Snoop Dogg has transcended Hip Hop.
He’s become an icon, instantly recognized by the appearance of the smallest sliver of his personality. Snoop has championed every facet of media he’s so much as touched. With all that said, he’s never left rap behind. He’s released project after project, swerving in and out of different genres with ease and confidence. Among all the experimentation and invention, some Snoop fans have subconsciously moved past the concept of Snoop as a straight forward rapper; and while Snoop has laid hardcore features in recent years, he hasn’t addressed these feelings in a complete project.
However, this past Friday I had the privilege of joining Snoop in the famous Electric Lady Studios to listen to his upcoming project Neva Left. It’s only fitting that I got to listen to a legendary artist’s work in a legendary venue. I have to say that I’ve been a fan of Snoop’s from the jump, have loved his explorations in and out of genres like reggae and funk, and wasn’t sure what to expect from his next musical venture in 2017. Frankly, I’m not sure how I can articulate how swiftly the album knocked me off my feet. The record gives listeners every incarnation of Snoop and fine tunes each one to perfection. The only taste out to the public right now is “Nightfall” a remix of the BadBadNotGood and Kaytranada track “Lavender” and while it’s great, it’s definitely not a good indication of what you’ll get on Neva Left, because the album is so varied. You’ve got Snoop flowing over sampled soul, trap beats, funk, and boom bap. He’s jumping from well written bar to well written bar referencing everything from his days as a Crip to his job as a football coach.
Without a doubt the most personal stand out track is one on the latter half of the album, we were unsure of the name, it plays as a collaborative track with KRS One. Later Snoop would tell us that the song was three to four years in the making, that it was a challenge to pen a verse that was up to par with the Blastmaster. But while listening to the track all I could hear was Snoop dropping some of his heaviest bars with some wild energy. So do yourself a favor, mark your calendar for May 19th, set aside some cash and cop Neva Left when it drops because from what I heard, it’s not just a good Snoop Dogg album, it’s a great Hip Hop album.
Art by yours truly Arthur Banach @wildhxir