Review #340: Doggystyle, Snoop Doggy Dogg

Karla Clifton
3 min readJan 4, 2023

#340: Doggystyle, Snoop Doggy Dogg

I’m SO glad we finally got to Snoop, because I finally get to talk about the best moment in the history of time: Snoop Dogg’s appearance on Celebrity Family Feud. Please watch it, if only to watch Snoop Dogg smile bashfully as Steve Harvey warns everyone about the dangers of drugs.

Anyway, last April, Mr. Dogg made the annoying choice to remove all Death Row Records from Spotify in favor of their own yet-to-be launched streaming service. So I listened to this one on SoundCloud. I felt like I was back in the fifth grade. Anyway.

Snoop’s debut came out the year before I was born, so by the time I was an active music listener, his reputation had been solidified as the Affable Weed Man. Then when I was in college, he teamed up with convicted felon Martha Stewart and became even more affable, which is why all of our mothers know who he is.

But when he released his debut, he wasn’t anyone’s affable anything. He had just come off of his breakout feature on The Chronic, where his every contribution is delightful. And over the course of recording it, he was charged with first-degree murder. (He was acquitted, and my little Snoop-loving-heart so wants to give him the benefit of the doubt.)

In any case, Snoop wasn’t the cuddly VH1-ready stoner he is today. He’s not a Dr. Dre carbon copy either, which is pretty impressive considering that Dre mixed the record. Instead of giving Snoop the stately beats he gave himself, he gives him buzzy Nineties dial tones, starting with “G-Funk.” His production stays weird and wiry throughout. Songs titled “For All My N****z & Bitches,” “Gz and Hustlaz,” “Serial Killa,” and “Gz Up, Hoes Down” don’t have the house-crushing bass beat that Dre and Jay often favor, but needly lasers. Hell, “The Shiznit” has an organ on it. Snoop can make just about anything seem cool.

Snoop’s best beats are reserved for his party tunes, like “Gin and Juice,” Snoop’s ode to extremely laid back kickbacks, and “Who Am I? (What’s My Name?),” which has a pretty amazing music video in which Snoop and all his pals turn into dogs. Snoop says it best in “Lodi Dadi,” a cover of Slick Rick’s classic: We likes to party/ We don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody. (Fun fact, Biggie is ref’ing the same song on the chorus of “Hypnotize.” Hip-hop is so much fun to dig into.)

As with many other rappers, Snoop also doesn’t get nearly enough credit for being a wordsmith. Every song on here uses clever figurative language that would earn him an A on any English paper. (Maybe with a red SEE ME, for use of vulgar language.) I mean, “Doggy Dogg World”? The onomatopoeia of “Pump Pump”?

Weirdly though, the record’s best lyrics are on “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None)”, which could be a really sexist song in anyone else’s hands. But it’s not! It’s a graphic ballad of brotherly love! Snoop wants all his friends to get laid as much as he does, and I think that’s beautiful.

Finally, Snoop wins my award for Best Interludes Ever. From getting soaped up in a “Bathtub,” to Easy Dick and the Jack Off Hour on “W Balls,” to the “Classroom Intro” where a young Snoop declares that he wants to be a motherfuckin hustler… I could listen to them all day. (See also: “Domino,” “Chronic Relief,” and “Checkin.’”)

In some ways, Snoop reminds me of Iggy Pop, a former mud-and-drug covered punk rock demigod that now owns a Cockatoo with an Instagram account. Snoop was a gangster rapper, who now bakes cookies with Martha. God bless them both.

Fun Fact #1: “Murder Was the Case (DeathAfterVisualizingEternity)” was made into a short movie. I only recommend it because at one point, Snoop smokes a whole guy. Like, inhales him into his lungs.

Fun Fact #2: Snoop Dogg is related to both Brandy and Ray J!

Fun Fact #3: I’ve never encountered so much porn while trying to research music.

Review #339: Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, Janet Jackson

Review #341: Siamese Dream, The Smashing Pumpkins

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