Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle” (1993)

I don’t like Snoop Dogg’s debut 1993 release, “Doggystyle. I thought I would; I assumed that I would enjoy a west-coast rap/g-funk album released less than a year than before Warren G’s “Regulate… G Funk Era” (1994), and yes while the albums can sound similar they feel worlds apart. Where Warren G delivered feel-good laid-back vibes that feel honest and down to earth, I feel like Snoop Dogg is selling me something. There’s this persona that Snoop is pushing, that people know who he is, and that he’s dangerous and cool – but that he pushes that angle so hard is off-putting.  I accepted that Warren G was awesome because he didn’t force it, and if you’re so cool I’ll figure that out without you telling me that Snoop Dogg, thanks.

While not all about Snoop, the album is either about chronic, sex, or murder. Not exactly things I’m itching to hear about, especially in the vulgar, immature-sounding choices of vocabulary that are on display in “Doggystyle.” Aside from the problems I take with the content of the album, I suppose I don’t have many criticisms for Snoop Dogg. You might not be surprised to hear that Snoop Dogg has impeccable rhythm, that he sounds cool, or that there’s a catchy flow to most of the songs on the album. “Gz and Hustlas” stands out as one of the few songs on the album where the beat is so fine that I don’t care what Snoop Dogg is rapping about anymore, I’m just enveloped in the music and I can’t be bothered by what stupidity the lyrics might be.

While  I liked songs on the album, I couldn’t get over the thematic bump that “Doggystyle” presents to me. Songs about chronic, sex, and murder can be what I’m in the mood for- but not while I’m doubting if the character of the man delivering those songs. For a man who probably shouldn’t have to try that hard at all, Snoop Dogg tries too hard to establish his credibility and  the album suffers for it.