This ‘Snoop Dogg’ review was written by Omar Alavi, a GIGsoup contributor.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to stay ahead of the beat, you will not get this album! It’s as simple as that. On the other hand if you like getting off behind the beat you’ll feel the lazy California snaz vibe of Hop-Blues front and centre. Good feeling!
Has Snoop Dogg turned a corner, has he done what countless rock n rollers nay hip hoppers nay popular artists do in the twilight? Get together with popular contemporary artists and try to sell to a wider audience! A marketing gimmick and novelty!
Snoop is his own man – uncompromising and accomplished. The He of creating compelling Gangsta hooks that say so much in a space of few words and are utterly memorable; rage filled with hypnotic and effortless delivery that covers the globe, north to the east and south to the west: he is Chicago – New York – Mississippi –California rolled into one! He stays behind the beat, there is no rush just the impact of the words in an oceanic draw – you hear the crash when the waves hit ya. Snoop surfs the waves of rage with a gaze so strong he makes your knees wobble with “what just happened!”
California Roll sets you up with the doobie “in Los Angeles” and tells you about the life in that tinsel town where roll has many meanings from the joint to the car to the jaunt in the hay and from the drive to the way you roll with it for your 15 minutes of fame! Featuring Stevie Wonder with his signature vocals and harmonica the song jumps from hip hop to R&B crossing over smoothly in that ‘lay back’ LA feel.
This City is life in the fast lane in the Dogg style filled with popular culture catch-phrases with a hypnotic pop synth in the loop – glitz and glamour and all the trappings. The funked up R U A Freak with added vocals of Charlie Wilson conjures up valiant images in a world of fast drive-bys and where survival of the mundane is often a result of getting caught up only to be left by the way-side! “You try to survive, you’re under pressure cause you’re running outta time” defines the rage and ruthlessness of the environment of success complicit with a desire of not letting go.
Are you Awake? If not then feel the awake – an ode to the altered state. It’s true when the right is left and the top is down and news make no sense anyway that the desirability of the ‘higher’ state as a refuge becomes paramount. The ‘krypton’ landscape is scintillating with the Anita Ward disco-esque Ring My Bell subliminally prodding you to put the hustle-on the dancefloor! A retro Awake is as smooth as a neat single-malt in the glow of a post-hippy-ultra-hip era.
The robotic drone in So Many Pros is a stroke of genius. A brilliant lyrical trick in a song where the phrasing style pack a bigger punch than what the mere lyric ever hopes to accomplish! The chorus is memorable and stays and percolates in the head forevermore hypnotically weaved over sonic boom of the snare.
Peaches n Cream, the first single from the Album, is a tour de force with collaborations and influences ranging from Hip Hop to R&B. Pharrell’s funk beat gave the impetus to draw from George Clinton, James Brown, and Teena Marie’s impassioned and varied flavorings and musical styles. Nellie and Snoop also co-wrote one of the most circumspect and poetic opening verses to come out in a long time. Huge creative licenses are taken on the rhymes and they work! Imagine singing ‘Maybacher’ and ‘chauffeur’ and ‘upstairs’ and ‘backward’ and making them sound phonetically similar, that’s a master singer-songwriter at work!
Edibles is an ultimate in your face rap in a way reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s stand to the acoustic folk crowd in Positively 4th Street. The sound and feel is far ahead of anything being played in Hip Hop-R&B genres that Snoop slams in the groove “I don’t owe a nigga shit, better earn for himself, quit tripping on me, be concerned with yourself” since his music breaks boundaries as “…it all dissolves (to the left) and it mixes with the music (to the right)”.
The sultry, balmy I Knew That is the nascent craving to get it “going on” with the woman on the dancefloor. Gwen Stefani is a perfect counterpoint to Snoop’s easygoing delivery on Run Away. Stefani eases gently with her impassioned yelps and the combo results in mayhem and seductiveness on the airwaves!
Kendrick Lamar and Rick Ross team up with Snoop to give Barry White a run for his money nay they run Barry out of the joint with the talk-sung baritone of I’m Ya Dog! The song closes down one of the most influential albums of 2015
Snoop has left the Rap-hip hop trail, the Rastafarian strut and the Nation of Islam’s trot far behind on the wings of R&B as he goes into the windmills of his own mind redefining genres, lyrics, phrasings and sound. His impact on Rap at large has been felt for a while yet BUSH just explodes the listener right through the contemporary stratosphere of what is in, hip and meaningful. He defines what is right and what needs to be said and explored musically. They have yet to name Snoop’s genre and we hope they never do because he sings out the essence of music which has no label! Snoop is no novelty or gimmick. He is serious and fun and head and shoulders above his musical mates. BUSH proves it!
BUSH was released by ‘Doggystyle’, ‘I Am Other’ and ‘Columbia Records’. The album was produced by Pharrell Williams.
The full track-listing for ‘BUSH’ is as follows…
“California Roll” (featuring Stevie Wonder)
“R U A Freak”
“So Many Pros”
“Peaches N Cream” (featuring Charlie Wilson)
“Edibles” (featuring T.I.)
“I Knew That”
“Run Away” (featuring Gwen Stefani)
“I’m Ya Dogg” (featuring Kendrick Lamar & Rick Ross)