Snoop Dogg returns with something for the gangstas and something for the ladies with his new album, Malice ‘N Wonderland.
No façade, I went from the yard, to a three garage, to instant ménages Vintage, relentless, I mean this I promise No Suge no Dre, I’d have did this regardless, And that what I’m s’pose to think, flinch at me like I’m s’pose to blink Motherfucka this Crip still! Hard to swallow like a big pill Pushing 40 and still a big deal Pony tails still swinging, hair still braided, Laker to a Clipper I won’t be faded Nigga,.. So buzz on that shit, backflip back to plaque shit Blue, red, white to black shit, But for the green I’ll send a whole motherfucking team to clap shit React to match shit Problem, Terrorist… Fuck this rap shit!
These lyrics are excerpts from “2 Minute Warning”, the third track off Snoop Dogg’s latest studio album Malice ‘N Wonderland, and in this writer’s opinion it would have better served as the intro. The way he annihilates the beat with his perfected vintage west coast rap flow is literally a two minute warning to any detractor who may think Snoop has lost a step lyrically. The track also serves as somewhat of a disclaimer, when Snoop gutturally spits out the last line “fuck this rap shit!”, he is saying forget trying to be lyrical with this rap shit, he’s through with it. Malice ‘N Wonderland is not a gangsta rap album ala his early classics such as Doggystyle or The Doggfather, nor is it a fusion of gangsta rap, G funk and early 80’s synthesizer R & B like his more recent albums, Blue Carpet Treatment and Ego Trippin’. Malice ‘N Wonderland is an unabashed effort to milk the current Hip-Hop fads de jour to create a commercial success.
The album opens with “I Wanna Rock,” which aims to give Southern Cali middle-schoolers another anthem to perfect their “jerkin” dance to. He enlists the don dada of the spastic dance crazes, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, for the sprawling, over produced, and lyrically simple “Pronto” which is guaranteed some spins at your little sister’s junior prom.
This album also shows Uncle Snoop continuing his trend of replacing his misogynistic lyrics from his younger days to more mature romantic tracks. He collaborates with hit maker slash crooner The Dream for a pair of simple, light, and fluffy tracks geared towards wooing the females, “Luv Drunk” and “Gangsta Luv” the latter of which will probably end up being the biggest single of the album, due to its infectious hook. “Different Languages” produced by Teddy Riley and featuring Jazmine Sullivan, and the Neptunes produced “Special” featuring his cousin Brandy, both find Snoop serenading his wife. The tracks are somewhat cliché with lyrics that recall Ja Rule in his hey, but being that Snoop is the most charismatic figure in the Hip-Hop industry, the songs actually are reasonably enjoyable and come across as heartfelt.
Overall Malice ‘N Wonderland is serviceable. There are the obvious tracks that are designed to get into your kids piggybanks (do kids even keep piggybanks anymore?), but Snoop has enough charisma not to sound like the 40 year old man trying to stay down. The aforementioned “Gangsta Luv” will have a lengthy run in the club, and his radio friendly romantic tracks aren’t a chore to listen too. There is nothing here to satisfy hardcore Snoop fans or hip hop purists, who are left to take solace in the fact that at least Snoop still can be lyrically complex if he wanted too. Ten years ago, in the intro for Snoop’s sophomore album The Doggfather he stated “This album is dedicated to those who think gangsta rap is dead… fuck y’all”. Well in the 2000-now, gangsta rap has long been dead, but Snoop has made the transition from triple OG MC to laid back romantic celebrity marketing tool quite efficiently.
Beats= 7.5 Rhymes = 6
Malice ‘N Wonderland receives a PAR