What can I write that will sway your mind away from that disturbingly catchy single that is inescapable from radio stations coast to coast? Yeah, “Sexual Eruption” (or “Seduction,” depending on what you prefer to sing out loud when your car windows are rolled up) is a hit, and rightfully so. And, while the first single on Snoop Dogg’s newest album, “Ego Trippin’,” is more like to p-funk than g-funk, the album itself isn’t some cross-over attempt to introduce middle American teenagers to the sounds of a vocoder–that is what T-Pain songs are for.
Snoop’s ninth album has come a long way from the classic, “Doggystyle,” where a 19-year-old Snoop was letting the world know that Long Beach has made a grab for the rap crown, and where a 10-year-old future journalism student was constantly in trouble for singing “The Shiznit” at school.
This album doesn’t smack the listener in the face with infectious raps, the likes of which the mainstream is not used to hearing-something that gave his debut album the notoriety it maintains today. However, “Ego Trippin'” does show how much Snoop’s versatility has grown since the beginning of his career.
Not to say that turning Slick Rick’s “Loddi-Dodi” or Biz Markie’s “Vapors” into something that is more desirable to blast out the speakers of a low-rider in LA than a ghetto blaster in New York aren’t something unique in their own right. Nor is it even a stretch to say that his superhero themed song “Batman ‘ Robin,” which brought Snoop’s ex-Death Row affiliates Lady of Rage and RBX back into the studio, on his seventh album, “Paid the Cost to be the Boss,” exhibited Snoop’s imaginative song concepts.
The thing is, in all those songs, Snoop was still, how do I put it, sounding?I hate to use this butchered clich’eacute;, but those songs were all still “gangsta” to some extent.
Meanwhile, I think it is safe to say that “Sexual Eruption” does more to make you want to grab the nearest member of the opposite sex and hit the dance floor instead of playing the wallflower, while pulling a mean face (and feeling stupid). And the same can be said about the song “Cool,” a track on the new album that sounds like Snoop met up with Prince and the Revolution, and they agreed to be the band at a house party-in other words, fantastic.
Another testament to the albums range is the song “My Medicine,” a song that has the Doggfather backed by the country western guitar playing of Whitey Ford, which has Snoop riding, comfortably, with his lyrics that have the akin to a young Muddy Waters or Johnny Cash, whom he shouts out at the beginning of the song.
But the requisite “yizzle cizzle fizzle wizzle mizzle” attitude rap fans have come to love from Snoop is prevalent through much of the album, with songs like “Press Play,” “Gangsta Like Me” and “Staxxx in my Jeans.” There are also some “love” songs on the album, but who buys a Snoop Dogg album for a love song?
“Ego Trippin” shows that Snoop can still stay on his, here it goes again, “gangsta” and still step his blue Chuck Taylors out of the pigeon hole that a lot of mainstream rap artists rush to stick themselves into.
He didn’t try to turn himself into some superthug to keep up with the mediocre status quo. What is also refreshing about this album is that it is clear that Snoop Dogg had fun making this album, which you can hear in his music. With the weather lately feeling like summer is already here, Snoop’s album dropped at the right time for people to roll down their windows, put it in their car stereo, turn up the volume and start “Ego Trippin’.”