Spending two decades in the game, accumulating legendary status, dropping numerous albums and a line of ‘adult entertainment’ DVDs, its hard to imagine Snoop Dogg still having a hunger to create a new album in 2011. His latest offering, Doggumentary, stands as the Dogg Father’s 11th studio album and is the sequel to 1993’s classic Doggystyle. Going through his prestigious catalog, you’ll be hard to find an album without any notable highlights. But will there be enough vintage Snoop performances on hand to ensure the follow-up to one of Hip Hops seminal albums goes without disappointment?
Jumping on the funk bus for the opening ‘Toyz N Da Hood’ alongside Bootsy Collins, Snoop rides into familiar territory with spaced out P Funk grooves of the ’70s (albeit he doesn’t rap/feature on the track). The bouncy vibes follow into ‘The Way Life Used To Be’, where Big Snoop Dogg’s musings over past street life are emphasised with a phat bass. ‘Wonder What It Do’ samples the timeless Boz Scaggs‘ ‘Lowdown’ record, resulting in a trademark Snoop summer cut whilst ‘Peer Pressure’ combines slick bass guitars with a snapping beat.
Considering Snoop refers to this as the sequel to Doggystyle, Doggumentary wisely avoids remaking any 2011 versions of the brilliant material from his debut album. However, it does embrace the G’d up keys, synths and guitar licks which were prominent on the 1993 classic. ‘We Rest In Cali’ is a dope mix of signature funk and heavy beats, ‘El Lay’ for its bad hook, still throws up a cool lowriding cut whilst ‘Platinum’ strays from a distinctive Snoop Dogg formula but its crunk, bass thumping production (courtesy of Lex Luger) rings off hard which is topped with a guest appearance from R Kelly.
However there are some mediocre moments rife on Doggumentary as, whilst Snoop’s verses have never been the most engaging, material on-hand highlights the decline in his lyrical prowess. Some tracks seem gimmicky (take ‘Superman’ with country singer Willie Nelson) whilst ‘Boom’ alongside T-Pain heavily samples Yazoo’s ‘Situations’ to no avail.
For an 11th album, Snoop Dogg manages to create something which will appease the very loyal Dogg fans out there. Remaining loyal to the West Coast’s recognised sounds, Doggumentary pays tribute throughout the lengthy 21 track album with throwback material and packs enough guests on hand to help the Doggfather in the lyrics department. Although it’s a shame that the likes of Nipsey Hussle, Jay Rock and various rappers of ‘The New West’ fail to make an appearance, seasoned superstars Kanye West, Young Jeezy and Gorillaz provide some extra swagger to the old Dog’s game.
It might lack the consistency to hold the attention of those who may have left their full support of Snoop years ago but there are a handful of tracks on this album to serve as a reminder of the glory years in which the O.G. once dominated. Doggumentary celebrates Snoop’s career rather than extends the lifespan of it… and for many followers of the S-N-Double-O-P, that’s enough for them to live with.