Imagine the scene, for you have surely experienced it too many times yourself. You get back from a hard day’s work and decide to unwind by putting on a great album that will surely help you to relax. You may prefer to blast music from your stereo; I myself prefer to lay down, shut off the lights, close my eyes, and allow my headphones to help me escape an otherwise mundane, frustrating existence and enter the world of Rhythm. You may prefer a number of albums to help you do so; for the purposes of this article, I will hypothetically relax to the Artist Formerly Known as Snoop Doggy Dogg’s classic 1993 debut, Doggystyle.
By track 3, I’m finally able to shift my mental energy from dwelling over the fact that I just spent $9.85 on a burger and fries at the Ivy Room to the G-funk now permeating my body. “Gin and Juice” is winding down, and I’m hearing what I believe is the first utterance in history of the word “biatch”. Life is beautiful!
But then something terrible happens. My serenity is put on hold when a skit unexpectedly and inappropriately begins, starring none other than DJ Salty Nuts from the imaginary radio station WBALLS 187.4 FM. I can literally feel the G-funk draining from my body as I hear DJ Salty Nuts reference “Easy Dick and the Jack-Off Hour.”
Is this really necessary? Does this little skit help to cultivate the aesthetic of Doggystyle or better put into context where Snoop was mentally at the time? The answer, of course, is no. And by the time I get to “Tha Shiznit”, the momentum that was so admirably built has all but disintegrated.
Snoop is not alone in this unfortunate form of artistic self-destruction. It’s hard to find a popular rap album from the past decade that doesn’t contain at least a few skits. Does nobody care about the importance of cohesion in an album anymore?
Bernie Mac, understand that when I listen to a Kanye West album, I’m only interested in hearing Kanye rap about how much he loves his mama. When I want to hear you pass off unintelligible mumbling and fabricated obnoxiousness as comedy, I’ll rent Mr. 3000. And then dwell over the fact that I just spent $4.99 on a movie rental.