Zaytoven recounts sneaking a Walkman into church as a kid so he could listen to Dr. Dre's "The Chronic."
Dr. Dre's entire catalog, as both the main artist and a producer, is second to none. There aren't many musicians whose catalogs can compare to Dre, especially when you think about the everlasting impact he's had on the game. Rap hasn't been the same since The Chronic. The album laid the foundation for West Coast hip-hop moving forward, but it remains a quintessential album in hip-hop that sounds as timeless now than it did in 1992.
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For Zaytoven, it was an album that planted the seed for his future career. Even before he would even think of becoming a producer, The Chronic served as his gateway into rap. During a recent interview with HNHH, he explained how it was Dr. Dre's The Chronic that got him hooked onto rap music.
"The Chronic was like my first time listening to rap music. I wasn't allowed to listen to that. My parents would go crazy if they knew that I was listening to in my headphones. But it's almost like a crackhead getting crack for the first time," he explained. "It was like, bro, I got to hear this all day long. I remember being in church and I had my Walkman. I’d sneak and put the headphones on because like, man, it was that dope to me."
Even though Dre made everything sound massive and theatrical, it was Master P who made music seem like a viable path for Zaytoven. Trap's sound is often described as muddy and its imperfections are what make the music so authentic. Zay explained that Dre's perfection is what he strives to do when he creates these days.
"When I make a beat now, it's like when I send this beat out, I know the artist gonna listen to it like, 'Man, this is the work of art right here,' ‘cause I'm putting more time and effort into it. But that's not what really got me in the game," he explained. "But that's what helps sustain me in the game. Projects like Beast Mode and stuff like that where I really took my time is what helps Zaytoven get to another level and be like, okay, he's great."
Check out our full interview with Zaytoven here.