Snoop Dogg is back with another full-length project. Unfortunately it is only half-interesting at its best.
Staying relevant is no easy task, and Snoop Dogg deserves all the credit he receives for doing so after more than 20 active years in the game. Popular radio hits and well chosen friendships have played parts in Snoop’s name not being forgotten, however his amusing and identifiable character and PR friendly persona is what has made him a government name in both the world of hip hop and entertainment in general.
The music has been far less interesting. Almost every release post-Doggystyle – arguably one of the greatest hip hop releases of all time – has been more quantity than quality, including last year’s BUSH with Pharrell Williams. A surprisingly forgettable release, which added perfectly to Snoop’s now undeniably large discography of mediocre projects.
When COOLAID was released earlier this month without much promotion, one could say expectations were not flying through the roof. The lead single “Kush Ups” featuring Wiz Khalifa, displays the chemistry the two Mary Jane-loving MCs have developed over the last couple of years, yet sounded exactly like what you would expect. It is catchy, half-funny and bass-heavy – but not exciting.
However, COOLAID’s Bongo produced opening track “Legend” has Snoop flowing gnarly over an intense, DJ Mustard- like instrumental. It is a harder, angrier Snoop than what we are used to. Unfortunately, it is not a successful attempt on adapting to Hip Hop anno 2016. Unlike what “Trap Wiz” did when successfully transcending his stoner anthems into a more trap-like sound, Uncle Snoop falls short, sounding old and tame rather than fierce and hungry.
The album continues with a few more tracks over a harder and more modern production than usual from the West Coast veteran. Some works better than others. “Ten Toes Down” is a highlight, with G-Funk vibes and a more vintage Snoop than on “Legend”. Other standout tracks is the hard, Just Blaze-produced “Super Crip” and the groovy “Got Those”, where Timbaland succeeds in making your head nod almost as hard as he used to do in the early 2000s.
Unfortunately, a lot of the tracklist comes of as uninteresting, uninspired or just plain boring. Swizz Beats contributes with some of the worst tracks on the album, with the extremely mediocre “Let Me See Em Up”, “Light It Up” and “Let The Beat Drop (Celebrate)”. Further on there is even a J Dilla instrumental to be found on “My Carz”, yet Snoop does not appear to even make a proper attempt to serve the mans legend any justice.
It was posted earlier this week that COOLAID might sell under 10.000 copies in its first week. While it attains some musical highlights that at least the fans will enjoy, the 20 track long project does not argue very well for why these numbers should be any different.
Highlights: “Kush Ups” (Feat. Wiz Khalifa), “Super Crip”, “Got Those”
Lowlights: “Legend”, “Let Me See Em Up”, “Light It Up”, “Oh Na Na” (Feat. Wiz Khalifa), “My Carz”, “Let The Beat Drop (Celebrate)”