Snoop Dogg is a peculiar artist to say the least, particularly as of late we’ve seen him create multiple alter-egos such as Snoop Lion and Snoopzilla, star in stoner-film Mac & Devin Go To Highschool alongside Wiz Khalifa, as well as featuring in ‘his’ documentary film Reincarnated, it begs the question what was next on the cards for Snoop. Back with his first ‘hip-hop’ album since Doggumentary back in 2011, one of hip-hop’s most integral figures has returned to music with his 13th studio album- Bush.
With what I’m sure is music to everyone’s ears, if you’ll pardon the pun, Snoop once again enlists the help of close collaborator Pharrell in which continuing the jazzed-up material found on past efforts such as R&G: The Masterpiece. With additional production credits from Chad Hugo, Charlie Wilson and Stevie Wonder, I think it’s fair to say which direction Bush would be taken. With mellow production claps, harmonica from Stevie Wonder, slightly auto-tuned Snoop, and Pharrell on the hook, California Roll tells you everything you need to know about the LP.
That’s not necessarily a criticism, I like my rap jazzed, brass-brimmed and full of soul, and that’s what Bush on-the-most-part encapsulates, epitomised by the opener. However, from this onwards, the novelty certainly wears off, and pretty quickly. Following track This City is more of a pop/dance-ish track, with a rap only coming at the middle-8, almost as if adding a guest verse to his own song. This is where I feel Bush is frustrating. While the initial aim is clear, the execution just falls short. With a lot of auto-tuned meandering, and very little rap in the grand scheme of things, you wish this was the ‘hip hop’ album it supposedly was.
Let me be clear, this isn’t a hip-hop album. And if going into this you thought it was Snoop’s return to rap then you will be disappointed, and maybe that’s why I don’t like Bush all that much. Featuring Nile Rogers riffs, a whole lot of autotune, and very limited rap, it’s much more of a pop/R&B album. Unfortunately, Pharrell’s involvement consumes the project and with every element of it screaming skateboard P, Snoop seems to be a bit-part player to a project that has his own name on.
Verdict – WW