Tag Archives: snoop dogg

Snoop Dogg: Bush

12 Aug


Snoop Dogg is as much of an institution as an artist. He’s been everywhere, knows everyone and now even does everything with what is legitimately a funk and R&B album, Bush. Sadly, as with much of his recent work, this quality is not quite all that it could be, but it is a very pleasant listen with some stand-out moments.

First of all, the music video for “So Many Pros” is excellent in all the right ways. Snoop Dogg has always been about personality as much as music and that is really what allows him to carry this video off. The simple density of imagery in that video is astounding. The song itself is also very good, continuing the trend of R&B/funk rap that seems to be making itself known.

Additionally, “Edibles”, “I’m Ya Dogg” and even “California Roll” make great work of their guest stars. Kendrick Lamar puts on a clinic in the latter, if a slightly antiseptic one, and while T.I. is quite overshadowed by Snoop’s inimitable laid back flow in the former, the song is wonderful. The album as a whole runs slightly dry after these brief spikes, but is never unpleasant to listen to. It’s only real fault is in the lack of an edge to the whole.

@murthynikhil

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Snoop Dogg at the Regency, SF (17/4/2014)

5 May

It’s been quite some time since 1992 when a young Snoop Doggy Dogg stepped into the game on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. A lot has happened since then, including the death of 2Pac, some experiments with reggae and a Call of Duty voice pack, but Snoop is still one of the giants of hip-hop and a fine man to see live.

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Snoop is also a man with an unquestioned ability to have fun. This was not so much a concert as party time with Uncle Snoop. In the middle of the concert, he played Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and just chanted the chorus with the crowd. His charisma is undeniable and his happiness was clearly genuine and very infectious. I don’t think it is possible to go to a Snoop Dogg concert and not have fun.

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This playfulness resulted in a far more eclectic show than I expected. Not only did a Joan Jett song make an appearance, but also Kriss Kross’s “Jump”, and even The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize”. Of course, he followed that with the west coast classic “2 Of Americaz Most Wanted”, sadly without the associated 2Pac hologram.

He dropped classics from all across his career over the show. From “Lodi Dodi” and “Gin & Juice” from his debut album Doggystyle to “P.I.M.P” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” to as recent a song as “Hit Da Pavement” from 7 Days of Funk. His has been a long and storied career and we were treated to the entirety of it.

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Uncle Snoop took us out for one of the most fun nights that I’ve ever had. No one can make rap look as easy as he does.

@murthynikhil

“ft. Pharrell”: A List of Collaborative Excellence

31 Aug

Pizzle

Rapper. Fashion designer. Songwriter. Producer. Skateboarder. Singer. In the twenty years that the world has known him, Pharrell Williams has worn many a hat – some of them his own design, and all of them at the jauntiest of angles. As part of the Neptunes, Pharrell has produced remarkable music for a remarkable roster of artists: everyone from Daft Punk to Kelis to Britney Spears to Jay-Z owe a part of their success to Skateboard P. The man has gone on to write, sing, produce and collaborate with music’s most talented artists – the list is truly mindboggling.

But never fear. As always, Top Five Records gives you a good place to start. Here’s our list of the top five songs with those moneymaker words in the title: “ft. Pharrell”.

5. “Celebrate”, Mika ft. Pharrell

A stylish duo

A stylish duo

Since his debut with the aptly-titled Life in Cartoon Motion, Brit singer/songwriter Mika has been well-known for his larger-than-life pop songs with delectable happy-go-lucky vibes. Last year’s album The Origin of Love featured one such gem, “Celebrate”, a disco-dance-synthpop anthem that’s just ridiculously upbeat. Pharrell co-wrote the song with Mika and contributed a verse, too. His intuitive sense of arrangement and design, paired with Mika’s joyous, talented voice, makes for a laudable combination. Here’s hoping to more collaborations between the two.

4. “Change Clothes”, Jay Z ft. Pharrell

Jay Z and Pharrell

Hova and Pharrell have quite a history. Mr Williams has had a hand in every Jay Z album (with the exception of The Blueprint) since 2000’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, including this year’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail. Our favorite collab between the two geniuses (genii?) is 2003’s “Change Clothes”, off of the iconic Black Album. Everything on the track just works: from that indubitable Neptunes bounce to Jay’s unmistakable cool. We find it only fitting that the refrain in the video shows Pharrell flanked by fawning models at a fashion show: it’s just that slick.

3. “Give It Up”, Twista ft. Pharrell

Twista is one of the most underrated rappers in the game today. There haven’t been as many bright spots in his career as there should have been, but one of the brightest and most colourful is definitely his collaboration with Pharrell on 2007’s “Give It Up”. The video is somewhere between 1950s airline commercial and a Tetris game, full of solid colors and candy boxes and pin-up girls: classic Hype Williams. Pharrell and Twista seem to have a lot of fun in the song, listing out all the kinds of girls who “wanna give it up” for them – black, white, Spanish, Middle Eastern, you name it. We have a slinky feeling that the song just wouldn’t have been as great without Pharrell’s presence.

2. “Get Lucky”, Daft Punk ft. Pharrell

All around the world this year, for the entire summer, critics and fans have been fawning over this phenomenal song. Music this groovy has not been made since the disco fever; it’s funny that it took a couple of French robots to bring it all back. Between Nile Rodgers’ shimmery fretting and Pharrell’s infectious chorus, it’s no wonder that “Get Lucky” is THE song of the summer. The song’s rabid success is anything but luck, though – Pharrell and Rodgers collaborating with Daft Punk is just that electric a combination.

1. “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, Snoop Dogg ft. Pharrell

cool cats

cool cats

“I got the Rolly on my arm and I’m pouring Chandon/ I got the best weed ‘cause I got it going on,” claims Snoop in the opening lines of this track, and you know he isn’t lying. Big boasts populate the track that coasts atop one of the slickest Neptunes beats ever – composed entirely of tongue clicks. The track really showcases why there will never be anyone as stylish in the game as Snoop Dogg. The black and white composition of the track’s brilliant video perfectly suits the Neptunes’ minimalistic style. “Think before you fuck with lil Skateboard P,” warns Pharrell in one verse, and he’s right. There’s really no one quite like him.

Honorable mention:

“Blurred Lines”, Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell and TI

In 2013, Pharrell Williams became only the 12th artist in the history to hold both the #1 and #2 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time, pairing the ubiquitous “Get Lucky” with the equally omnipresent “Blurred Lines”. In the well-received music video, Robin Thicke, Pharrell, TI and three young models flirt in front of a simple peach-coloured wall, soundtracked to a Marvin Gaye-meets-Prince romp that will definitely get you dancing. It’s suave, swaggering, and an absolute riot. What’s not to love?

Agree with our list? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

Snoop Dogg: “No Guns Allowed”

29 Apr

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There is a lot to talk about when reviewing “No Guns Allowed” from Snoop Lion’s latest album Reincarnated. The transformation from Dogg to Lion, the messages of peace, the imagery of the video and the news clips littering the song. This album is more than a new reggae release, this is a watershed moment.

More important though is whether it is good music. It’s okay. Diplo provides a solid background and Snoop, whose voice was always one of the most mellow in rap, sings quite decently throughout. His daughter Cori B provides a solid chorus and while Drake is nothing special, he does well enough. The song is quite listenable, just not outstanding.

The message though comes through quite strongly. The music video may be a tad overblown, but it says what it intends to. While his singing is not quite Bob Marley’s, it is certainly earnest. It feels good to see quite so positive a message from someone as large as Snoop Dogg and his past makes the statement stronger.

All told, this is a pleasant listen and made much more so due to the message. It may not revitalize reggae but it puts Snoop back on the map and not in a bad way.

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