It's hard to imagine a hip-hop era that didn't feature the prominent influence of Compton legend Dr. Dre, who spent the early years of his career steering gangsta rap into the mainstream with N.W.A. Following the group's split, Dre kept the momentum rolling by releasing the first solo single of his career, courtesy of the 1992 thriller Deep Cover. Alongside his young protege Snoop Dogg, Dre set things off with a violent tale of homicidal retribution against undercover lawmakers, a dark theme well suited for the darkening direction of his production.
Not only does "Deep Cover" retain historical significance for being the first post-NWA single from Dre, but it also marked the birth of one of hip-hop's great musical partnerships. Off the bat, Snoop Dogg appeared at ease over Dre's ominous instrumental, seemingly spurred on by the looming prospect of violence. "Creep with me as I crawl through the hood / maniac, lunatic, call him Snoop Eastwood," raps the Doggfather, closer in age to nephew than the uncle he'd one day become. "Kickin' dust as I bust, fuck peace and the motherfuckin' punk police." Even after all this time, "Deep Cover" still goes hard -- and look at what it started.
Let him know that I'm lookin for a big fat dope sack
With ends to spend, so let's rush it
If you want to handle it tonight, we'll discuss it
On a n***'s time and a n***'s place
Take my strap just in case one of his boys recognize my face
Cause he's a sheisty motherfucker
But I gives a fuck, 'cause I'm goin' Deep Cover