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The rise of album sequels? Snoop Dogg announces 'Doggystyle 2'

September 3, 2010 | 10:30 am

Jhi6shnc Fresh off a triumphant performance of "Doggystyle" at this year's Rock the Bells, Snoop Dogg has announced that he has begun work on its sequel, "Doggystyle 2: The Doggumentary." The only catch is that it will be produced by Swizz Beatz, not Dr. Dre, who produced the entirety of the original.

The information was relayed via a YouTube viral video, presumably recorded after a long night of recording. Holding up a CD-R, Snoop claimed that he'd cut 18 songs that evening. To which Beatz, best known for his production work with DMX and Ruff Ryders Entertainment artists, added, "that’s how we used to do it back in the day. It's not about the single, it's about the sound. So we constructing sounds for the album."

Declaring that Swizz "laced his boots up" for the new record, Snoop boasted that the producer, who is Alicia Keys' husband, had given him some gangsta [stuff], some crib [stuff], some R&B [stuff,] some hip hop [stuff,] hard [stuff], and some mean [stuff.]”

The forthcoming record doesn't lack predecedent. In fact, it dovetails with a recent trend among veteran rappers. Last year, Chef Raekwon scored a critical and commercial triumph with his "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2." More recently, Capone-N-Noreaga released "The War Report 2." Other planned sequels reportedly include Redman's "Muddy Waters 2" and the GZA's "Liquid Swords 2."

The decision to release sequels for highly venerated records is a savvy move, if not a tad cynical. With a built-in brand name and base, a sequel's odds of commercial success are significantly greater due to simple name recognition. After all, the music industry is prone to the same market forces as Hollywood, an industry that has long depended on the sequel as a dependable revenue generator.

Unfortunately, like their Hollywood analogues, the sequel is rarely if ever as good as the original. Though Raekwon's effort was a triumph under nearly any metric, few would consider it on par with its predecessor. More often, they've played out like cash-grabs from artists unable to capture the magic that produced the original classics.

That's not to say that "Doggystyle 2" can't be a great work in its own right, but without beats from Dre, and without the smooth hook powers of Nate Dogg, it will certainly require a dogged effort.

-- Jeff Weiss

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