding synthesizers playing high-pitched melodies, samples of a sighing woman, and lyrics that celebrated life on the streets and the amoral toughness it took to survive there. While most MCs would have approached that subject matter with shows of force, Snoop took exactly the opposite tack: his flow was laconic and relaxed, massively confident and capable of rapid-fire tongue-twisters, but coolly laid-back and almost effortless at the same time. Coupled with his inventive rhymes, Snoop's distinctive style made him a superstar before he'd even released a recording of his own. Dre's rhymes weren't quite as intricate, but his booming baritone provided a nice counterpoint, supplying oft-quoted catch phrases like "put the smack down." The sound, style, and performances of "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" were like nothing else on the early-'90s hip-hop scene, and its impact was tremendous, with mainstream hip-hop trying to imitate it and the rest of The Chronic for at least four years afterwards. An edited version of "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" was released as a single and climbed all the way to number two on the pop charts in the spring of 1993 on its way to platinum-level sales, giving Dre his biggest hit ever and sending The Chronic on its way to sales of over eight million copies.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Chronic 1992 Death Row 3:58