Late pass: Week 2 of Snoop Dogg's #PuffPuffPassTuesdays arrived Wednesday
There is time as scientists undertand it, a 24-hour cycle ruled by planetary orbits, the sun and moon, and the occasional smoke break. And then there is time for Snoop Dogg, a man who inhabits a galaxy in which the Gregorian calendar has no role, and whose Rolex wristwatch is permanently glued to 4:20.
Indeed, there was something inherently logical about the second installment of Calvin Broadus' #PuffPuffPassTuesdays dropping late Wednesday. Whereas Week 1 premiered "El Lay," another Snoop hometown ode, Week 2 tackles his "political" side.
As he claims on the intro to "Gangbang Rookie," "I ain't a member of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. I represent the Gangster Party." This may explain why Bill O' Reilly has never come around on him.
Then again, it's been nearly 20 years since the pipe-cleaner-built and braided Broadus first repped the Long Beach Crips. And even though the decades have brought the family-friendly Uncle Snoop guise, gangsta rap will forever remain a safe pose for Snoop. So it goes when you are responsible for a million teenagers learning what the acronym "LBC" stands for.
Right now, Snoop's the quintessential wily veteran. His lyrical content has been largely static for nearly a decade and a half, but he's got silver screen charisma, and when you have such a great ear for beats, you can always paper over your shortcomings. On "Gangbang Rookie," Snoop enlists the chameleonic gifts of Seattle producer Jake One, who has effortlessly straddled the mainstream and hip-hop worlds like few of his peers.
Last year's Rhymesayers-released "The Stimulus Package" (done in collaboration with Freeway) proved Jake One's ability to craft a coherent album-length statement, while his recent productions for T.I. and the Ghostface Killah have stood out as high points on their respective efforts. Through an innate musicality and gift for precise arrangements, Jake One wrings new life out of ostensibly played-out soul-based hip-hop. Thankfully, he understands that the slick piano rolls and elegiac brass riffs will never go out of style if done correctly.
Snoop keeps it on cruise-control, aware that all he needs to do is float atmospherically. No one will ever mistake this for his "Doggystyle" vintage, but he's been on a hot streak of late. See also "That Good," his collaboration with Wiz Khalifa that's racked up roughly 150,000 YouTube views in just three days. Both artists understand an essential truth about humanity, one that will afford them a commercial longevity that their more gifted peers will never see. After all, there will always be an unlimited supply of stoned college kids.
-- Jeff Weiss