Review: Jack Foley
ONE of rap’s true legends, Snoop Dogg, goes some way to
justifying that reputation with his latest album, R&G
(Rhythm and Gangsta), a heavyweight affair in all senses
of the word.
Featuring collaborations with the likes of Pharrell, The Neptunes,
Lil’ Jon, Jelly Roll and Supafly, not to mention Justin
Timberlake and Nelly, the album contains 20 tracks - most of which
epitomise the smooth, laidback Snoop Dogg style, as well as the
bad boy attitude which has proved such an inspiration to others.
Lead track, Drop It Like Its Hot, looks set to become
a monster of a hip-hop single, featuring a hook that instantly
buries itself in your brain, with Pharrell rapping the first verse
over a characteristically beat-driven Neptunes production –
complete with a brand new style of beat box.
It is already all over US radio reaching an audience of 19 million,
and making it the biggest rap record currently playing State-side.
And it's an appropriate metaphor for the rest of the long-player,
thanks to the effortlessly cool vibe surrounding most of it.
Let's Get Blown, for instance, reverberates with that
smooth Neptunes style, while Perfect, an upbeat ballad
featuring a delicious guest appearance from Charlie Wilson, recalls
the brilliance of Beautiful, from Snoop's last album.
The only album does occasionally veer into ultra bad-boy territory,
such as the borderline-offensive, Step Yo Game Up (featuring
Lil Jon and Trina), which features countless references to bitches,
niggers, whores and motherfuckers, but then I guess this wouldn't
be a Snoop Dogg album without a bit of bite to it.
Elsewhere, the Justin Timberlake-Charlie Wilson collaboration,
Signs, is a suitably upbeat track that invites some serious
dancefloor activity (courtesy of its funky style), while Nelly
stamps his style all over Girl Like U, which could well
become another of the album's monster singles.
UK listeners also benefit from the bonus track, Riders on
the Storm, a curiously likeable rap cover of The Doors' classic,
which features a welcome sample of the original.
Rhythm & Gangsta works best when keeping it smooth
and playing to the Neptunes style, ensuring that Snoop Dogg remains
the king of cool on the rap circuit.
It's little wonder the album is subtitled Masterpiece
for, in terms of Dogg's CV, it comes pretty close to achieving
1. Intro - I Love To Give You Light
2. Bang Out
3. Drop It Like Its Hot-Feat. Pharrell Williams
4. Can I Get A Flicc Witchu-Feat. Bootsy Collins
5. Ups & Downs
6. The Bidness
7. Snoop D.O.Double G
8. Let's Get Blown
9. Every Dogg Has His Day (Interlude)
10. Step Yo Game Up-Feat. Lil' Jon & Trina
11. Perfect-Feat. Charlie Wilson
12. Fresh Pair Of Panties On
13. Promise I
14. Oh No-Feat. 50 Cent
15. Can You Control Yo Hoe-Feat. Soopafly
16. Signs-Feat. Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake
17. I'm Threw Witchu
18. Pass It Pass It
19. Girl Like U-Feat. Nelly
20. No Thang On Me-Feat. Bootsy Collins
UK Bonus Hidden Track
21. Riders On The Storm