Tag Archives: Snoop Dogg

52 Best Albums & EPs Of 2013 (Part Three) – Ill Bill / J-Zone / Dirt Platoon etc.

Ill Bill – “The Grimy Awards” (Uncle Howie) - The Brooklyn emcee kept one foot in the gritty past of NYC and the other striding towards an apocalyptic future as he shed light on both his influences and pivotal life moments throughout this extremely personal project. With production from the likes of Large Professor, DJ Muggs and DJ Premier, Bill dropped arguably his most impressive work to date (and an honorable mention has to go to Q-Unique for one of the year’s best verses on “L’Amour East”).

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Omniscence – “Sharp Objects EP” (Omniscence.BandCamp.Com) - Having made his name in the 90s with underground classics such as “Amazin’” and “Touch Y’all”, the North Carolina punchline king returned like he hadn’t missed a beat, displaying his agile lyricism on this EP built on the strong, jazzy head-nodding sonics of Australian producer Debonair P.

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Dam-Funk & Snoop Dogg – “7 Days Of Funk” (Stones Throw) - Getting back to his G-Funk roots, Snoopzilla got in touch with his inner Bootsy Collins by uniting with talented producer Dam-Funk for this synth-heavy blast of retro goodness that sounded like Tha Dogg Pound had gatecrashed a 1983 Bar-Kays jam session. Ooooweeee!!!

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J-Zone – “Peter Pan Syndrome” (Old Maid Entertainment) - Providing theme music for thirty-something Hip-Hop heads everywhere faced with the cold realities of growing-up, Zone Loc’s latest opus found the Queens, NY producer-on-the-mic navigating the pressures of full-time employment, property ownership and relationships with his usual blend of sarcastic humour and musical inventiveness.

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DJ Skizz – “B.Q.E. (The Brooklyn-Queens Experience)” (Gawd Of Math Music) - Amidst ongoing debates around the topic of New York rap losing its identity, producer DJ Skizz enlisted the likes of Masta Ace, Al’ Tariq and Rasheed Chappell for a hardcore shot to the dome that needed to be listened to whilst wearing a hoodie and Timberlands to be fully appreciated.

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Strange Neighbour – “The Heisenberg EP” (Revorg Records) - Taking his inspiration from the anti-hero of cult TV show “Breaking Bad”, UK producer Strange Neighbour got busy in the lab and cooked-up this drum-heavy batch of bangers featuring the varied lyrical styles of Phoenix Da Icefire, Oliver Sudden, Big Toast and more.

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Durag Dynasty – “360 Waves” (Nature Sounds) - The Alchemist continued to spend the year churning out ridiculously dope beats with this full-length crew effort from Planet Asia, Tristate and Killer Ben. With the West Coast trio each spitting sharp lyrical darts, Alchemist’s stripped-down beats provided the right amount of thump to ensure said darts exploded on impact as intended.

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Chairman Maf – “1976″ (ChairmanMaf.BandCamp.Com) - UK producer Maf’s debut full-length instrumental project was a masterclass in creating mood music. Ranging from ethereal boom-bap to intergalactic soul, “1976″ took the listener on an unpredictable sonic journey which had a worthwhile destination around every corner.

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Skyzoo & Antman Wonder – “An Ode To Reasonable Doubt” (Loyalty Digital Corp) - The Brooklyn lyricist paid homage to Jigga’s classic debut respectfully and creatively on this Antman Wonder-produced EP. Retreading the musical steps of golden-era Hov definitely meant attempting to fill some big shoes, but this brilliant eight-track release found Skyzoo adding just as much to “Reasonable Doubt” as he was taking. No regrets here.

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Dirt Platoon – “War Face” (Shinigamie Records) - Straight off the streets of Baltimore, duo Raf Almighty and Snook Da Crook cracked the concrete beats provided here by French producer Kyo Itachi like a pair of lyrical jackhammers. Rough, rugged and raw, “War Face”  left your eardrums feeling like they’d just been pummelled by the neighbourhood bully.

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Tommy Tyler – “The Golden Section” (SonsPhonetic.BandCamp.Com) - The Irish emcee delivered a moody, hypnotic five-track EP that drew the listener into a sombre world further enhanced by the bass-heavy production of Mook. Music to listen to with the lights off.

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Ryan Proctor

Check Part OnePart Two and Part Four.

The Best Of Nate Dogg Mixtape Download – J.Period

To commemorate the first anniversary of the G-Funk crooner’s tragic passing, mix-tape king J.Period has put together this extensive tribute project featuring the West Coast favourite’s collaborations with the likes of Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Mos Def, Ludacris and more – download here.

New Joint – N’Matez

N’Matez – “Trajical” (Dogg Pound Recordz / 2011)

Here’s something you probably never thought you’d see – a Death Row reunion involving pretty much everyone from the label’s OG days except Dr. Dre!

Just Hit The Eastside Of The LBC… – Warren G / Snoop Dogg

Warren G performs his 1994 classic “Regulate” with Snoop at their Nate Dogg tribute show at SXSW 2011.

New Joint – Focus / Pro-Verb / Ras Kass / Kendrick Lamar / Latoiya Williams

Focus ft. Pro-Verb, Ras Kass, Kendrick Lamar & Latoiya Williams – “Homage To Daz & Soopafly” (Focus Music / 2010)

Focus takes his producer tribute series to the West Coast with this brilliant instalment which tips its Raiders cap to the sun-drenched 90s G-Funk of former Death Row affiliates Daz and Soopafly.

New Joint – Fashawn / Grafik

Fashawn ft. Grafik – “4 The G’s” (Fashawn.Net / 2010)

The West Coast emcee puts his own twist on Snoop’s 1993 banger “Gz And Hustlas”.

3 The Hard Way – Get Busy Committee

Get Busy Committee (Apathy, Ryu of Styles Of Beyond & Scoop Deville) performing “Say What” at SXSW 2010 in Texas.

Bonus Clip: Get Busy Committee with Snoop Dogg.

Cypress Hill Interview (Originally Posted On BlackSheepMag.Com)

Since taking the rap world by storm in the summer of 1991 with their classic self-titled debut album, Los Angeles-based weed enthusiasts Cypress Hill have sustained a career that has seen members B-Real, DJ Muggs, Sen Dog and Eric Bobo scale the heights of global commercial success whilst still maintaining ties to the underground rap world that spawned them.

The group’s blunted beats and rhymes launched the Soul Assassins collective, which once counted House Of Pain and Funkdoobiest amongst its members, with the Cypress crew increasing rap’s crossover appeal in the mid-90s by collaborating with rock acts such as Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam, a move that caused outrage at the time amongst some die-hard hip-hop heads.

Soon to release their eighth studio album ‘Rise Up’ on the re-launched Priority imprint, the group are once again inviting listeners to sample their inimitable brand of Latin lingo-laced rap, with help from Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, hip-hop legend Pete Rock and Evidence of Dilated Peoples.

Here, group percussionist Eric Bobo (son of Latin jazz icon Willie Bobo) talks about signing with Snoop, bringing the West Coast back and Cypress Hill’s influence on the rock / rap collaborations of today.

Was there a different approach going into this new project given that it’s been six years since the last Cypress Hill album?

“Once we got into the role of what we were trying to do it was business as usual, but in the beginning, I think because we’d all done our solo projects, we were trying to figure out what direction we were going to go in with this new record. We didn’t set ourselves a time limit as to when we were going to have the album finished, so it was good to not have to rush and just let the music come naturally. We were able to record in our own studio so there were no outside pressures. I think it was just a case of getting back to feeling comfortable and getting back into the swing of things, but at the same time we wanted to try some new things on the record as well.”

Does the fact you’ve each recorded solo projects enable everyone to bring a fresh perspective to the group dynamic or do you have a very defined vision of what a Cypress Hill album should sound like?

“I think it’s a little bit of both. We were each able to bring new ideas to the group that maybe we’d already tried on our own, but at the same time you have to be careful because Cypress Hill is its own thing and not every thing that we did on our solo records would fit a Cypress album. Also, during the time since the last group album, even though we’ve done solo projects, it’s not like we were totally separated from each other. We participated in each other’s projects and we were still doing shows as Cypress Hill. So I think there would have been more of a difference recording this new album had we been away from each other for six years and not done anything together and then tried to come back together to pick up where we’d left off. I mean, you look at a lot of groups and they might have a year between projects and they hardly see each other, which to me isn’t the healthiest thing when you’re then trying to come back and do something new. The chemistry you once had as a group can change after a long lay off and I think fans can definitely pick up on that.”

‘Rise Up’ is being released through the recently rejuvenated Priority label with Snoop Dogg being responsible for signing the group. How did that come about?

“We never approached any label as far as getting the new record out. We were just working on getting it together so that when we were done we were ready to show it to people. Snoop knew that we were working on a record and with his new job over at Priority and with him really being a strong supporter of bringing the West Coast back to prominence, it just made a lot of sense to bring us along as opposed to trying to restart the Priority label with a brand new group that nobody had ever heard of before.”

You mentioned bringing the West Coast back to prominence – what are you thoughts on the current state of West Coast hip-hop?

“Every region has had its time in the sun within hip-hop, first the East Coast, then the West, then the South. Right now, I don’t really know if there’s a definitive sound coming out of the West Coast that’s really making people take notice. So I think it’s really important for the West Coast to get that sound back. I mean, when you go back to Ice-T or N.W.A. or Dr. Dre’s early solo material, the West Coast had its own sound. But I think when it comes time to getting played on the radio and people having hits, they’re looking to duplicate what’s already out there, so the idea of having your own sound gets thrown under the rug. You have West Coast artists now that are making records trying to sound like Southern music. So a lot of artists today are just following the trends rather than putting their own spin on things, and that’s not what Cypress Hill has ever been about. No matter what we’ve done or what we’ve tried as a group, we’ve always done it on our own terms.

With that in mind, Cypress Hill really helped spearhead the rock / rap crossover in the mid-90s which bands such as Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit were so obviously influenced by. Do you feel the group is given enough credit for the part you played in bridging the gap between the two genres?

“I think at this point yes because it’s part of the norm today. Kids nowadays are growing up listening to every kind of music including alternative and hip-hop, so it’s not so segregated anymore. We did catch a lot of flack back then because hip-hop was about the purists and a lot of people were worried that if the music became watered down in any way then we’d lose it. So a lot of people really didn’t see what needed to happen for the music to grow. Every genre of music has borrowed off one another at some point, whether it’s jazz, rock, hip-hop, it doesn’t matter. So I think Cypress definitely had a hand in taking the music to a wider audience and really helped to spearhead the rock / rap fusion that you hear so much of today. I mean, when Run DMC did ‘Walk This Way’ with Aerosmith that was a massive step forward for hip-hop, but even they didn’t catch as much flack as we did (laughs). But for things to change and evolve in music sometimes certain artists have to take the shots for trying something new, and that’s what happened to Cypress Hill. We took a lot of criticism for what we were doing back then, but at the end of the day, we’re still here making hip-hop and there’s a lot of groups that started out the same time as Cypress did who aren’t even around anymore.”

There was definitely something of a backlash at the time from some fans who felt the group were abandoning their hip-hop roots to some extent…

“But even when you look at the first Cypress album there was definitely a lot of outside influences in there – there was a strong blues influence in some of the music and samples, then there was the imagery which was very dark with the skulls and everything. So even from the outset what Cypress Hill was doing wasn’t coming from a traditional hip-hop place. We’ve had so many people say to us over the years, ‘I don’t really listen to hip-hop, but I like Cypress Hill’. After awhile you can’t even figure it out anymore, because we were coming out as a hip-hop group, but so many other people heard something in the music and gravitated towards it. I think Cypress really opened up a lot of doors, particularly when we started doing festivals like Lollapalooza, because a lot of the time we would be the only hip-hop act on the bill. So we really had to prove ourselves to every audience, but we were really lucky to have had that opportunity.”

Having spent almost 20 years now as a member of Cypress Hill, is there one particular memory that really stands out for you when you look back?

“Wow, I have a few of them (laughs). But the one that really stands out to me is us being part of Woodstock ’94, which was such a monumental event. To be able to share the stage with so many influential groups and perform in front of so many people, it was just a defining moment for me. I mean, not everybody will ever get a chance to experience something like that. As many festivals and shows an artist might play at, they’re not necessarily going to go down in history like that show did. It was just an amazing experience.”

Are there plans to tour with this album?

“Hell yeah! We’re touring the world with this new album and we’re really proud and excited about it. We didn’t really do a mega, mega tour with the last album, but this time around we’re really going for it and we’re going to hit everywhere we can and just hope as many people as possible enjoy the music. We can’t wait.”

Ryan Proctor

New Joint – The Alchemist / Snoop Dogg / Pusha T / Jadakiss

The Alchemist ft. Snoop Dogg, Pusha T & Jadakiss – “Lose Your Life” ( ALC / 2008 )

Alchemist gets his Scooby-Doo on in this animated clip.

Way 2 Fonky – DJ Quik

The West Coast OG talks about working with Murs and Snoop, production techniques, and his upcoming project with Kurupt.

Safe & Sound – DJ Quik

Arguably one of the most talented yet under appreciated producers in Hip-Hop, DJ Quik talks about Dr. Dre’s “Detox” album and clearing Michael Jackson samples.

Club Bangers Podcast – DJ Tat Money

Legendary Philadelphia deejay Tat Money hit me up to put me on to his new club-orientated podcast featuring top-notch turntable skills and big cuts from the likes of Kanye West, Timbaland and Snoop - peep it here.  

New Joint – Warzone

Warzone – “Damn” ( Doggy Style Records / 2008 )

West Coast OGs MC Eiht, Goldie Loc and Kam deliver some hard-hitting gangsta-funk with help from the big homie Snoop.

 

G-Funk Classics – Snoop Dogg

The Doggfather performing a selection of his early hits in Amsterdam this week.

 

Sample This! – West Coast Hip-Hop

What do you get when you cross YouTube with some classic West Coast rap and an enthusiastic crate digger? Tampa’s DJ ReggieReg1 has the answer….

Some obvious and well-known samples included here but entertaining nonetheless.

 

Westside Radio – Snoop Dogg / Funkmaster Flex

The Doggfather talks to Funk Flex on Hot 97 about his new album “Ego Trippin’” and longevity in the music business.

The Doggfather – Snoop Dogg

Snoop on Chicago’s B96 FM talking about working on Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”, Tupac Shakur, and his new album “Ego Trippin’”.

Part One

Part Two

New Joint – Snoop Dogg / Lil Kim

Snoop ft. Lil Kim – “Sensual Seduction Remix” ( Geffen / 2008 )

This track is like junk food – you know it’s not really good for you but you can’t help but like it.

Jam Master Jay Tribute Show – LL Cool J / EPMD / Snoop / DMC

Performance footage from this week’s JMJ tribute event in New York.

LL Cool J & EPMD rock “Rampage”

Snoop & DMC take it back to “Sucker MCs”

Snoop digs in the West Coast vaults.

Westsiiiide!!! – Snoop Dogg / DJ Skee

When I first saw this clip I thought it was outtakes from an old World Class Wreckin Cru album shoot with all that lace and 80s wear onscreen, but then I realised it’s actually West Coast mix king DJ Skee on location with Snoop for the filming of the Doggfather’s new “Sensual Seduction” video.

The best part of this footage, however, is when Snoop talks about how he came to record the single. When explaining his decision to use the old-school vocoder talk box effect on the track, Snoop feigns surprise when he recalls hearing the finished product for the first time. “It sounded a little bit like T-Pain!” he says, as if that prospect hadn’t even entered his head when he first thought about getting his second-rate Roger Troutman on. 

I’m guessing that, as T-Pain has helped a number of artists score big hits recently, the soundalike angle was actually the whole point to Snoop’s off-key crooning. Plus, it’s cheaper to do it yourself.