On the album’s reception:
Rage: Nothing like it. It was kind of surreal, like, “Is this really happening?” And just the amount of people that would come out and the amount of people that would show massive amounts of love, just wanting to talk to you and touch you and say something to you and just acknowledge you. It was incredible for me, ’cause I came from a small town and everything was coming to light that I said would. You know, “I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna do this, people are gonna know my name, people are gonna scream my name.” And to see that unfold right before my eyes was like a high.
RBX: On a lot of levels I was naïve. I’m a humble dude. I’m pretty much on the block with my homeboys and homegirls. I stay rooted. I had no idea: I knew Dr. Dre was the man, and I knew him from N.W.A, but I didn’t understand the business. I thought we made a hot record. I was thinking like, “Shit, we might even sell 500,000.” I remember I was talking to The D.O.C. one day, and I was like, “Doc, we about to sell 500,000 to a million. He was like, “Are you kidding me? It’s gonna sell more than 5 million records.” And I already thought he was slightly crazy and eccentric. [Laughs] But he was right. We did that.
We did a small tour, Chicago, Detroit, and a few other places. It was very dope. It was kind of overwhelming. We was a small label at the time and we had this big monster record, and we get out there and we have 40,000 people chasing us down the street asking us for one more song. It got scary. Me and Suge got into it on the road, and that was ugly ’cause I wasn’t no little homie. I’m not gonna bow down. When people saw me and Suge, it kind of shook people to the core. Dre was like, “Aw man, I don’t want to be in the middle of that.” We were young and ignorant. The tour just fell apart.
On the legacy of The Chronic:
RBX: We were so innovative and cutting edge. I do remember when we first finished the record and we let a few companies hear it, they was like, “That’s way too over the top. I don’t think we have a market for that.” But that thing took off. We became the innovators the trend-setters and everybody starting getting their Dr. Dre sound—you know the high keyboard, the Moog. Everybody was like, “Oh, I got that keyboard in Granny’s garage, I’m about to bring that back.” And us, as rappers, we were just raw. We brought a rawness that a lot of cats from the West didn’t have before. It made cats step their game up, whether it be their beat making or your lyrics.
Sometimes I can listen to that record and it will take me exactly where we were when we was doing the record. I gotta be in a good mind-frame when I listen to it. It can be overwhelming, ’cause lot of people that I know and had respect for are no longer here, and that’s real. The cat that was doing the cymbals on that joint is no longer here, and the cat that was doing that is no longer here. Sometimes I have moments like that. Then there are times I can snap out of that stinking thinking and just enjoy the music, and when I do that its still some of the hottest shit I ever heard. At the end of the day I respect it for being a classic that I was a part of. It’s an accomplishment, especially for that time when everything was cracking and popping. A lot of people didn’t make it. I’m proud to be here, glad to be here.
Rage: “I think it set a standard. After The Chronic came out that’s when lot of people came out in groups. They would have a certain amount of people on their team, they would have a girl on their team. I know Roxanne Shanté was on Juice Crew, and there were other females before me, but after that it seemed like a necessity. Like, “We have to have a female in the crew, she has to rhyme, we have to have certain beats.” It seemed like a lot of independent levels sprouted up after that. It seems like Death Row set a standard, The Chronic set a standard, and a lot of people followed that lead. And you have a lot of labels that are here now because of that seed that was planted.
I miss those days. I miss the closeness. I miss some of the people that we have lost. It was Dre and Suge, all of us together. I miss that. Even though we had our ups and downs, it still was a unit. It was unit that was a force to be reckoned with.
NEXT: RAGE AND RBX ON THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH DR. DRE AND SUGE TODAY