If you’re a hip hop head and someone asked you how many number one albums Dr. Dre had, you’d probably instinctively reply with “at least a couple.” It would be easy to forgive your mistake.
I mean, this is the producer who dropped Straight Outta Compton (one of the best hip hop albums of the ’80s), The Chronic and 2001 (two of the best hip hop albums of the ’90s). How could he not have a number one album? Or number one single for that matter.
Well, he’s been pretty unlucky over the decades. When Dre dropped The Chronic on December 15, 1992, Whitney Houston also released the soundtrack for The Bodyguard, which went on to become one of the best selling albums of all time.
The singles, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” reached number 2 and “Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” peaked at 8, but they were also competing with “I Will Always Love You”, so that was a done deal.
2001, on the other hand, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, moving half a million copies in its first week. Three of the album’s 4 singles – “Still D.R.E.,” “Forgot About Dre,” “The Next Episode” – managed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, but none were close to the top spot.
Dre’s last album, Compton, just missed the number one slot when it debuted with 295,000 units sold. Country music artist Luke Bryan’s album Kill the Lights went to the top with 345,000 units.
As a featured artist, Dre has had more luck, scoring back to back number ones on Pac’s “California Love” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” He topped the charts once again when Em made his comeback with 2009’s “Crack a Bottle.”
He’s also been the mastermind behind a number of chart toppers, including:
- Snoop Dogg – Doggystyle (1993)
- The Firm – The Firm: The Album (1997)
- Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
- Eminem – The Eminem Show (2002)
- 50 Cent – Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003)
- Eminem – Encore (2004)
- 50 Cent – The Massacre (2005)
- The Game – The Documentary (2005)
- Eminem – Relapse (2009)
- Eminem – Recovery (2010)
- Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
- Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)