Saturday, April 9, 2011

Snoop Dogg Doggumentary

Snoop Dogg calling his new CD Doggumentary is a little redundant because nearly all hip-hop albums are -- by their very nature -- autobiographical. Self is usually subject number one, and therefore every new release is just one more chapter in a thug life story. 
With that said, Snoop does talk a lot about his life growing up in Long Beach, CA on this new one. He gets much help from his friends, too. Bootsy Collins brings the funk on a few tracks; R. Kelly and John Legend add touches of soul, while David Guetta adds dance grooves to “Wet” and Gorillaz tack on a British accent to “Sumthin like This Night.” While it’s not surprising to hear Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa rapping with Snoop, it is a bit of a shock to the system to be confronted by a track like “Superman,” which is an acoustic blues-country duet between Dogg and Willie Nelson. We all know Snoop and Willie have the weed in common. However, who could have predicted these two polar extremes would have musical preferences in common as well?

As a rapper, Snoop is about as laid back as they come. He’ll never give Eminem a run for his money when it comes to building up intensity. For this reason, the man badly needs memorable song samples to bring his music to life. Thankfully, there are a couple of excellent song usages on Doggumentary. The first highlight is the way he applies Boz Skaggs’ “Lowdown” to “Wonder What It Do.” It has all the cool funk of the original. Another key borrow is contained on “Boom,” which brings new life to Yaz’s “Situation.”

One of the oddest songs on the disc is a track called “Peer Pressure.” It features a lyric where Snoop warns a young girl about the perils of drugs. Really? This is certainly a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do,’ because Snoop is unapologetic about his love for weed – including a few blunt brags on this very CD.

Even though Snoop attempts the steer an impressionable youth from the wrong path at one point, Doggumenatry by no means presents Mr. Dogg as any kind of a role model.

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