Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle

Snoop Doggy Dogg - DoggystyleIn this industry everyone loves to claim that their debut album was a classic. But what truly makes a classic album? Let’s run down the list of prerequisites that are needed for an album to have the right to be called a classic. First and foremost it would need to have numerous chart topping smash hits. It would need to have a couple cult underground hits. Legendary tales surrounding its production is definitely a must. Then there’s the most important aspect – impact and influence for years to come. It has to revolutionize whatever genre it represents. All of said traits can be found in Snoop Doggy Dogg’s impressive 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. This 13 track masterpiece (18 on the original print since skits were on separate tracks) certified two things in its wake. One, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic would not be a one hit wonder for Death Row Records, and two, Snoop had established himself as a full blown superstar. With that in mind, feel free to dipp with us as we take a trip down memory lane.

1. Bathtub

The initial album intro takes us into the pimp’d out lifestyle of Snoop Doggy Dogg. While getting bathed by a sultry sounding woman, the doorbell rings. In true pimp fashion Snoop sends his girl to ‘handle that’. As she opens it, bursting through the door are legions of plastic well wishers all trying to get a word with the big dogg. After a brief conversation with Warren G, who puts Snoop’s new baller status life into perspective, the show begins!

2. G Funk Intro

True to its name, the G Funk Intro ushers in the overture to Doggystyle in perfect G-Funk fashion. However, the first voice to be heard rapping on the album is not Snoop. The lyrical gangbanger herself, The Lady of Rage, tears up the intro with an aggressive and on point set. Following Rage’s impressive drop Snoop hits us with a small Two-bar taste of things to come. The beat to the intro takes cue from Dr. Dre’s fascination with the Parliament Funkadelic era of funk music as a definite homage’s to “(Not Just) Knee Deep” can be heard.

3 Gin And Juice

Perhaps one of the most recognizable tracks in Snoop Dogg’s career, Gin and Juice could possibly be credited to Snoop’s ascension from popular newcomer to music superstar icon. The Grammy nominated second single off the album became an overnight radio/club/party smash hit and was released itself as a single, earning a gold certification. The lyrics to the song come out strong and catchy. More specifically the hook to the song has been so influential in Hip-Hop culture that it has been the subject of re-use by such artists as 2Pac, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent. The beat itself contains heavy samples of George McRae’s “I Get Lifted” which compliments Dr. Dre’s energetically potent production. Gin and Juice is the quintessential early 90’s club banger.

4. Tha Shiznit

This is one of the best seemingly freestyled tracks on the whole album. Dr. Dre’s fast paced, yet oh so rhythmic beat is perfect behind Snoop’s ridiculously smooth flow centering on the flyest subject Snoop can speak on – himself. The bass guitar licks have an almost calming effect, while the funky jazz flute part of the melody leaves a lasting impression on the audience. Definitely not to be skipped over.

5. Lodi Dodi

This eerily slow and catchy homage to the 1985 Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh classic “La Di Da Di” is the first underground hit of the album. Snoop recites almost word-for-word the original song in this G-Funk’d remake, which ironically to this day is ritualistically recited word-for-word by true Hip-Hop heads. Dr. Dre, true to his style at the time, provides a chilling and unnerving beat.

6. Murder Was The Case [DeathAfterVisualizingEternity]

The original version to the more popular hit remix is Snoop’s first attempt (and success) at a bonified concept song. Murder Was The Case could just as well be the narration to a masterfully executed horror novel or film, but is ironically a concept theme to an 18 minute short film of the same name directed by Dr. Dre and starring Snoop. The song starts out with Snoop dying in an emergency room after being shot repeatedly, when at the last minute he makes a deal with the devil. The scene then switches to Snoop surviving and living a baller lifestyle just as Satan promised him. Snoop gets more and more greedy, yet never is able to satisfy his growing appetites. At this point his greed becomes too great and his caught up in a prison sentence complete with all the horrors and realities of time to be served. Although the remix has a more cinematic style beat, the original does not fail to have conveyed an aura of tragic dread and dark spiritualism.

7. Serial Killa

It’s time for the Death Row camp to shine all around, as Snoop is joined by then fellow inmates Tha Dogg Pound, RBX and a post car-accident D.O.C. Tha Dogg Pound’s Dat Nigga Daz provides an uncredited co-production on this cold and remorseless hit of murda. Kurupt starts out the track with his trademark savage verbal hits that we have not heard since his impressive debut on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. Daz then takes the mic dropping his O.G. style verse that then smoothes over to Snoop who lays down a clear warning as to what it is to ***** with the Dogg Pound crew. RBX finishes out the track which also serves as the last time we are to hear him on a new Death Row project.

8. Who Am I (What’s My Name)?

This song served as the first single to Doggystyle. The significance of the song is that like so many other artists who have achieved classic album status Snoop uses his own name as a song premise. Also to be noted is that Snoop Doggy Dogg was one of the first in Hip-Hop to set this trend, which would be followed in later years by such artists as The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and DMX. Lyrically this was the archetypical hit song of the 90’s with Snoop dropping some of the most memorable, catchiest, and cool lyrics of the time. He even pays homage to his own classic catch phrases from The Chronic’s “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” (“Because I never hesitate to put a nigga on his back”) and “Deep Cover (187)” (“Cuz it’s 187 on a motha*****in cop”). Dre pays homage’s of his own to Parliament Funkadelic with samples from “Atomic Dog”, “(Not Just) Knee Deep”, and “Give Up the Funk”. The song was released as a single in late 1993 and eventually earned a gold plaque.

9. For All My Niggaz & My *****es

Definitely the “Coming soon from Death Row Records” advertisement song as Tha Dogg Pound and The Lady Of Rage were given the opportunity to show the world what they could do. Most importantly they would do it without the help of the big boss dogg. Kurupt starts off the track with a lethally potent slow verse which lays the tempo for next couple of verses. What’s to note here more then anything else is the first signs of obvious chemistry between Kurupt and Daz. The two smoothly play off each other, giving us a taste of things to come; which would come out in the smash hit “What Would U Do?” and the entire Dogg Food album two years later. Rage closes out the song with short yet strong verse. Co-production props should go to Daz, who was uncredited for his work on the song.

10. Ain’t No Fun (If The Homies Can’t Have None)

Guess whose back in the motha*****in house! Snoop and his Dogg Pound homies serve up yet another classic joint centering on bustin hoes and passing to the homies. The song that gave Nate Dogg his pre-Regulate popularity is probably one of the most fun tracks off the LP. Nate starts off the track with a short tale about a flip that is so catchy you can’t help but sing along. Kurupt and Snoop both drop entertaining verses, closing out with Warren G dropping his verse and the most hilarious line of the whole album – “So back up ***** because I’m struggling. Just get on your knees and then start jugglin”. The violin and bass heavy instrumental, which contains a sample of Lyn Collins “Think (about it)”, rounds out the song.

11. Doggy Dogg World

Snoop is once again joined by Tha Dogg Pound, but more unexpectedly by 70’s Soul group The Dramatics. The beat is one of the most crispy-clean sounds of the time, let alone the album, taking direct inspiration from Richard Fields’ “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another”. Snoop starts Doggystyle’s third single by addressing the cheap Snoop Dogg imitators that were floating around at the time. Kurupt however steals the show with an impressive display of lyrical talent that would only be rivaled by his own verse on “Stranded On Death Row”, released only a year earlier. Although Daz does not have the lyrical stamina of Snoop or Kurupt, he more then makes up for it with his performing presence and slick rhyming savvy. Doggy Dogg World is uncharacteristically smoother then any of other tracks on the album but definitely ensures its niche.

12. Gz And Hustlaz

This track is without a doubt the single greatest freestyled track in Death Row Records history. Snoop’s unscripted endurance trial flows bar for bar in an almost flawless fashion, and does not skimp on the albums trend of smoothly executed, catchy, and memorable phrases such as “If you want some, get some, bad enough, take some”. The beat itself was taken entirely from Bernard Wright’s “Haboglabotribin”, with some slight modifications, and reworked with Snoop taking advantage in every way possible concerning the beat. It is as if Snoop’s unique and smooth flow was made to be performed over this type of instrumental. Although not a hit, Gz And Hustlaz is quality material.

13. Pump Pump

Doggystyle comes to a close with the albums most hardcore and intense song. The beat itself is the high point of the song. Its sound would be at home in the goriest scene of the sickest slasher film. This would definitely be Dre’s cherry on the top to a dramatically intense themed album, which could be considered the epitome of a hardcore rap album. Snoop drops his first two cold and remorseless verses right before introducing the final guest to the album – a very young Hershey Loc who too spits with a cold and vicious demeanor. All in all the song serves as a climatic end to an epic album.

The final score? A well deserved 5 out of 5 classic. If The Chronic changed the sound of Hip-Hop, Doggystyle cemented the sound and ensured its reign for the next decade. Everything about this time in Snoop’s life took its toll on the album and is the reason why it is the best known and most classically treasured projects of Snoop Doggy Dogg’s career. In a few years he would be known as: one of Amerikaz most wanted alongside his lable-mate Tupac, The Doggfather, and eventually the Big Boss Dogg, but the majority of his fans will always remember Snoop as the young pimp who was doin up the game Doggystyle.

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