By James Pavel
Snoop Dogg, a rapper that has managed the impossible, yet enviable task to somehow appear forever fly, despite being over the age of 40, will go down as maybe the most iconic rapper of all time. Whether it is Snoop Doggy Dogg, The Doggfather, or Snoop Lion, his persona has risen above the importance of any of his music with the exception of his first two albums. His marijuana endorsing lyrics and blunt-blazing escapades rivals the importance of Bob Marley in terms of getting high, and his ability to strike audiences as an authentic gangster has only been matched by Tupac Shakur, and briefly, 50 cent.
Personality conquests aside, as a rapper, the majority of his releases over the past two decades have failed to keep his game as pristine as the way he sounds on the fresh as laundry, ’2001.’ The beat is following Snoop’s lead, hop-scotching to keep up with the Doggfather’s slick word-play, causing a head-bobbin’ reaction more natural than twisting a Philly blunt.
4. B*tch Please
The peak of misogynist hip-hop is debatable, but regardless of the era, this song remains the Mike Tyson of the ‘g’s up, hoes down’ mentality. Political correctness and sexism aside, no rap joint lends more swagger to a man desperate for some pizazz upon entry to the dance floor. Xzibit is in peak form, sounding as if he would rather steal your ride than just pimp it, and Nate Dogg’s final warning near the end is classic Dogg Pound representin’.
3. It Ain’t no Fun (If the Homies can’t Have None)
Its the 90’s West-Coast all-star team singing about group sex with the jubilance of children singing about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. The Dogg Pound, along with Snoop’s homie Warren G are one, big, stoned out of their respective trees, happy family and seem in their element when passing around an anonymous groupie/stripper for the whole gang to enjoy. Although everyone has a marvelously perverted verse to add, Snoop’s the lieutenant general when it comes to obscene lyricism.
2. Who am I (What’s My Name?)
Nobody enjoys spelling their name more than Calvin Broadus – it’s outlandish that he wasn’t awarded a guest segment on Sesame Street to encourage children to pronounce their personal syllables with such pride and rigor. Not only has he rapped S-N-double O-P, D-O double G out in every album he’s released, here he devotes a full track to the entirety of his first and last name that the world has come to associate with the 6’4 Long Beach, California resident. Out of all the sing-a-long spelling bees that Snoop has conceived, ‘What’s my Name?’ is the crown jewel. Although he has evolved as a character, his rapping themes have remained remarkably stagnant. Whether he is paired with Katy Perry or Dr. Dre, the subject matter rarely varies. Yet, one when considers other 90s rap titans, perhaps his refusal to evolve into a more reflective version of his former self is a defense mechanism to maintain his indisputable survival as a relevant artist.
1. Gin & Juice
Despite all the fuss made about the discographies of Eminem and Jay-Z, neither has a song that sets joints on fire or cracks the tops of Colt 45’s faster than this ode to Bombay and OJ. The Snoop Dogg experience can be reached in its entirety through his debut album, “Doggystyle,” when one considers that it features ‘Murder was the Case,’ ‘Ain’t no fun,’ ‘Lodi Dodi,’ and of course, ‘Gin and Juice.’ Snoop now exists as a caricature of Snoop Doggy Dogg. The present Snoopafella is a pop-star diva, a man who shows up four hours late to interviews and will collaborate with anyone willing to dump a quick million into his OG retirement fund. The original Dogg-Father was a thug-life menace, a rapper who feuded with Eazy-E, traded bars with Tupac, and boldly recorded an entire song about murdering the police force.
‘Gin and Juice’ is the defining backyard boogie that horrifies parents with real-life tales of what actually happens when Mom and Dad leave their teenager home alone so they can visit Aunty Betty for the weekend. Pockets full of rubbers, enough booze to send a choir of students to the emergency room , and enough green in the air to decorate a St. Patrick’s Day parade and it all started with a lil endo and a few sips of gin and juice.