Retro Review: Doggystyle

Retro Review: Doggystyle

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Doggystyle, by Snoop Doggy Dogg

For the classic Doggystyle, I brought in someone I know to be one of it’s biggest supporters to help me with the review. Tyler Lyons is going to be my co-author of this week’s retro review. As always, we hope you guys check this out for yourselves and let us know what you think in the comments (and the user review rating, directly below ours.)

  • Lyrics
  • Instrumentation
  • Production
  • Features
  • Longevity
  • Impact
  • Personal Preference
4.4
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Review

Lyrics
Tyler:

When you mention Snoop Dogg and lyricism, most people think of hit or miss because of the massive amount of freestyles and features Snoop has put out in his career but this was Snoop in his prime. By no means is this the most lyrical album, but with stories like “Lodi Dodi” and “Murder Was The Case”: Snoop paints a picture for the listener and really makes you dig into the album. The flows and delivery on this album are dope. “Gin and Juice,” “Murder Was The Case,” and “Ain’t No Fun” are probably my favorites. Plus, these skits are actually good, which you will rarely hear me say.

Cav:

As far as complexity goes, Snoop was never the man for that, BUT, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a lyricist in his own right. Part of the magic of certain artists is being able to put you in a certain state of mind with what they say, and how they say it. At the time of Doggystyle’s release, nobody had a “southern” drawl in hip-hop. Love or hate the south, that accent is powerful when it comes to making people sound inviting and relatable. Even if you weren’t gangbanging hoes and smoking a fat sack, the album made you feel like you could, all due to the imagery that Snoop presented.

Instrumentation
Cav:

Dr. Dre‘s The Chronic kinda introduced the world to the whole G-Funk era of hip-hop, but Doggystyle cemented it as a legacy. Something you don’t see a lot of in hip-hop anymore, are FUN beats and songs. This album was full of them (“Ain’t No Fun,” “Who Am I,” “Gin and Juice”), as well as shit that makes it impossible to not nod your head (“Lodi Dodi,” “Murder Was the Case”). There’s been a lot of debate over who actually made all of these beats, and who took credit for them and whatnot, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that Dre didn’t do it by himself. I’ve heard some of Daz‘ beats since then, and it’s not really a stretch to say he could’ve easily contributed a lot more than he got credit for. Also, holy fuck, I forgot how much I loved the beat on “Lodi Dodi.”

Tyler:

With songs like “Gin and Juice,” “Lodi Dodi,” “Murder Was The Case,” “Who Am I,” and “Ain’t No Fun.” It’s hard to not vibe with this album. I think it’s probably the best part of the album. This G-Funk era was at its peak at this moment and with this album, Snoop did it best.

Production
Tyler:

As far production quality goes, this album has held up well considering it was released in ’93. I saw some imperfections as I went through the album but considering the time when it was released and the difference in quality that we are capable of today, it’s solid. I think you would be hard-pressed to find many more hip-hop albums from that time with this consistent quality. It is going on 25 years old though, so you have to consider that.

Cav:

It’s not a perfect album, by any means, but compared to the rest of hip-hop that was coming out at the time, it was top-shelf. Now, does it hold up as well today? Of course not. However, that rawness kinda gives it a special flavor (think sushi…but with rap music) that keeps it relevant, while still not being great.

Features
Cav:

I’m not gonna count Dr. Dre on the features for this because his lazy ass wasn’t on there too much. As per the usual with labels, most of Death Row (at the time) made an appearance on this album, and I honestly can’t think of a BAD contribution from any of them. Except maybe RBX. Sorry, never really felt the guy. Now, that we’ve got that one negative out of the way: Tha Dogg Pound. 213. It’s hard not to count Kurupt as one of the best that ever did it, in my opinion, and also, in my opinion, he always did better with Daz. I feel that 213 were essential in the whole G-Funk sound, and I’ll always point to this album (and Regulate) as my examples. Lady of Rage is one of the examples that I point to when people say that females can’t rap, without talking about their stank vaginas and having a mouth full of wieners.  She’s a bad mamma jamma. The best part is, they all blended so well with Snoop, that the features felt more like part of Snoop, than just random verses thrown in.

Tyler:

This album was the first introduction of Nate Dogg for a lot of folks. When you first heard Nate come in on “Ain’t No Fun” you knew he was going to be something special (RIP). Daz Dillinger and Kurupt are all over the album and for good reason. They mesh well with Snoop Dogg so well that it’s crazy. I ended up becoming a huge fan of Kurupt’s earlier work because of this album. From RBX, Lady of Rage, Warren G, Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, and The Dramatics everybody brought something interesting to the album.

Longevity
Tyler:

As I said before, I think this album has held up super well over time. If you want some older west coast flavor, look no further: you’ve found it. I still to this day hear “Gin and Juice” at parties. I hear numerous people in hip-hop groups and forums speaking on how this is one of the most iconic albums of all time, and I agree with them. It’s hard to find an album that’s better listen all the way through.

Cav:

Tyler picked the best word I could come up with here: iconic. While the album may not get the kind of love it got 25 years ago, it’s got some cuts that still get play. I’ll contribute this to the whole “fun” factor that I mentioned earlier, but also to the ability of Snoop, in general. His story-telling game was on point back then, and they’re all still relatable, to this day. Also, if you yell out the words, “laid back,” I’d almost guarantee that someone will yell right behind you, “with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” If they don’t, you need new (old) friends.

Impact
Cav:

If someone was to say that this album wasn’t instrumental in the shaping of hip-hop in the 90s and beyond, I’d slap them in their face and have them committed. Snoop is pretty much regarded as the Godfather (Doggfather?) of rap, and most of which is because of this album.

Tyler:

I think Snoop Dogg changed the game with this album. Snoop brought something special to the table with the G Funk era. It’s been an album that’s inspired so many different artists and helped launch the careers of others you might love (Nate Dogg, Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, and of course Snoop himself). Snoop had people trying to copy his style and Death Row even had an artist imitate him when he left if that says enough about his importance. I think this album will continue to inspire people from the culture and be in rotation for quite some time.

Personal Preference
Tyler:

I won’t lie, this is probably my favorite album of all time. I’m a huge fan of this era of hip-hop. I got into Kurupt and Daz because of this album. I continue to get Snoop‘s work every time he puts out an album, because of this album. From the skits, to the instrumentals, to the flow, to the lyrics, this album is the shit. Even the songs that I don’t like, as well as the others, are still great songs, and to be put out in ’93: it’s hard to believe how great this album is. If you haven’t listened to this album straight through, I highly recommend that you do so.

Cav:

The only thing that stopped me from giving this a full 5 stars, was that it’s not exactly thematically cohesive. You’ve got the fun songs, and the more serious songs just kinda thrown in there randomly. I love most of the songs on Doggystyle, though, and would recommend this album to any fan of hip-hop. Even if just to show what even basic lyrics can accomplish if performed in the right way.

For an explanation of the rating system, please visit: http://hunteddown.net/reviews/retro/

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