Is Snoop Still Top Dogg?
Rap is home to many long-standing names from the 80s and 90s that still stand relevant today; even the early 2000s like Nelly and 50 Cent, who revolutionized fifth grade dances when the chaperones weren’t paying attention. Many of these early artists were either so epic or involved after their initial career in rap (i.e. own labels, A-list actors, etc) we can’t shake them from Run DMC (1983) to Dr. Dre (1984) to Will Smith (1990) to Puff Daddy (1991) to Jay-Z (1995) or Eminem (1996).
Snoop Dogg got his start with Dre in 1992, and similarly to those listed above he has remained relevant. From the start Snoop was the shit. Starting with his name of “Snoop Dogg”, he eventually looped around to “Snoop Doggy Dogg”, “Snoop”, “DJ Snoopadelic”, “Snoop Lion”, and now in honor of his latest collaboration with Dam-Funk, “Snoopzilla”.
Personally, I had no idea upon first hearing of this change why he would choose “Snoopzilla”, but according to Rolling Stone, “It was inspired by Parliament-Funkadelic bass maestro Bootsy Collins, who sometimes used the nickname Bootzilla.” His latest collab won’t have an album drop until December 10th, but lucky listeners can hear the first official single, “Faden Away” on iTunes now.
Though Snoop’s newest collab is quite interesting, his last solo album released under the name “Snoop Lion” is a more accurate representation of Snoop’s current artistry. After listening to Reincarnated I can safely say that I have lost any and all interest in Snoop as a musician. The music itself is clearly synthesized, or poorly played and poorly mixed on top of it. His lyrics are subpar at best and his actual talent is to the point of remnants of an old life of sort-of skill.
In the past Snoop has always been simple in his music, smooth, and relaxed, certainly perfect for the kind of material that he raps about (i.e. a smoke session or when you can’t seem to get out of bed.) These things are token aspects of his music, however it seems that he has attempted to develop with the times to be somewhat like Bob Marley, though this is a failed attempt. He’s fallen on a path that goes a direction that was not predicted from album to album. There is, of course, nothing wrong with changing one’s style, but I find that it must be hard to keep loyal and loving fans when you go from albums like Doggystyle or Ego Trippin’ to something like Reincarnated that is barely good enough for Reggae on the River.
Personally, I will forever remember Snoop Dogg as the genius behind “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, but I understand that all artists need to grow and expand their horizons. I just hope that if “Snoopzilla”, “Snoop Lion” or whatever-“Snoop”-he-is-tomorrow plans to keep putting music out there, he reviews it sober a few times before putting it out into the world. My question? Why, Snoopzilla, just why?