Without a doubt, Snoop Doggy Dogg or Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Calvin Broadus) is one of the most famous rappers today. I didn't say the best, I said famous. This is of course due to the fact that his court appearances in the early 90's, with Snoop being accused of being involved in a murder. He was acquitted, but, while on trial Snoop was very much in the media. Jokes were made about him, but, on a serious level, a UK newspaper (the Daily Star) tried to get him banned from the UK. They placed a large photo of him on the front of the paper and wrote as the day's headline "KICK THIS EVIL BASTARD OUT!" This, along with many other news pieces written on Snoop acted as some very good publicity for his first, and to date, best LP; 'Doggystyle.'
With 'Doggystyle,' Snoop set some standards for himself. And since then, everyone has been hoping for another LP, which is up to the standards of it. He has dropped two LP's since then; 'Tha Doggfather' and 'Da Game Is To Be Sold And Not To Be Told,' this will be his fourth LP. None of those LPs have managed to reach the standards of 'Doggystyle,' however, the LP I'm reviewing ('Top Dogg') is without a doubt, the closest he has come so far.
Most people found that the reason 'Doggystyle' was Snoop's best LP was because he collaborated with the man that was responsible for getting him signed, Dr. Dre. Snoop's two other LP's didn't feature Dre at all, and that could have been one of the reasons why they weren't as good. Though this LP does have Dre involved, I feel that it would have been better if he appeared more, but anyway. Dre produced three tracks on 'Top Dogg,' those being 'Buck 'Em,' 'B Please' and 'Just Dippin.' The only track he rhymes on is 'Just Dippin' but the beats he laces for all three tracks are plain and simply dope.
'Buck 'Em' has a really smooth beat with some guitar plucking involved within it. The track features Sticky Fingaz (a member of the group, Onyx) on the hook and has Snoop flowing well in his usual laid back style. 'B Please' (short for 'Bitch Please') features Xzibit, and also features (in my opinion) the best Dre beat on this LP. It seems that Dre should have laced this for a strictly Xzibit track, though Snoop rhymes well over it, it's perfect for Xzibit and his style. Co-incidentally, 'B Please' is my favourite track on this LP. 'Just Dippin' is really good, but, Dre's rhymes aren't too exceptional here, they're good, but this isn't anywhere near him at his best. The beat has a vintage Dr. Dre-type-feel and some singing from Jewell. Something that confused me about her appearance on the LP was that it doesn't say anything about it within the inlay cover. Plus, I thought there were still some problems between Snoop and Death Row (remember 'The Chronic 2000'), as far as I know, Jewell is still on Death Row. Hmm...
The No Limit presence on here (what I mean by that is how many beats are produced by Beats By The Pound and how many No Limit 'Soldiers' feature on tracks) isn't as much as it was on 'Da Game Is To Be Sold And Not To Be Told,' but it is here. Beats By The Pound produce two tracks; 'Down 4 My N's' and 'Ghetto Symphony.'
'Down 4 My N's' features some quite well created beats, however, C-Murder and Magic completely ruin the track. Their rhymes aren't anything above average, if they're even that good. The sad thing is, the beat was actually quite good, and, if the right emcees would have rhymed over it, a good track could have been formed. I mean, three emcees on a track and only one (Snoop for those who don't know who I'm on about) performs well? 'Ghetto Symphony' is a big posse cut. Beats By The Pound took the beat for Marley Marl's 'The Symphony' and slowed it down. It features Mia X, Fiend, C-Murder, Silkk The Shocker, Mystikal and Goldie Loc. The track isn't too bad, but Mystikal, Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder and Fiend don't do it any favours.
The solo tracks on this LP, on the whole are really well done. Snoop came up with some really cool cuts in 'Snoopafella' and '20 Minutes.' But, solo tracks which really stood out to me were 'In Love With A Thug' and '6 Bedtime Stories.'
'In Love With A Thug' has Snoop drop a really good rhyme about a girl who basically messed up her life. He rhymes over some smooth beats produced by Meech Wells (who handles most of the LP's production) and sings the hook. All these things combine together to form a nice track.
Overall, Snoop comes at us with a nice LP. However, it isn't his best. This is definitely worth some attention though.