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Snoop Dogg starts weekly giveaway, #PuffPuffPassTuesdays, with ode to 'El Lay'

January 12, 2011 | 11:00 am

20110111-ELLAY Snoop Dogg has always been more early adopter than inventor. The lanky Long Beach veteran certainly didn't invent gangsta rap, but he helped to perfect it, bringing a balance to the often overheated genre with his cool, crisp drawl and melodic flow.

When he noticed the balance of power shifting to the South, he became a No Limit soldier and collaborated with Master P, Mystikal and Silkk the Shocker. He joined the first batch of rappers using Auto-Tune, but used it for his own sleazy means to croon silk-robed come-ons about sexual eruptions. It's the same smooth calculation he still uses to stay relevant today, working with Wiz Khalifa, the prince of the next generation of stoner rappers, at a time when most of his peers are forced into early retirement.

Beyond an innate charisma that Obama might envy, Calvin Broadus' genius has always been to be a half-step ahead of the trends. He's capable of catching fads at the apex of their popularity, before they become played out.

Accordingly, after Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Fridays were the talk of every music blog all fall, the ever-savvy Snoop is launching his #PuffPuffPassTuesdays with the Scoop Deville-produced "El Lay." A significant portion of his marketing acumen comes from being able to write songs with broad appeal. Hence, a recent single, "New Year's Eve," which was released just in time for radio DJs looking for holiday material.

Unsurprisingly, Snoop's PR team notes that "El Lay" is released to coordinate with next month's NBA All-Star game, hosted in the city of Angels -- not to mention his 11th studio album, "Doggumentary Music," slated for a March release on Capitol. The latest cut is much very much aligned with Snoop's traditional aesthetic-- a permanently laid glide groove tailor-made for smooth drives in fast cars. Hook man Marty James croons about "rolling down the 405," while Snoop describes a typical day "rolling down Fairfax ... bust a left turn on Pico ... gotta see the Bishop, he got me some gator shoes/Gotta roll to Hollywood/I'm at the House of Blues." Rest assured, Snoop isn't slipping -- he makes a later stop at his dispensary to buy some kush.

There are some artists you want to challenge conventions and traditions, experiment and expand art forms. Snoop isn't one of them -- at least he's not right now. In 2011, "El Lay" is exactly what we should expect from the city's honorable stoned uncle: funk-riddled ride music that's impossible to deny within the 213, 818, 323 and 310 area codes.

-- Jeff Weiss

Download: (via 2 Dope Boyz)

MP3: Snoop Dogg ft. Marty James-"El Lay"

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