Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle - Classic Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle

by Brian Thompson Rating:9 Release Date:1993-11-23
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle
Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggystyle

After NWA splintered and each of its members tried their hands at solo projects, Dr. Dre didn’t miss a beat. In 1992, he released The Chronic, an instant rap classic, and with it, he was able to show off his hip, young protege, Snoop Doggy Dogg, fostering a monumental hunger for more rhymes after his contributions to such adored tracks as "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" and "Fuck wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')".

The following year, Snoop used the partnership with his mentor as a launching pad for his own solo career. With Doggystyle, Snoop Dogg crafted one of rap’s most memorable introductions, proving that the hype surrounding him was never in vain.

Right off the bat, Snoop Dogg emerged as a well-deserved rap prodigy. After setting the stage with two and a half minutes of George Clinton, Dr. Dre, and The Lady of Rage hyping him up on "G Funk (Intro)," Snoop dives headfirst into a continuation of the promise hinted at on The Chronic. His first vocals on the album come in the form of "Gin and Juice," a track that would become ubiquitous for the last two and a half decades. With its killer hook and dynamite verses, the song served as a glowing showcase of his unshakable charisma and distinctive vocal flow.

A child of the 70s, Snoop infused his vibrant debut with sounds of funk, soul, and psychedelia, crafting a biting cocktail of swirling sounds, unlike anything that preceded it. Doggystyle’s appreciation for the past (and its lack of specific rap beef diss tracks) gives it a truly timeless feel. Dr. Dre’s funky production permeates through tracks like the abrasive run-on freestyle "Tha Shiznit," the infectious, identity-establishing "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)," and the call for community in flex track "For All My N****z & Bitches." Still, he was able to demonstrate his West Coast gangsta prowess, as with "Murder Was the Case," a supernatural journey through street violence, and the hard-hitting ensemble piece “Serial Killa,” which finds him in the round with D.O.C., RBX, and Tha Dogg Pound.

One of Snoop Dogg’s chief assets has always been his pronounced sense of humor, which he was able to sharpen early on through a variety of rap skits strewn sporadically throughout the album, with short gags like  "Bathtub," "W Balls," and "Checkin'" adding insight and humor beyond the lyrics. Snoop Dogg’s personality outside of music often overshadows his output, and as a result, hip-hop historians rarely cite him as an innovative artist. However, even at the start of his career, he was undergoing a deep exploration of his sonic capabilities. He was consistently finding a gripping blend of aesthetic stylings, as with the marriage of old and new in "Doggy Dogg World" or the ever-changing sound collage of “Pump Pump.” The eerie, futuristic science fiction vibes of "Lodi Dodi," with its silky smooth, bouncy hustle, feel like a precursor to what OutKast would be cranking out in the years to follow.

There are missteps on the album, such as "Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can't Have None)," a sweaty declaration of eroticism and misogyny that’s quite difficult to defend in the #MeToo era, but they are few and far between. Doggystyle was instantly embraced within the culture, sparking an entire generation of imitators. Still quoted and admired, Snoop Dogg’s debut record is a sweeping proclamation, a triumphant materialization of an unassailable voice whose artistic reach would undoubtedly surpass its humble beginnings.

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