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Snoop Dogg - The Blue Carpet Treatment

Snoop Dogg, Blue Carpet Treatment

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

SNOOP Dogg looks set to follow-up the massive success of his last album R&G: Rhythm & Gangsta with The Blue Carpet Treatment – but while it capably ticks all the boxes expected of a massive hip hop release, it’s a curiously pedestrian offering.

The album is notable for marking the first reunion of Snoop with Dr Dre in five years, and includes the usual high-profile list of collaborators, but it fails to excite in the same way that R&G did and sometimes feels like the artist is just going through the motions.

What’s more, it disappointingly conforms to the whole gangsta chic that surrounds mainstream hip-hop at the moment, dropping terms like “niggers” and “whores” with an alarming regularity. We know Snoop is a bad boy, it’s his trademark, but there’s much less of the feel-good factor surrounding this release.

That’s not to say the LP isn’t without merit and there are good tracks to be found. But for every That’s That (the lead single featuring R Kelly) or Conversations (the final track featuring a delightful set of vocals from Stevie Wonder), there’s a lot of generic material to wade through.

Tracks like Lil’ Crips, Gangbagin’ and A B***** I Knew bring nothing new to the genre despite the usual smattering of hard-hitting lyrics and slick beats.

The highlights pick themselves. Round Here, for instance, drops a clever sample of Dido’s Thank You that also soundchecks Eminem’s Stan, while relaying a hard-hitting tale of life in a mean neighbourhood.

While Get A Light drops a fantastic beat (on a par with Drop It Like It’s Hot) and an electrifying set of vocals from Damian Jr Gong Marley that lends it a thoroughly invigorating vibe. The tinkling piano chords that run in and out of the rhythm section are similarly inspired.

Akon lends his distinct vocals to two tracks, both of which register strongly in spite of some dubious lyrics. Boss’ Life is probably the more radio friendly of the two, but the better – and most naughty – is I Wanna Fuck You, an explicit ode to a dirty liaison that is utterly X-rated but somehow quite funky (so long as the words don’t offend).

It remains sad, however, that modern hip hop is more obsessed with the dirtier aspects of loving – I think it was Jurassic 5 who questioned earlier this year why tributes to love and beautiful women had been replaced by declarations about sex and whores.

Jamie Foxx brings his usual classy vocals to Psst!, a more soulful recording that drops another slick beat and some fine falsettos, while Imagine combines hand-clap beats and piano to worthwhile effect, easing the listener into that final pairing between Snoop and Stevie Wonder that brings things to such a quality finale.

But this is more about bad attitude and bad boy antics than anything else, as exemplified by a sample before Imagine where Snoop congratulates himself for delivering an album that’s “so mutherfucking gangsta”. For confirmation of this, just check out the sleeve notes, which are dominated by photos of Snoop surrounded by scantily clad women and holding a gun.

It’s a depressing feature of modern hip hop that the scene is dominated by artists who embrace bad values. They may be singing about the things they know and would probably argue that their lyrics serve to deter listeners from following in their footsteps. But it’s not always conveyed that convincingly.

The Blue Carpet Treatment is just another in a long line of gangsta savvy LPs that disappoints more than it inspires. It’ll be massive, of course, but the very best hip hop offerings of the year exist just off the mainstream. This should have been a contender but it comes nowhere near.

Track listing:

  1. Intrology – Feat. George Clinton
  2. Think About It
  3. Crazy – Feat. Nate Dogg
  4. Vato – Feat. B-Real
  5. That’s That S*** – Feat. R Kelly
  6. Candy (Drippin’ Like Water) – Feat. E-40, MC Eiht, Goldie Loc, Daz & Kurupt
  7. Get A Light – Feat. Damian ‘Jr. Gong’‘ Marley
  8. Gangbangin’ 101 – Feat. The Game
  9. Boss’ Life – Feat. Akon
  10. LAX – Feat. Ice Cube
  11. 10 Lil’ Crips
  12. Round Here
  13. A B**** I Knew
  14. Like This – Feat. Western Union (Damani, Soopafly, Bad Lucc), LaToiya Williams & Raul Miaon
  15. Which One Of You – Feat. Nine Inch D**
  16. I Wanna F*** You – With Akon
  17. Psst! – Feat. Jamie Foxx
  18. Beat Up On Yo Pads
  19. Don’t Stop – Feat. War Zone (Goldie Loc, MC Eiht & Kam) & Kurupt
  20. Imagine – Feat. Dr Dre & D’Angelo
  21. Conversations – Feat. Stevie Wonder