Dr. Dre, "Been There Done That" (1996)
In the wake of Dr. Dre's abrupt departure from Death Row as well as the September 1996 murder of 2Pac, "Been There, Done That" felt like a necessary pause for reflection as hip-hop fans wondered if reality rap was worth the residual damage it seemingly caused. "You got drama, you got the gun, I got the gat/But we both black, so I don't wanna lay ya flat," he rapped as he bragged about million dollar homes and cars. Fans respected Dre's call to renounce violence and focus on making money, but "Been There, Done That" didn't quite resonate with them like his earlier work. "Most of the feedback I got from 'Been There, Done That' was 'that shit is nice…now let's hear some dope shit. And they were totally right," he told The Source in 1999. "Been There, Done That" is an early example of what would later be called "grown man rap," and as rap stars age and try to reconcile their maturity with their hellion public images, it deserves a special place in the Dre canon.