Mixtapes have always played an important role in the culture of Hip-Hop. Ever since Hip-Hop's golden years in the 80's mixtapes have been a great way to showcase new talent as well provide listeners with new and unreleased material. But as big as mixtapes were, the commodity soon died down, as DJ's were soon forced into the backdrop to play the backup role to the more prominent emcee. However, the past couple of years have seen a huge turn around for mixtapes and DJ's alike. Now every artist, DJ and record label is releasing a mixtape to capitalize off of the hot trend of the moment.
An emcee that deserves a lot of credit for this mixtape rebirth is none other than 50 Cent, who single handily brought back the mixtape game the past two years. While 50 definitely didn't invent the idea of taking other artists songs and remaking them with his own twist, he definitely popularized the trend, and this is never more evident than on the mixtape scene today. Now every artist is trying to imitate what the new East Coast king has popularized, even the king of the West, Bigg Snoop Dogg.
While mixtapes are indeed the hot trend of the moment, it's the East Coast that has mainly dominated the scene. Looking to change all of that is Snoop with his first album in the mixtape game entitled "Welcome To The Chuuch Vol. 1". And like those that have come before him the album is filled with your usual remakes and jacking for beats sessions that can be found on any mixtape across the nation.
It is this predictable formula that makes "Welcome To The Chuuch" no different than any other street corner mixtape, as Snoop and his Doggystyle Records family jack the usual "popular" beats of today and remake them into their own West Coast anthems. The main problems with these attempts are; they have been done way too many times and much better at that. How many times have we heard artists remake such songs as Bone Crusher's "Never Scared", Killer Mike's "A.D.I.D.A.S.", Freeway's "Flipside" & Lil Kim's "Magic Stick"? This played out formula continues on "Welcome To The Chuuch" to no avail. Each remake is redundant, boring and stale.
Too many times does the album trying and duplicate what 50 Cent & G-Unit have done on their mixtapes, which is seen on the remake of The Roots "Break You Off" (Succ Me Off), Styles P's "The Life" (DPG Life by RBX) & Peedie Crak's "One For Peedi Crak" (LBC'N It Up". Not to mention is the album's lyricism, which is down right abysmal, continuing the trend for Snoop Dogg, who hasn't been able to produce great lyrics in years.
The only tracks that make "Welcome To The Chuuch" worth hearing are the unreleased and newly recorded material, which are actually quite good. The most notable of these is "Pimp Slapp'd 2", which is another fiery diss track towards Suge Knight and Deathrow Records. While the sequel doesn't quite live up to the original's standards, as Snoop's lyrics are very sloppy and unorganized, you have to give the man credit, for he does have some big balls to go at Suge Knight. The tracks beat is nice and rugged, which thankfully overshadows Snoop's lyricism. "I be finessing these broads, I love breaking Suge Knight and his broads. Just like breaking the law, I used to have his baby moma like taking it off, taking it off. Little nasty bitch was licking my balls".
The remix of "Dodo" featuring Beanie Sigel, Freeway & Kokane is a real smooth; pimped out track that is reminiscent of an earlier Snoop Dogg vibe, production wise. Sigel laces the track with a decent verse, but the same cannot be same for Freeway, who just sounds completely out of place and does not flow with the beat at all. Nevertheless, the track is still nice, complete with a soulful hook and melody. "All I Want" is another nice Snoop solo track that definitely should have been included on a Snoop album. The track is on another nice, smooth vibe that ends up as one of the better Snoop tracks in awhile. Snoop once again takes some shots at his rivals, this time Crooked I and the most famous traitor in Hip-Hop, Kurupt. "That nigga Crooked I sounds like a white bitch and Kurupt, he nervous, twitching like a snitch". The only other standout track on the album is the Marvin Gaye and Snoop Dogg collaboration of "Get UP & Party". Taking a page out of Erick Sermon's book, "Get Up & Party" features a very nice vocal sample from Marvin, which steals the show.
Overall, "Welcome To The Chuuch Vol. 1" is an unnecessary mixtape that mostly features unoriginal remakes and lackluster tracks. Besides a few exceptions here and there such as "Pimp Slapp'd 2", "All I Want" & "Get Up & Party", "Welcome To The Chuuch" is just one horribly constructed mixtape that is one year too late.