Snoop in 1993: a revolution in laconic, funky rhymes, whose paeans to gangsta life had a generation of kids in awe. Snoop in 2011: a comic figure with a poorly charting last album who freestyles with Paris Hilton on his own shoddy chat show (Dogg After Dark) and threatens to work with Charlie Sheen. So no wonder that last year, he announced Doggystyle 2: Tha Doggumentary – a follow-up to his seminal G-funk album.
But somehow the title got trimmed to Doggumentary, suggesting an abandonment of the G-funk sequel. Curious, given that of the 21 tracks here, half could hail from a ‘Tribute to Dre’ album. Of the more experimental remainder, there’s the oily-smooth digi-bass of future-soul Bootsy Collins collaboration ‘We Rest N Cali’, while ‘Raised in da Hood’ crunkily bristles with 808 bleeps, clicks and booms. Yet it’s on the funky material that Snoop comes to life. ‘Peer Pressure’ is full of rare groove-style synths and funk guitar, ‘The Way Life Used to Be’ is all slapbass grooves. Ultimately, this feels like two albums: one harking back to Snoop’s G-funk roots, and one pushing forwards. Good, but with more sonic focus, it could have been so much better.