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Rap - Released March 13, 2001 | Death Row Records

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If Snoop Dogg's debut, Doggystyle, doesn't seem like a debut, it's because in many ways it's not. Snoop had already debuted as a featured rapper on Dr. Dre's 1992 album, The Chronic, rapping on half of the 16 tracks, including all the hit singles, so it wasn't like he was an unknown force when Doggystyle was released in late 1993. If anything, he was the biggest star in hip-hop, with legions of fans anxiously awaiting new material, and they were the ones who snapped up the album, making it the first debut album to enter the Billboard charts at number one. It wasn't like they were buying an unknown quantity. They knew that the album would essentially be the de facto sequel to The Chronic, providing another round of P-Funk-inspired grooves and languid gangsta and ganja tales, just like Dre's album. Which is exactly what Doggystyle is -- a continuation of The Chronic, with the same production, same aesthetic and themes, and same reliance on guest rappers. The miracle is, it's as good as that record. There are two keys to its success, one belonging to Dre, the other to Snoop. Dre realized that it wasn't time to push the limits of G-funk, and instead decided to deepen it musically, creating easy-rolling productions that have more layers than they appear. They're laid-back funky, continuing to resonate after many listens, but their greatest strength is that they never overshadow the laconic drawl of Snoop, who confirms that he's one of hip-hop's greatest vocal stylists with this record. Other gangsta rappers were all about aggression and anger -- even Dre, as a rapper, is as blunt as a thug -- but Snoop takes his time, playing with the flow of his words, giving his rhymes a nearly melodic eloquence. Compare his delivery to many guest rappers here: Nate Dogg, Kurupt, and Dat Nigga Daz are all good rappers, but they're good in a conventional sense, where Snoop is something special, with unpredictable turns of phrase, evocative imagery, and a distinctive, addictive flow. If Doggystyle doesn't surprise or offer anything that wasn't already on The Chronic, it nevertheless is the best showcase for Snoop's prodigious talents, not just because he's given the room to run wild, but because he knows what to do with that freedom and Dre presents it all with imagination and a narrative thrust. If it doesn't have the shock of the new, the way that The Chronic did, so be it: Over the years, the pervasive influence of that record and its countless ripoffs has dulled its innovations, so it doesn't have the shock of the new either. Now, Doggystyle and The Chronic stand proudly together as the twin pinnacles of West Coast G-funk hip-hop of the early '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rap - Released August 16, 2019 | Doggystyle Records - EMPIRE

Just a year after he made a curious detour into faith-based positivity on the gospel-leaning Bible of Love, veteran West Coast rap icon Snoop Dogg returned to what he knows best on his 17th official LP, I Wanna Thank Me. Settling into late-era comfort with a venerated pop culture status that had long surpassed his early G-Funk days, Snoop delivers competent rhymes and familiar street tales that benefit from his inimitable vocal delivery and charm. There's not much here to hail a return-to-form renaissance, but for those in need of a solid dose of the familiar, I Wanna Thank Me is pure Snoop, complete with sly boasts, smooth production, and nostalgic, kush-loving comforts. Highlights include the personal history lesson of "Let Bygones Be Bygones" and the Crips anthem "Blue Face Hunnids" (with noted Blood YG), as well as a slew of guests such as Slick Rick, Swizz Beatz, Mustard, Wiz Khalifa, Ozuna, and the late Nate Dogg. Upon release, I Wanna Thank Me debuted at number 76 on the Billboard 200. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Rap - Released January 1, 2005 | Priority Records

The tracks on this compilation cover 1998 through 2002, a period filled with plenty of artistic, commercial, and personal ups and downs for Snoop Dogg. It's simply a selection of highlights from Da Game Is to Be Sold Not to Be Told, No Limit Top Dogg, Tha Last Meal, and Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$. Priority thankfully resisted the temptation to throw in a couple exclusives, so it cuts right to the chase, offering a pretty even spread between the four albums, rendering them all but obsolete for casual fans. The only missing chart entries from this phase: two tracks from tha Eastsidaz's self-titled album, along with a track each from the Dr. Dolittle 2 and Baby Boy soundtracks. Though Snoop was responsible for plenty of filler on each of the albums, few MCs have pulled off such a range of work with such a high level of finesse, from the Premier-produced "The One and Only" (raw, in your face) to the Neptunes-produced "Beautiful" (smooth, laid-back). A lot of people -- fans and haters alike -- declared Snoop's career dead once the disastrous first No Limit album came out, so the MC himself must feel at least a little vindicated that this set exists. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rap - Released May 8, 2015 | Columbia

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Rap - Released April 19, 2013 | Berhane Sound System - VICE - Mad Decent - RCA Records

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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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Film Soundtracks - Released December 12, 2011 | Rostrum - Atlantic

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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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Gospel - Released March 16, 2018 | All The Time Entertainment

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The planets have aligned, Snoop Dogg is back. Following the 2013 reggae episode titled Reincarnated, released under the alias Snoop Lion, the Californian rapper grants another wish: a gospel album. A double album in fact! Throughout the 32 tracks, Snoop Dogg strings together countless featurings. Faith Evans, the Clark Sisters, Mary Mary, B Slade, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, to name only a few. Between hints of 90s RnB (Sunshine Fell Good, Sunrise), smooth and passionate touches (Bible Of Love), soul with kitsch brass (One More Day or On Time with B Slade) and seventies synthesisers (Come as You Are), gospel and a hint of hip-hop (Changed with Jazze Pha or Chizzle featuring Daz Dillinger), Snoop simmers his recipe in the best of pots. And as it’s made with love, it can only smell delicious! Cherry on top, you can enjoy the King’s legendary nonchalance in Change The World featuring pastor John P. Kee. A highly anticipated release. Brilliant! © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Rap - Released January 1, 1999 | Priority Records

As time keeps on slipping into the future, it becomes apparent that Master P's greatest gift is marketing, particularly when his advertising masquerades as liner notes. Witness P's work for Snoop Dogg, once considered the brightest rapper of the '90s but now merely a general in the No Limit army. The Master began plugging Top Dogg, Snoop's second No Limit release, in the liners for his label debut, even mentioning a release date only months away. Clearly, Snoop had indeed been placed on the No Limit production line, and there was every indication that from now on, Snoop would churn out moderately enjoyable, Dirty South-lite records crammed with cameos and appropriated hooks. Turns out he had a trick up his sleeve, because Top Dogg is about as individualized an album as possible under the No Limit precepts. Since the outset of his career, Snoop has shown a fondness for early-'80s synth funk, and for the first time, he lets that form the basis of an album. And while there may be a bit too much recycling for some tastes, the end result isn't just the freshest-sounding Snoop album since his debut, it's easily the freshest-sounding No Limit album. Unfortunately, it's still a No Limit album, which means it runs way too long and is filled with superfluous, even irritating cameos, and also that Snoop is content to haul out low-rent gangsta clichés. Since he's a gifted rapper, he makes the dope 'n' crimes, sex 'n' violence rhymes go down easily (compare his delivery to some of his guests if you have any doubts), but his lyrics just aren't as clever as they were five years earlier. But records don't have to be deep; they can be appreciated as a pure sonic experience, and taken on that level, Top Dogg satisfies. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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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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Rap - Released January 1, 2010 | Priority Records

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Snoop Dogg leaves much of his gang-banging past behind him in favor of preened pimp posturing on his final album for No Limit Records, The Last Meal. Snoop's increasingly old-school pose suits his gracefully aging self well. Despite his former affiliation with Death Row Records and his much-publicized murder trial, Snoop never seemed like much of a thug, which is partly why hostile albums like Tha Doggfather (1996) and Da Game Is to Be Sold Not to Be Told (1998) seemed a bit forced. Contrarily, it seems more natural for him to rap about the pampered pimp life, as he does here on The Last Meal -- tall glasses of Hennesey, glistening pairs of Stacey Adams, overcast clouds of chronic smoke, hungry hordes of so-called bitches -- over truck-rattling G-funk basslines that lope along at a languid tempo. These impressive beats come courtesy of a similarly impressive roster of producers: second-wave G-funksters Meech Wells, Battlecat, Jelly Roll, and Soopafly, and brand-name hitmakers Dr. Dre, Scott Storch, and Timbaland. Among this roster, Timbaland certainly stands out, as do his contributions, "Snoop Dogg (What's My Name, Pt. 2)" and "Set It Off," which place Snoop in an uncharacteristically energetic context. He handles himself well on these bouncy songs regardless, yet seems more at home on Dre's smoother contributions, "Hennesey n Buddah" and "Lay Low." Beyond these four tracks, the remaining 15 are a mixed bag, most of them Crip-walking along at a stoned tempo, featuring soulful P-Funk hooks by Kokane and offering laid-back respite while this lengthy album moves leisurely toward its throwback album-capper, "Y'all Gone Miss Me." Following this misty-eyed finale, you're left with the thankful sense that Snoop has finally taken control of his career after succumbing to the oppressive fancy of Suge Knight and Master P ever since parting ways with Dr. Dre following Doggystyle (1993). © Jason Birchmeier /TiVo
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Rap - Released April 24, 2001 | Death Row Records

A lot happened to Snoop Doggy Dogg between his debut, Doggystyle, and his second album, Tha Doggfather. During those three years, he became the most notorious figure in hip-hop through a much-publicized murder trial, where he was found not guilty, and he also became a father. Musically, the most important thing to happen to Snoop was the parting of ways between his mentor Dr. Dre and his record label, Death Row. Dre's departure from Death Row meant that Snoop had to handle the production duties on Tha Doggfather himself, and the differences between the two records are immediately apparent. Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail. In essence, all of the music on Tha Doggfather reworks the funk and soul of the late '70s and early '80s, without updating it too much -- there's not that much difference between "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" and "Oops Up Side Your Head," for instance. Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating. At over 70 minutes, Tha Doggfather runs too long to not have several filler tracks, but if you ignore those cuts, the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rap - Released January 1, 2002 | Parlophone

Though Snoop Dogg never slipped from the charts, Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ smacks of a comeback, and it's a great one. After finally being released from No Limit (he's still distributed by Priority), Snoop Dogg drafted a set of great producers for his sixth album, as well as a varied cast of featured guests capable of drawing in just about every segment of the hip-hop audience. Still one of the smoothest rappers around and the bemused observer of all around him, he slips on the tried and true pimp and godfather personas, but also has the nerve to feature an X-rated sex romp ("Lollipop," with Jay-Z and Nate Dogg) directly after a tender anthem to love and marriage ("I Believe in You") -- and sound extremely convincing with both. The pair of tracks produced by the Neptunes ("From tha Chuuuch to da Palace" and "Beautiful") are the highlights, two of the best they've done since their commercial breakout. Hardcore fans of rap, though, will want to skip ahead to "The One and Only" for a perfect meld of West Coast and East Coast -- the first meeting of Snoop and DJ Premier on wax. (Premier also turns in a hilariously cartoonish production for "Batman & Robin.") Yes, there are a few missteps: The G-funk roll on a few tracks sounds a little dated, and Bootsy Collins impersonator Mr. Kane makes a few embarrassing appearances ("Stoplight" is a bland, unnecessary update of Parliament's "Flashlight"). And two other remakes sound OK, but won't have a long shelf life. The first is virtually a cover of Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full" called "Paper'd Up," and it's immediately followed by a redo of Robert Palmer's Jam & Lewis anthem "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" ("Wasn't Your Fault"). You've got to be a strong figure to keep together an album this long and this rangy, but Snoop Dogg is up to the task. © John Bush /TiVo
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Rap - Released July 1, 2016 | Ca$h Machine Records

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Rap - Released May 19, 2017 | Doggystyle Records - EMPIRE

Heavily nostalgic and yet fully energized, Neva Left continues Snoop Dogg's easy whim-to-whim glide. The photo used for the cover dates back to the early '90s, taken near a sign for the California state route that shares its number with the state's penal code for homicide. A frame from tha Dogg Pound's "New York, New York" video would be just as reflective of the contents. Although their album offers a high quantity of whomping basslines played at relaxed tempos, Snoop demonstrates throughout that he still has love for the East Coast. He raps like Slick Rick as he boasts about "singing like a Tempree," gamely references Whodini, Boogie Down Productions, a Tribe Called Quest, and Wu-Tang Clan elsewhere, while the guest list includes KRS-One, Redman, and Method Man. Snoop even revisits his beeper-era nod to Biz Markie on a "Vapors" remix, one of several cuts handled by long-term associate DJ Battlecat. The cleverest beat combines coastal sources: "Promise You This," from League of Starz' Dupri, dots Too $hort-style minimal machine funk with a little "It Takes Two" as Snoop attests to being a no-talk, all-action self-starter, supporting the community through his youth football league and by putting people to work. The sinister and spacy Kaytranada/BadBadNotGood production "Lavender [Nightfall Remix]" is the best of the cross-generational tracks, which also include the neo-Neptunes "Go On" (with October London on the hook, evoking Marvin Gaye) and the trap-style "Trash Bags," the latter the only beat on which Snoop, otherwise appealing as ever, sounds out of place. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rap - Released July 3, 2015 | Golden Records

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Rap - Released August 15, 2019 | Doggystyle Records - EMPIRE

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Just a year after he made a curious detour into faith-based positivity on the gospel-leaning Bible of Love, veteran West Coast rap icon Snoop Dogg returned to what he knows best on his 17th official LP, I Wanna Thank Me. Settling into late-era comfort with a venerated pop culture status that had long surpassed his early G-Funk days, Snoop delivers competent rhymes and familiar street tales that benefit from his inimitable vocal delivery and charm. There's not much here to hail a return-to-form renaissance, but for those in need of a solid dose of the familiar, I Wanna Thank Me is pure Snoop, complete with sly boasts, smooth production, and nostalgic, kush-loving comforts. Highlights include the personal history lesson of "Let Bygones Be Bygones" and the Crips anthem "Blue Face Hunnids" (with noted Blood YG), as well as a slew of guests such as Slick Rick, Swizz Beatz, Mustard, Wiz Khalifa, Ozuna, and the late Nate Dogg. Upon release, I Wanna Thank Me debuted at number 76 on the Billboard 200. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Rap - Released March 13, 2001 | Death Row Records

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Rap - Released April 24, 2001 | Death Row Records

A lot happened to Snoop Doggy Dogg between his debut, Doggystyle, and his second album, Tha Doggfather. During those three years, he became the most notorious figure in hip-hop through a much-publicized murder trial, where he was found not guilty, and he also became a father. Musically, the most important thing to happen to Snoop was the parting of ways between his mentor Dr. Dre and his record label, Death Row. Dre's departure from Death Row meant that Snoop had to handle the production duties on Tha Doggfather himself, and the differences between the two records are immediately apparent. Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail. In essence, all of the music on Tha Doggfather reworks the funk and soul of the late '70s and early '80s, without updating it too much -- there's not that much difference between "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" and "Oops Up Side Your Head," for instance. Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating. At over 70 minutes, Tha Doggfather runs too long to not have several filler tracks, but if you ignore those cuts, the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Snoop Dogg in the magazine
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