Doggystyle Allstars - Welcome To Tha House Vol 1  
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written by Low Key    
Right now not much is going on in the world of West Coast Hip Hop. It seems that every artist is building right now for the future, from Dr. Dre to Suge Knight. However, not to be overlooked is Snoop Dogg, who is making big moves himself these days with his newly formed Doggystyle Records. With a nice variety of artists already signed to Doggstyle Records, Snoop decided to put out a 20 track compilation album full of the West's finest artists and his own Dogghouse representatives.

"Welcome To Tha House Vol.1" does a good job of introducing some of Snoop's new artists if you're not familiar with them already. Label mates E-White, Mr. Kane, Soopafly, RBX, and Latoiya Williams are the main attraction, as Snoop centers much of the album on them. Probably the biggest surprise with "Welcome To Tha House" is the variety of big name producers gathered for the album. With any Snoop record you would expect the likes of Soopafly, Meech Wells, and Fredwreck behind the boards. However, it seems as if Snoop is taking a strong interest in getting some of the finest production minds in the industry for his projects, this time calling upon Alchemist, DJ Premier, Hi-Tek, DJ Scratch, Ez-Elpee & Nottz among others. And while the production line up looks promising, everything is not as it seems.

With some big names dropping by for the production, one would think "Welcome To Ha House Vol. 1" would be a sure-fire success. However, it is evident straight off the bat that these big named producers did nothing but hook Snoop up with their throw away material and the production, besides a new noticeable cases, is anything but stellar. The Ez-Elpee produced "Not Like It Was" featuring Soopafly, E-White, Mr. Kane, Snoop Dogg & Latoiya Williams is anything reminiscent of a Ez-Elpee beat as are the Hi-Tek produced tracks "Doh' Doh'", "Light That Shit" and "Doin It Bigg".

Along with the big named producers, the album also consists of numerous guest appearances, but hardly any are worth the price of admission. Prodigy and Special Ed show up on the horribly produced "Don't Make A Wrong Move", which ends up as nothing but filler. Prodigy is especially bad, as his verse ranks right up there with one of his worst ever. Cam'ron and Lady May appear along with Nate Dogg, Snoop & Soopafly on another snoozer entitled "Don't Fight The Feelin". None of the emcees step up and take over the track, as the production and lyricism falter in every way, especially Camron's.

While most of "Welcome To Tha House" is filled with unnecessary filler tracks such as "Dogg House America", "Nite Loc's", and "Squeeze Play", there are some spectacular moments scattered throughout the album. "Just Get Carried Away" features Snoop, Reo Varnado & Vinnie Bernard over a lovely DJ Scratch produced track. The tracks soulful melody is a nice change of pace for the album as it truly relaxes you and takes you into another world. However, the two biggest surprises on the album are the Alchemist produced Hey You" and the DJ Premier laced "Unfucwitable". The Lay Of Rage has always been one of the most underrated lyricists in the game since her Deathrow days. Lyrically she once again proves on "Unfucwitable" that no female emcees in this game today can fuck with her. She rips the Primo track to shreds leaving the listener in awe at how easy it seems. Somebody give this girl her props! The true gem of the album is not the performance that Snoop, E-White & Soopafly pull on "Hey You", but Alchemists production, which can only be described as masterful. With a beautifully utilized sample, Alchemist transforms an average track to superstar status. While each emcee delivers a solid performance, the production is really the only reason to listen.

And while the big named producers and guest appearances will draw interest towards the album, "Welcome To Tha House" is still used as a platform to introduced Snoop's new talent for his label. West Coast heads are of course familiar with Soopafly by now. A solid emcee, but an amazing producer. Soopafly has been behind some of the West's biggest hits, even though most don't realize it. He has played the background for years, only to get his shot now. The Hi-Tek produced "Are You Ready?" is a nice solo track for Soopafly who isn't the most amazing lyricist, but has the necessary charisma behind the mic to get by.

Another familiar face featured on "Welcome To Tha House" is RBX. Having appeared on everything from "The Chronic" to "Doggystyle", RBX is the O.G. of the crew. With his harsh over bearing voice, and distorted flow, RBX isn't your run of the mill emcee. However, he can still be entertaining if the right production is behind him, as seen on the bangin "The Strong Will Eat The Weak" featuring Snoop & Mr. Kane". The tracks vicious production is the type that RBX thrives off of and can really showcase his talent. Mr. Kane, E-White and Latoiya Williams are also featured on the album, but remain an enigma. As most have come to realize, you either love Kokane or you hate him. His funky, George Clinton like feel can either play an integral part in a track or take away from it. But it's still a mystery how this guy is going to put together a whole album. E-White from what we get on this album is a solid West Coast Emcee. It's hard to judge him solely on this album but Snoop must see something in him. And last but not least, Latoiya Williams. She has a nice voice, but neither of her tracks on the album "Bitch's Treat", "Fallen Star" and "It Feelz Good" are anything special. Her song writing definitely leaves much to be desired, but given the right opportunity she might be a success.

It seems that Snoop Dogg has a nice little arsenal of artists that if he promotes right could draw some attention. And while "Welcome To Tha House" falters because of numerous filler tracks and throw away production, it does have its moments. West Coast fans will be mildly please with this latest effort, while others will just want to hear it for the Alchemist and DJ Premier produced tracks. Either way the West needs someone to step up to the plate and put them back on the map, hopefully Snoop can do that with Doggystyle Records.









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