Dr. Dre, "Still D.R.E." (1999)
Dr. Dre had already launched a modest comeback with his work on Snoop Dogg's fan favorite "B Please," and then Eminem's multi-platinum debut The Slim Shady LP. Yet the stakes couldn't have been higher for the sequel to his masterpiece, The Chronic. So he recruited East Coast rap god Jay-Z to ghostwrite lyrics for the first single of what was initially known as Chronic 2000. (Counter-programming moves by friend-turned-foe Suge Knight led Dre to change the title to Chronic 2001, and finally just 2001.)
"At first, he wrote about diamonds and Bentleys," Dre told Blaze magazine in 1999. "So I told Jay to write some other shit. Jigga sat for 20 minutes and came back with some hard-ass, around-the-way L.A. shit." While Dre rendered Jay Hova's rhymes about hittin' corners on Lo-Lo's in his distinctive baritone cool, he collaborated with rising producers Scott Storch and Mel-Man to craft an easygoing stride piano rhythm that cruises at an impressively low hum. "Guess who's back," Dre announced, yet he sounded like he wasn't breaking a sweat about it.