Dr. Dre’s ‘Chronic’ Available First Time Digitally on Apple Music
Taylor Swift’s 1989 isn’t the only major album that will exclusively be available on Apple Music: Dr. Dre‘s G-Funk classic The Chronic will finally make its streaming debut when Apple’s relaunched service arrives on June 30th, a source close to the service confirmed to Rolling Stone.
Surprisingly, when Beats Music first arrived in 2014, The Chronic, one of Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, was not part of that streaming service’s catalog, even though it fell under the umbrella of Beats Electronics’ deal with Apple. The album was also unavailable on competing services like Spotify and Rhapsody.
The album’s absence could be explained, in part, over the rapper’s legal battle over The Chronic with his former label Death Row Records. In 2011, Dre won back the digital rights of The Chronic after a judge ruled that the then-incarnation of Death Row could not sell the album digitally and granted Dre 100 percent proceeds of all Chronic online sales; Death Row retained the rights to The Chronic on all physical mediums.
Over the years, the rapper has fought over more than just The Chronic‘s digital rights: In 1999, Dre filed a lawsuit against Priority Records and Death Row after those labels released an album titled The Chronic 2000, even though Dre was not involved in that LP in any capacity. The rapper’s 1999 album The Chronic 2001 was retitled simply 2001 to avoid confusion with the unauthorized release, although fans continued to refer to that album under its original name.