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"Tha Doggfather" is the second album from the West Coast rapper who when the was was released, 1996, still went by the name Snoop Doggy Dogg. Significantly, it came out soon after the death of his former label-mate 2Pac, who was signed to Death Row Records up until his murder.
His first album, "Doggstyle", was a massive success as the 1993 record had Snoop unleash the world with G-Funk, soon after Dr. Dre released "The Chronic". The fresh sound of it was refreshing to the world at the time, but here three years later, without Dre's production to aid him, Snoop comes with a darker album which has him showcase his Gangsta Rap style without some more friendly P-Funk samples included to his work.
2. "Doggfather" (feat. Charlie Wilson)
Here you have a great starter to get this album kicked off as Snoop performs a big collaboration with Uncle Charlie Wilson, who as followed him throughout his career by lending his soulful voice to tracks from this album all the way up to his most recent 2008 release, "Ego Trippin'".
This one was used as a single from the album, and it definatly stands out amongst the rest of the material on the album as you have a switch from the style on "Doggystyle" as this is a smooth, yet G take on Snoop's prevous material.
3. "Ride For Me" (Lude)
4. "Up Jump Tha Boogie" (feat. Kurupt, Charlie Wilson, Teena Marie)
This one screams out the sound of urban music in the mid ninties, and what has become a craze over '07 and '08 as you have Charlie Wilson singing to the vodocer (similar to T-Pain's auto-tuner), and here it allows you be immersed within the sound of that particluar era. Most Hip Hop fans will recognise the lyrics as part of the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper Delight", and this helps in the understanding that this is a fun, light-hearted rap from Tha Dogg and others who aid in conveying this here.
5. "Freestyle Conversation"
Here is a freestyle rap from Snoop and it has him flow in responce to the question of whether he will flop without the beats of Dr. Dre. From here he intermixes spoken word and rhyming to answer how he feels towards this, amongst other things. Snoop is amongst the best at doing such raps as he's always so chilled, but I wouldn't say it was one of his best here.
6. "When I Grow Up" (Lude)
7. "Snoop Bounce" (feat. Charlie Wilson)
This is another one to feature the Soul singer Charlie Wilson alongside Snoop, and you can telll that together they are capable of amazing things. Here you have a big G-Funk track whihc showcases the changes in the production from the ealry ninties where it was a lot more friendly, and here the Gangsta side takes over with slapping percussion in the production.
8. "Gold Rush" (feat. Kurupt, Bad Azz, Techniec)
You have a switch-up here after going from some hardcore Gangsta Rap to a track which has Snoop and others rap in reference to the fomration of the West Coast in terms of how it became a major area for the U.S.. From here Snoop is quite inventie as he relates what he does today with the Wild West, however I wasn't that satisfied by the execution of it all.
9. "Me & My Doggz"
If you enjoy listening to the hardcore West Coast rap from this era in Hip hop, then I'm sure that you find this to be an incredibly strong tune as Snoop comes with a tune similar to "Snoop Bounce" in terms of how the production is so powerful, yet funky and represents the West Coast in a non-visual way.
10. "You Thought" (feat. Too $hort, Soopafly)
Initially, I found this to be quite an average track by Snnop as his tune was immediately taken over by the guests. I haven't got anything against Too $hort, but Soopafly doens't really have too much to offer in terms of raps, so it wasn't until Snoop comes out when you realsise how poor they are in comparison. Luckily his takeover improves on the tune so much so that it's sounds to be one of the best on the LP.
11. "Vapors" (feat. Charlie Wilson, Teena Marie)
This one was the second single from the album and it has Snoop rapping about all of his most valued firneds in the game, those who ave gone on to rap alongside him on the album. He speaks about how he grew up with them and what they came up from to get to where the currently are.
12. "Groupie" (feat. Kurupt, Daz Dillinger, Nate Dogg, Warren G)
After a decent track whcih had Snoop cilled out rapping about the rappers who have grown up with him an rap with him, now, they all come together for this track, and so you have 213 (Snoop, Warren G, and Nate) alongside Tha Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt). With West Coast All-stars like this on his side, it would be very difficult to mess up something with so much potential, and luckily this wasn't the case.
Here you have an amazing G-Funk tune which has the awesome West Coast force rap about groupies and everythign associateed with them. Each rapper comes with sometihng original and it makes for a great display of the talent from Long Beach and other places in Cali.
I'm still struggling to understand what is meant by 2001 as it was used by Dr. Dre and Snoop long before the year occurred, and since then there has been no mention of it, bnut here it has no relavence to the material within the track. I found this to be a great example of Snoop representing the ends where he comes from, Long Beach, and the West Coast of America in general.
14. "Sixx Minutes"
As with on "Doogystyle" where Snoop took influence from Slick Rick and his tune "La Di Da Di" in his new interprettion, "Lodi Dodi", Snoop comes with an original compostion of the Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh "6 Minutes" in Snoop's distinclive laid-back style as he naturally flows for a misleading four and a bit minutes-worth of track time.
15. "Wake Up" (feat. Tray Deee)
Although I didn't really like this one too much, I could really appreicate what went into it and all of the things which were considered in order to make it work. You have Snoop referring to the 'Trial of the Century', which in 1996, was a big talking point. So this track dedicated to O.J. Simpson was an interesting one.
What I was most impressed by was Snoop's decision to use a sample of Run-D.M.C.'s "Wake Up" in order to build on from the theme to relate it to the music which went on to form the rapper we see now. I wouldn't have expected sometihng like this, but it was well done. However, I hated to D.M.C. tune and this one didn' t do that much in changing my opinion on it.
16. "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" (feat. Charlie Wilson)
If you are aware that G-Funk was based upon the sounds of Funk in the '70s and '80s, then it is obvious as to why Snoop chose to do his own interpretation of The GAP Band's "Oops Upside Ya Head". However this is quite misleading as you may think that it's a light-hearted tune, however it is a lot darker in reality.
Really this track is a diss to Suge Knight and the money which he effectively stole from Snoop and other artists signed to Death Row records. I hate to say it (as I don't wish to take sides on the situation), but Eazy-E was right about it all.
17. "Blueberry" (feat. Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, Bad Azz, Techniec)
Thsi is a typical West Coast tune and it has Tha Dogg POund and a cuple of others rip apart a winding G-Funk beat with their Gangsta lyrics which can be compare to no other. As with most Cali rappers, they ave opted for a tune about cannabis, and the effects of it on their creativity.
18. "Traffic Jam" (Lude)
Here is the last of very few track which only has Snoop Doggy Dogg on voclas, so he gets to display what he is capable of by himself without the assistnce of other rappers or Charlie Wilson. I wouldn't say that it appears to have pressurized him at all as he is just as strong as always and he suits the production perfectly.
20. "Downtown Assassins" (feat. Daz Dillinger, Tray Deee)
This is a dark track which has Snoop, Daz (of Tha Dogg Pound) and O.G. Tray Deee (of Tha Eastsidaz), and here they appear to educate the listers with their knowledge of the strrets and how it works. As a result you have them explaining how to get drugs distributed, and what the weight is worth in money.
At the time, this must have been something great to hear at the closing of the album as you have the sounds of Snoop Doggy Dogg and 2Pac performing their best-known collaboration together, "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted", but it's only the final seconds of it.
This is a consistant album for Snoop Doggy Dogg, and has him perfrom extremely as a follow-up to "Doggystyle". I wouldn't say that this one is as strong as his debut, but it still has a lot going for it. I think that it just seemed different as Daz took over for much of the beats insteaf of what Dre should have come into it, but regardless of this, it was still of high quality.
You can tell that this album was a turning-point in his career, as he seems to have matured as a rapper as he changes his themes to suit what he wants to represnt the streets as, and so he makes them a lot more intimidating than how he did with Summery tunes on "Doggstyle", but even with this variation in style, he performs well.