January 26, 2001

Dogg's Last Stand

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Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg have one very special thing in common — they are both West Coasters. Personally, it is the East Coast style of DMX, Jay-Z, and the late Notorious B.I.G. that blairs on the subwoofer speakers aligned on my dormroom dresser. But Snoop Dogg’s new album, The Last Meal, is actually quite real. Although the West Coast style of smooth lyrics and Los Angeles beach music is evident, plenty of hardcore style shines through on this CD.

The hit “Snoop Dogg (What’s My Name Part 2)” is a classic Dogg track, with the intial spelling bee that always gives props to Snoop’s West Coasters and his women. It is truly amazing that Snoop was able to come back from the prison life he had probably gotten used to, with a quick readjustment back to the recording lifestyle to which he was previously accustomed.

Then again, I do remember a Howard Stern birthday special featuring the then-in-trouble Snoop Doggy Dogg, with his seven-inch afro, reminiscing about the seven joints he had smoked the day before. Isn’t an afro such a great place to hide a bowl? I give him credit, though, and I have written before that the lifestyle of the rapper is not what interests me, it is the rap he writes. And I respect Snoop Dogg as I respect Dr. Dre and Eminem because they write the lyrics they rap.

“Set It Off” is a great track, probably because it features Ice Cube, but also because its flow reminds me of the Dogg of old, who I had only last seen at the “Up In Smoke” Tour at the Meadowlands in the summer of 2000.

It was a West Coast show on the turf of the soon to be Super Bowl 2001 champs, featuring N.W.A. in its entirety, Snoop, Dre, Ice Cube, and Eminem. Then again, I missed the East Coast style that often blasted through the baked-out arena.

Snoop Dogg also utilizes the vocal stylings of KoKane on half the tracks on Tha Last Meal. Snoop also concentrates more on laying the bass, as opposed to delivering the heavy hooks he is known for. If you still need a reason to buy another Snoop Dogg album, nineteen tracks on a rap disc is quite uncommon, especially when fully half of them are worth listening to.

Snoop Dogg, previously known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, was one of the originals. Although some of his rap is slowly-lyricized, his style is the basis for much rap that is still quite well-liked today.

This record not only personifies the old West Coast style, but also shows signs of East Coast hardcore mobility, a welcome change for Snoop. In the words of Snoop Dogg himself: “someway, somehow,” you should go out and get this album.

Archived article by Josh Plotnik