On this day, June 19, in hip-hop history…
1989: The year was a pivotal one for Dallas-bred emcee, The D.O.C. The man behind the pen was emerging from Eazy-E and Dr. Dre’s wings, and making himself a staple in west coast hip-hop in the process. A year prior, N.W.A released the timeless classic Straight Outta Compton, and now with that out of the way, Dre had his eyes set on producing D.O.C’s debut album in its entirety.
When D.O.C. asks “Are you ready for this?” on No One Can Do It Better‘s intro single “It’s Funky Enough,” one couldn’t possibly have been prepared for his fast-paced, hard-hitting bars and brash, yet charismatic flow. The then-29-year-old Ruthless Records signee exudes an unmatched confidence on his debut studio LP, particularly on the title track and the closing cut, “The Grand Finale.” He holds his own on the latter against the N.W.A crew, comprised of Eazy, Ice Cube and M.C. Ren, with funky drum production from D.J. Yella.
“And you can have a listen, nothin’ else is missin’/D-O-N-T M-O-V-E yo without permission/From the D.O. to the C., I’m just better than the normal man/And I’ll be damned if a sucker can ever compete with the elite/Much less beat, it’s like dancing with two left feet/Never smile when the Doc is in the room, or I’mma send ya ass right to the Temple of Doom/I got raw when I came to Cali, now I’m wit N.W.A. on the muthafuckin’ Grand Finale,” he spits effortlessly. On September 23, three months after its release, No One Can Do It Better peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard 200, and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart one week later.
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