Snoop Dogg: Bush

The Doggfather and Pharrell have got the funk, but maybe don't know what to do with it.

- Californian doggfather of laid back gangsta rap, Snoop Dogg, has failed to string together a decent record since the turn of the Willenium. There's something intrinsically likeable about Snoop and the whole world, myself included, have continuously given him the benefit of the doubt regardless of his overwhelming mediocrity. Every time he pushes his luck the dude seems to pull a rabbit from his sack and re-hypnotise the world.

Bush, Snoop's thirteenth solo studio record sees the forty-three year old man attempt to take another questionable musical side step in his quest to leave no stone unturned. If Snoop's last record Reincarnation was his reimagining of reggae, then Bush is his warped vision of smooth r’n’b, funk and disco -and who better to helm that shaky old ship than hit-maker extraordinaire and all round questionable human being- Pharrell Williams.

In days gone by Pharrell and Snoop have often partnered up with stupid success. 2015 though is worlds apart from 2005. There's no Drop It Like It’s Hot here. The closest we get is Edibles. A track featuring the once great T.I. that compares woman with weed brownies and the like. An apt comparison to be sure. A song that faintly echoes the heyday in which such a line-up would result in universal high fives and uncapped commercial success.

The majority of the tracks here see Snoop in flat-out singing mode which -despite not being horrid- isn't his greatest strength by any stretch of the imagination. Most of the music sounds like really muted Neptunes beats with that Nile Rogers-esque funk guitar that Pharrell no doubt discovered after his time working on that last Daft Punk record. Pharrell, in his infinite wisdom, also seemed to come up with the notion that producing the entire record wasn't quite enough Pharrell for the world to enjoy, so you get to hear the human turd contribute backing vocals and sometimes even the hook to many of the ten tracks here.

After guesting briefly on the latest, and all round fantastic Kendrick Lamar record, Snoop clearly and quickly called in the return favour. Cashing in with a Kendrick verse that, not surprisingly, surpasses everything that came before it. That track I'm Ya Dogg also features a past his prime Rick Ross and is nestled at the very end of Snoop’s Bush. A tiny, slightly redeeming reward for those brave few that make it the entire way through record; luckily one of the shortest of his career. Even then, it's a bit of a chore.

Snoop continually seems to be battling the present and the past. He's essentially a chiller '90's dude trying to remain relevant. Yet in this brave new world he’s stuck somewhere in between, in limbo. Floating through life just trying to stay high enough to avoid coming crashing down to Earth. I for one think someone needs to shoot this wounded bird-man down; and while they’re at it they better take care of Pharrell too. If I hear one more song infused with his ‘magic touch’ I’m going to flip out and do something I will surely, eventually regret.

- Jay Edwards.

Album Details

Album Title: Bush
Artist: Snoop Dogg
Record Label: (Doggystyle / Columbia / Sony)