XXL Ranks Dr Dre's 50 Greatest Beats Of All Time. Check Out The List & See If They Got It Right [Videos]

It’s easy to pick a great Dr. Dre beat. Picking 50 of them isn’t too difficult either. Where the task gets hard is in sorting them out.

There are still some people in the XXL offices who are disagreeing with each other over where certain beats fell in the pecking order, and we are sure our faithful readers will do the same. As a matter of fact, we can’t wait to hear what from our readers what we got wrong, why number five should have been number 20, and why some beat we didn’t put on the list should have been included.

So without further ado, let’s get right into the 50 Greatest Dr. Dre beats of all time.

50. “Fight Music” – D12 (2001)
Album: Devil’s Night
A hard-charging, hyper rap-rock cut samples Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” showcased Dre’s versatility on the boards.

49. “Natural Born Killaz” — Dr. Dre & Ice Cube (1995)
Album: Murder Was The Case (The Soundtrack)
The first Dr. Dre and Ice Cube recording since their N.W.A days was an audio massacre. A sinister beat fuels Cube and Dre to spit some of their most brutal verses.

48. “Remember Me” — Eminem (2000)
Album: The Marshall Mathers LP
A brooding and eerie concoction served to be the perfect backdrop for Em, Stick Fingaz, and RBX to spit gruesome bars over.

47. “Boss’ Life” — Snoop Dogg (2007)
Album: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
The Snoop D-O-Double G bosses up over a menacing bass line and delicate keys for smoothed-out G-ride.

46. “Family Affair” — Mary J. Blige (2001)
Album: No More Drama
The rolling bass line and rich keys made for a ubiquitous club banger that everyone could enjoy.

45.“B*tches Ain’t Sh*t” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
The raucous posse cut built from Funkadelic’s “Adolescent Funk,” and MC Shan’s “The Bridge” was a rambunctious example of the Doc’s patented gangster sound.

44. “Fast Lane” — Bilal (2001)
Album: 1st Born Second
Neo-soul meets G-funk for a soul-stirring knock that was street but sweet.

43.“Been There Done That” — Dr. Dre (1996)
Album: Dr. Dre Presents…The Aftermath
Dre’s emancipation from Death Row spawned the cooler-than-thou cinematic cut.

42. “Satisfaction” — Eve (2003)
Album: Eve-Olution
The blond bombshell was such a f-ing lady over Dr. Dre’s stripped down funky one-two groove

41.“Express Yourself” — N.W.A (1989)
Album: Straight Outta Compton
Co-produced with DJ Yella, the good doctor infused the 70’s soul/funk classic “Express Yourself” (Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) with some of that gangster s**t to express himself.

40. “My Name Is” — Eminem (1999)
Album: The Slim Shady LP
The genius of Em’s debut single lays behind Dre’s decision to keep his presence as minimal as possible, so as this then fairly unknown MC could show and prove on his own.

39.”Ask Yourself A Question” — Kurupt (1998)
Album: Kuruption!
The West Coast icon blessed Kurupt with a sparse bouncy backdrop to perfectly showcase the underrated MC’s talent on mic.

38. “F*ck You” — Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
Dre proved that along with the street, the club and the whip, he can also make tracks that knock in the sheets.

37. “Poppin’ Them Thangs” — G-Unit (2003)
Album: Beg For Mercy
Dre gathered muted guitars, dark backdrops and rolling piano stabs to create a timeless head nodder.

36. “Next Episode” — Dr. Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
The West Coast legend took David McCallum’s “The Edge” and turned it on it’s head, creating one of the most gangsta, cinematic instrumentals of all time.

35. “Lil’ Ghetto Boy” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
While he borrowed both the song title and the sample from Donny Hathaway, Dre proved to fans that he also had enough soul to compose tunes that would one day put his name amongst the greats.

34. "Westside Story” — The Lame (2004) Album: The Documentary Dre laced the Compton MC with a menacing backdrop for this standout joint from 2005’s The Documentary, with a deep organ sounds and high pitch keys.

33. “Outta Control” Remix — 50 Cent (2006)
Album: The Massacre
The Mighty D-R-E slimmed down his G-Funk sound for the clubs, with this 2006 cut that you could easily dance to or play the wall and bop your head with the rest of the thugs

32. “Afro Puffs” — The Lady Of Rage (1994)
Album: Above The Rim (The Soundtrack
Lifting two grooves from Johnny Guitar Watson (“Superman Lover” and “Love That Will Never Die”), the good Doc concocted an evil sounding, trunk rattling banger for the West Coast rapstress that still rocks rough and stuff 16 years later

31. “Ain’t No Fun” — Snoop Dogg (1993)
Album: Doggystyle
This classic track from Snoop’s heralded 1993 debut album, Doggystyle, showcases Dre’s signature laid-back G-Funk sound. Incorporating samples from Issac Hayes (“A Few More Kisses”) and Lynn Collins (“Think [About It]“), gang bangin’ never sounded so smooth.

30. “Keep Their Heads Ringin’ — Dr. Dre (1995)
Album: Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The spacey, funky production on this cut from the Friday soundtrack is still living up to its title 15 years later.

29. “Hello” — Ice Cube (2000)
Album:War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)
Dre and MC Ren hopping on this track from War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc)created an N.W.A. reunion and Dre provided an updated sound to go along with it.

28. “Heat” — 50 Cent (2003)
Album: Get Rich or Die Tryin’
50 Cent luh dem gun sounds, and the Doctor laced him with plenty, as a gun being cocked provided the percussion on this Get Rich or Die Tryin’ banger.

27. “Forgot About Dre” — Dr. Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
To this day, this stringy 2001 standout remains one of the best collaborations between Dr. Dre and Slim Shady.

26. “F*ck Tha Police”— N.W.A (1988)
Album: Straight Outta Compton
One of the most controversial songs in hip-hop history wouldn’t have been the same without Dre’s aggressive, drum-heavy production.

25. “Imagine” — Snoop Dogg (2006)
Album: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
Thanks to orchestral keys and D’Angelo’s soothing voice, this is one of the best Dre tracks to simply kick back and light up to.

24. “How We Do” — 50 Cent (2005)
Album: The Documentary
50 Cent's hook and verses propelled this song up the charts thanks to Dre’s claps and keys.

23. “Lay Low” — Snoop Dogg (2000)
Album: Tha Last Meal
Snoop Dogg’s Tha Last Meal was a slept on album, especially when one considers there were singles like this collaborative effort with Dr. Dre.

22. “Nas Is Coming” — Nas (1996)
Album: It Was Written
This track from Nas’ It Was Written—recorded during a time of heightened tension between the East and West Coasts—also marked the beginnings of Nas and Dre’s collaborative efforts, which soon resulted in The Firm, as well.

21.”Bad Intentions” — Knoc-turnal (2001)
Album: The Wash (The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Dre lent his touch on the mic and the boards to this up-tempo Knoc Turn’al track which is marked by it’s constant flute sounds.

20. “X” — Xzibit (2000)
Album: Restless
He calls the good doctor. Dre comes with a bone-shattering beat that sounds like a great leftover from the 2001 sessions for Xzibit’s first single off the Restless album, which Dr. Dre also executive produced.

19. “Let Me Ride” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
What do you get when you mix James Brown drums, with a bit of Bill Withers’ percussion, then throw in some Parliament for good measure? 1992’s “Let Me Ride,” one of Dre’s most memorable tracks.

18. “Phone Tap” — The Firm (1997)
Album: The Album
In the wake of the dreaded East Coast/West Coast beef and the deaths of both 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., Dre hooked up with Nas’ The Firm and helped bridge the coastal divide. A testament to the union was “Phone Tap”, Dre’s take on New York’s then-Mafia inspired sound. Ironic how a flip of Chris Barber’s 1959 diddy “Petite Fleur,” (translation: little flower) turned out to be one of rap’s hardest beats ever.

17. “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” — Eve (2002)
Album: Scorpion
Always known for hip-hop hits, Dre once again proved his pop prowess in 2001 when he laced Eve and guest Gwen Stefani with the instrumental for “Let Me Blow Yar Mind.” Hard enough for E-V-E’s aggressive raps, by bright enough for Gwen’s crossover-styled vocals, Dre conjured up the best of both worlds and gained a Grammy for the track.

16. “Guilty Conscience” — Eminem (1999)
Album: The Slim Shady LP
Sure haters poked fun at Eminem, writing him off as a one-hit wonder with his quirky first single “My Name Is”, but by the time he dropped “Guilty Conscience” that same year, even the saltiest of rap heads had to give it up. Dre’s flip of Ronald Stein’s 1970 song “Go Home Pigs,” with it’s prodding bass gave Em the perfect lane to spit some of his best bars and he has Mr. Dre, Mr. N.W.A. to thank for it.

15. “Tha Shiznit” — Snoop Dogg (1993)
Album: Doggystyle
Most artists go to Dre to secure a single, but some times a low-key album cut can be just as potent. Such was the case with “Tha Shiznit” off of Snoop’s Doggystyle album. Who would’ve thought that a sampling of Billy Joel’s 1977 cut “The Stranger” would make for one of the albums best beats? Well, Dre of course.

14. “B*tch Please” — Snoop Dogg (1999)
Album: No Limit Top Dogg
Back when Snoop was riding with Master P’s No Limit label, fans longed for a reunion with the Cali funk doctor and on “b**ch Please”, Dre didn’t disappoint. The formula was familiar, pulsating bass, bright keys and swirling flutes. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

13. “Doggy Dogg World” — Snoop Dogg (1993)
Album: Doggystyle
By the time Snoop Dogg’s debut Doggystyle dropped, the LBC MC was the epitome of gangster; that was until Dre smoothed things out on the album’s third single “Doggy Dogg World.” The deep rolling bassline, calming keys and the overlaying sleigh bells all combined to form one of hip-hop’s most two-steppingiest tracks of all-time.

12. “Ho’s a Housewife” — Kurupt (1999)
Album: Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha
Kurupt’s Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha album was filled with Left Coast goodness, but none sonically better than the Dre-produced “Ho’s a Housewife.” The mid-tempo, bottom heavy track oozed pimpery and was so good that it also appeared on 2001, which dropped two weeks after ’Rupt’s CD.

11. “California Love” — 2Pac (1995)
Album: All Eyez On Me
Out on bail, fresh out of jail, who did 2Pac call to map out his return to rap? Well the good Doctor of course. With his bouncy synths and thumping bass, Dre’s flip of Zapp And Roger’s “Dance Floor” proved to be the perfect backdrop for ’Pac’s West coast ode.

10. “Straight Outta Compton” — N.W.A (1988)
Album: Straight Outta Compton
If N.W.A’s “don’t-give-a-damn” attitude wasn’t obvious in the rhymes of Ice Cube and the group’s other MCs, the message was written all over this beat. Dre may have always had the ability to craft a beat for the dance floor, but in his early years, he was trying to do anything but make people move their feet. “Straight Outta Compton” is a stylized mess of diesel truck horns, shrieking record scratches, and aggressive percussion.

9. “The Watcher” — Dr. Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
It’s here, the very first song on 2001 where Dre proves his comeback was going to live up to all the hype his absence had created. The quiet whisper of the song’s chorus is a perfect compliment to all the instrumentals subtleties — tinkling keys, staccato horn blasts, and bass designed to put necks and bodies in motion.

8. “Still D.R.E.” — Dr. Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
In many ways, “Still D.R.E.” was a comeback record for Dr. Dre. After having taken a hit on his credibility for his lackluster work on the 1996 Dr. Dre Presents…The Aftermath, Dre returned to the form that made him famous with this song, the first single from 2001.

7. “F*ck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: The Chronic
The lyrics to Dr. Dre’s second single from The Chronic were meant to sting Eazy-E, but what probably hurt more was the beat’s trunk-rattling bass line. It’s obvious from the moment “f**k Wit Dre Day” begins, the most talented artist on the West Coast was a man named Andre Young.

6. “Gin and Juice” — Snoop Dogg (1993)
Album: Doggystyle
By the time Doc went to work on Snoop Dogg’s debut album, Doggstyle, the producer’s G-Funk sound was a familiar presence on urban radio. In turn, “Gin and Juice” became a timeless hit record, sounding more like the street and party anthem it was than today’s jingly odes to a rapper’s drink of choice.

5. “In Da Club” — 50 Cent (2003)
Album: Get Rich Or Die Tryin’
It could be argued that without 50 Cent’s catchy hook and rhyme patterns over this fairly simple beat, “In Da Club” would not have been the hit that it was. There’s not much to “In Da Club”; the in-the-face smack of Dre’s drums, simple syncopated string patterns, and a drifting one-note guitar lick, but therein lays the innovation.

4. “It’s Funky Enough” — The D.O.C. (1989)
Album: No One Can Do It Better
Even now, it’s hard to believe Dr. Dre made this beat nearly 20 years ago. The way he pieces together samples of The Sylvers’ “Misdemeanor” and James Brown’s “Funky President” was an audio marvel and a big reason why many consider this record to be one of D.O.C.’s shining moments in his brief career.

3.”Xxplosive” — Dr. Dre (1999)
Album: 2001
This album cut from Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 was never released as an official single, but it surely felt like one. With its sampling of Soul Mann & The Brothers’ 1971 song, “Bumpy’s Lament”, “Xxplosive” was a proper update of the G-Funk sound Dre ushered in; a funky, soulful sound bed for Kurupt’s ferocious first verse, and Nate Dogg’s bluesy 16.

2. “Deep Cover” — Dr. Dre (1992)
Album: Deep Cover (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Most noted for being the song on which a young rapper named Snoop Dogg was introduced to the world (then named Snoop Doggy Dogg), “Deep Cover” was a haunting cut with hardcore lyrics to match the beat’s gritty mood.

1. “Nuthin But A “G” Thang” — Dr. Dre (1993)
Album: The Chronic
Dr. Dre and Los Angeles hip-hop were already on the map before the release of this 1992 single from his solo debut, The Chronic, but “Nuthin But A “G” Thang” made the whole country take seriously the contributions of G-Funk. The beat’s sneaky flutes and subtle guitar notes combined with the pavement pounding force of the thumping four-note bass line, woke people up to the idea that melody can indeed sound gangsta.


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