Snoop Dogg Makes Cookout Music For The Soul With 'Bush' LP [@snoopdogg]
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Snoop Dogg; Bush
2015 ; Doggystyle/Columbia
BUY: iTunes | Amazon

Snoop Dogg is a king of reinvention.

The 43-year-old Doggfather began his career erstwhile penning hooks and verses in a marvelous sonic lane and has evolved into pimp, porn producer, reggae singer and reality TV family man. Whenever Snoop has gotten himself drawn into creating for a younger class, he tip toes back to his own influences, those fuzzy VHS ready, tape-the-performance-from-Soul-Train acts such as The Gap Band, The Whispers, Parliament Funkadelic, The Dramatics and more.

He’s had The Dramatics shimmer and delight on “Doggy Dogg World” from Doggystyle, gainfully kept Charlie Wilson within arms reach for a hook or two and two Decembers ago, reached back into the Zapp! portion of his influence trick bag with DaM-FunK for 7 Days Of Funk. He’s an influencer, one who has commandeered genres and hallmarks like it’s non one’s business. Ape Slick Rick’s sleeping hat and prose for Kendrick Lamar’s “Institutionaltized”? Check. Roll with Charlie Wilson & Pharrell Williams for an ’80s R&B throwback “Peaches N Cream”? Ditto. What Snoop is moving into now with his thirteenth studio effort BUSH is the cookout scene, mid-summer funk that comes with a pristine list of guests for the soundtrack. Frankie Beverly & Maze before. Tuxedo now. Snoop possibly forever.

Eleven years ago, Snoop teamed with Pharrell Williams (who serves as executive producer for BUSH) for “Drop It Like Its Hot”, the lead single from R&G: The Masterpiece, cementing Williams and by extension The Neptunes as the producers who’ve given Snoop his best material to work with since Dr. Dre and the hey day of g-funk. Both parties play it safe for much of BUSH, ringing together collaborations from Stevie Wonder & Charlie Wilson on one spectrum and Kendrick Lamar with Rick Ross on another. It’s cookout music & much like his effort with DaM-FunK from two years ago, it’s an enjoyable play on the music of yesteryear.

“Peaches N Cream” is indelible enough but tracks like “California Roll” & “So Many Pros” only keep the momentum going. As variegated as it may seem with Snoop getting to almost a groove as laid back as him, there are a few minor lulls here. “I’m Ya Dogg,” the album’s closer with Rick Ross & Kendrick Lamar falters a bit. Snoop, never the best crooner in the world even though he made “Sexual Eruption” some years back drifts a bit sleazy cool uncle on “R U A Freak?”. Not the most memorable moment but what Bush lacks in lyrics, Williams and Snoop tag team to create gorgeous soundscapes, vibrant and colorful.

What did Parliament mean to Snoop? They meant basslines, they meant groove and enough inspiration that the ghost of Marvin Gaye can rest easy. A throwback album is what Snoop & Pharrell wanted. BUSH got them there.

Hear the album for yourself here.