Sunday, December 2, 2007
Evolution of the Dogg
Rapper Snoop Dogg released a new video this week for the song "Sensual Seduction" in which he completely re-defines his musical style. However, despite his chronic gangsta posture, Snoop has been subtly shifting his style over the years. Here's a look at the evolution of Snoop Dogg's career from the beginning to the present.
First off, here's Snoop at the beginning of his career. This is the video for "Deep Cover", recorded for the movie also entitled Deep Cover. This marks the beginning of the Dre and Snoop Dogg combo that redefined rap and hip-hop.
Next, Snoop Dogg breaks through to the mainstream with Dr. Dre's hugely successful hit, "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang". Snoop takes the first verse on this rap classic from Dr. Dre's album The Chronic. This song also marks the beginning of the West Coast G-Funk style that dominated rap during the 1990s.
In 1993, Snoop released his debut album, Doggystyle. Propelled by the success of single "Gin and Juice", this Dre-produced album topped the charts in the US for a couple of weeks. I'm posting one of my personal favorites off of Doggystyle, "Who am I (What's My Name)". Snoop later released a sequel to this song on his 2000 album Tha Last Supper.
Snoop Dogg released a few albums over the next decade or so. His musical style during this period remained largely the same, although some say he developed an even more lackadaisical flow. In 2004, with the release of his album R&G (Rhythm and Gangsta): The Masterpiece, he altered his music significantly. Parts of the album were produced by The Neptunes, the producer duo that includes Pharrell Williams. Snoop scored a hit and sparked a catch-phrase with "Drop It Like It's Hot". This song features very minimalist production, a rarity in earlier Snoop songs, consisting of largely tongue clicks and base drum. The video also features a very stylish monochromatic aesthetic.
Finally, here is the latest from Snoop Dogg, the funky "Sensual Seduction". This song, which largely features Snoop playing a keytar and singing through a vocoder, is the first single off his 2008 album Ego Trippin'. The video has an eighties, almost Prince-like feel to it, with Snoop's obligatory rap only appearing during the final minute of the song. This new style presents a fresh take for hip-hop in 2008, and is hopefully indicative of the creativity to come later during 2008 in the rap genre.