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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2004 | Geffen

Internet leakers caused the release of R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece to be pushed up a week, but that just means the world got to bask in the excitement of Snoop's great return for seven extra days. Upon its release, the ultrahot production team the Neptunes' contribution to the killer lead single "Drop It Like It's Hot" had been duly noted, but lost in all the chatter was how inspired and on-fire Snoop sounds. Any fan keeping up with his street-level mixtape series Welcome to the Chuuch could tell you something new and fresh was brewing, and 2002's Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ was excellent, but Snoop's let his fans down before and two years off could mean trouble. Not to be, since Rhythm & Gangsta is right up there with his best while being riskier than anything before it. New sounds like tongue clicks, smooth jazz guitars, and a bit of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle" give Snoop a brand-new sonic palette to work with, and he's more than ready for it. The up-tempo "Signs" with Justin Timberlake is glittery disco fun, but it ain't gonna keep Snoop from being himself. He's hardcore throughout the album, an album that's got plenty of street and commercial appeal and all the difficulties that comes with it. The numerous youngsters who can't stop singing "Drop It Like It's Hot" are going to freak their parents out with this one. "Can You Control Yo Hoe" is a tough stunner with an inescapable, loopy hook, but Snoop's challenge to the homies is rather disturbing. "If she won't do what you say, why aren't you slapping her?" is the song's direct message that can't be easily brushed off as metaphor, and it's the one that's gonna send mom and dad back to the record store, fuming! Recommending such an album that gets viciously misogynistic -- elsewhere too -- is difficult, but Snoop is fierce throughout Rhythm & Gangsta and putting "Masterpiece" in the title isn't hyperbole. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2006 | Geffen

You can look at the hard-hitting Tha Blue Carpet Treatment as a reaction to the crossover-minded R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, an album that featured Justin Timberlake and the mega-single "Drop It Like It's Hot." Since that polished -- some would say "watered-down" -- effort put him over the top (again), Snoop was seen shilling for Chrysler and Orbit gum when he used to rep Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style videos and that green sticky-icky you can only get on the West Coast. The time to buy street cred would be now, right? Well, Snoop's been doing some amazing things under most folks' radar, and this album is the natural outcome. While the title is a little poke at the Crip/Blood, blue/red dichotomy, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment feels like the G-funk soundtrack to Snoop's 2005 West Coast peace summit and all the positive hood moves he's made since then, like squashing all West Coast beefs and throwing some love to Cali's often-ignored Latin hip-hop community with his intentionally leaked "My Peoples" freestyle. It's the latter relationship that's responsible for the excellent "Vato," and while special guest B Real might be way bigger than 2Mex or most of the other names mentioned in "My Peoples," the Cypress Hill sideman needs Snoop in 2006 much more than vice versa. Polished efforts like the pimping "That's That S***" with R. Kelly and the strip club anthem "I Wanna F*** You" with Akon fall between Doggystyle-d gangsta throwbacks like the slinky "Crazy" with Nate Dogg and "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)," which features E-40 and Tha Dogg Pound next to lesser-known vets Goldie Loc and MC Eiht. Juggling "Candy"'s guests would be hard enough for lesser Gs, but it's a testament to Snoop that he can, and more so that he manages a full album that touches upon just about every ghetto flavor. Banger after banger, produced by everyone from Timbaland to the Neptunes, leads to a couple numbers that almost throw the album off-track: "Psst!," where Jamie Foxx woefully pretends he's Prince, and the pee-wee football anthem "Beat Up on Yo Pads," which is just out of place. Then there's the dream number "Imagine," a duet between Dr. Dre and Snoop that ponders a hood life not blessed with hip-hop, a life where the two would have never gotten "out from under." As the album exits on the positive "Conversations" with Stevie Wonder, memories of Rhythm & Gangsta's grandest moments return, and it becomes obvious Tha Blue Carpet Treatment isn't so much a reaction to that album as it is a house party celebrating Snoop's whole career. With heaping helpings of G-funk and Left Coast attitude, there's no reason any West Coast-loving hip-hopper should miss this party. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2008 | Geffen

The original idea behind what Snoop Dogg considers his ninth album -- ignoring all those pesky and shoddy fringe releases -- was that the title represented a truly solo effort with no guest shots. As the street date grew closer, the rapper flipped the script and decided that Ego Trippin' referred to how he "let" people write songs for the album, songs Snoop could rap and sometimes, shockingly, sing. The leadoff good-time single "Sensual Seduction" -- or "Sexual Eruption" on the explicit album -- proved the latter wasn't a bad idea at all, with Snoop crafting a hooky bedroom track using both a smirk and a throwback Zapp feel. It was a perfect flagship release for an album that tries numerous things but never tries too hard, plus one where the nostalgia is plentiful and perfectly chosen. At the heart of it all are the "overseers" of the album, QDT Muzic, a production crew formed by Snoop along with new jack swing legend Teddy Riley and West Coast hero DJ Quik. This fascinating mix of veterans somehow handles everything from the crooked, crip-walking "Gangsta Like Me" to an unbelievably faithful and fun cover of the Time's "Cool" with Snoop singing and strutting just like Morris Day. Throwaway moments like the country song -- for real -- "My Medicine" are balanced by rich and honest moments like "Been Around tha World," where the rapper reminds listeners he's actually married and delivers a heartfelt "I'll be home soon" number. It's the one time his words are the focus, and while it's never clear how much Snoop actually wrote, the ghostwriters he's admitted to hiring have the thug script down and rarely disappoint. What is disappointing is the woefully long track list, the redundant numbers, and the trimming required to keep from drifting off before the majestic closer, "Can't Say Goodbye" with the Gap Band's Charlie Wilson, rolls around. Put a quarter of this loose, hangout session to the side and you've got a great argument that Snoop's transition from hungry gangster to laid-back celebrity and idea man is going much better than expected. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2006 | Geffen

You can look at the hard-hitting Tha Blue Carpet Treatment as a reaction to the crossover-minded R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, an album that featured Justin Timberlake and the mega-single "Drop It Like It's Hot." Since that polished -- some would say "watered-down" -- effort put him over the top (again), Snoop was seen shilling for Chrysler and Orbit gum when he used to rep Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style videos and that green sticky-icky you can only get on the West Coast. The time to buy street cred would be now, right? Well, Snoop's been doing some amazing things under most folks' radar, and this album is the natural outcome. While the title is a little poke at the Crip/Blood, blue/red dichotomy, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment feels like the G-funk soundtrack to Snoop's 2005 West Coast peace summit and all the positive hood moves he's made since then, like squashing all West Coast beefs and throwing some love to Cali's often-ignored Latin hip-hop community with his intentionally leaked "My Peoples" freestyle. It's the latter relationship that's responsible for the excellent "Vato," and while special guest B Real might be way bigger than 2Mex or most of the other names mentioned in "My Peoples," the Cypress Hill sideman needs Snoop in 2006 much more than vice versa. Polished efforts like the pimping "That's That S***" with R. Kelly and the strip club anthem "I Wanna F*** You" with Akon fall between Doggystyle-d gangsta throwbacks like the slinky "Crazy" with Nate Dogg and "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)," which features E-40 and Tha Dogg Pound next to lesser-known vets Goldie Loc and MC Eiht. Juggling "Candy"'s guests would be hard enough for lesser Gs, but it's a testament to Snoop that he can, and more so that he manages a full album that touches upon just about every ghetto flavor. Banger after banger, produced by everyone from Timbaland to the Neptunes, leads to a couple numbers that almost throw the album off-track: "Psst!," where Jamie Foxx woefully pretends he's Prince, and the pee-wee football anthem "Beat Up on Yo Pads," which is just out of place. Then there's the dream number "Imagine," a duet between Dr. Dre and Snoop that ponders a hood life not blessed with hip-hop, a life where the two would have never gotten "out from under." As the album exits on the positive "Conversations" with Stevie Wonder, memories of Rhythm & Gangsta's grandest moments return, and it becomes obvious Tha Blue Carpet Treatment isn't so much a reaction to that album as it is a house party celebrating Snoop's whole career. With heaping helpings of G-funk and Left Coast attitude, there's no reason any West Coast-loving hip-hopper should miss this party. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2008 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2004 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2007 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2007 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2004 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 18, 2007 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2006 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2006 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 9, 2007 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2004 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2008 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released December 18, 2007 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 21, 2006 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released November 21, 2006 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2006 | Geffen

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 7, 2005 | Geffen

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Snoop Dogg in the magazine
  • Happy New Year!
    Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020! What better way to ring in the New Year than to take a look back at some songs from the likes of ABBA, Snoop Dogg and Van "The Man" Morrison...