Snoop Dogg – Malice In Wonderland [Review]

snoopdogg-maliceinwonderland-nappyafro

Ego Trippin’ wasn’t a bad album, hell, I gave it a 3.5 (more on that later). Like I said on that review, I had to let go of the Snoop from Doggystyle and Murder Was The Case, he’s not that guy anymore. That statement leads me right into this album, what more does he have to offer? His last album was a far cry from a Hip-Hop sounding album, but now, the climate has changed so much, he can’t do that again. Or can he? With the single that he released from this album with The-Dream, it seems he may try.

I Wanna Rock
Produced by Snoop DeVille & Dr. Dre
I can’t express how much I despise the use of the Rob Base sample on this song. When I head the sample at the beginning, I was excited…that quickly faded. Everything about this track is bad outside of the shout out to Hip-Hop history with the sample. I won’t go on, this song is terrible and cliché even for Snoop. SKIP

2 Minute Warning
Produced by Terrace Martin
There is a reference to Slim Shady in this song, and it sounds a lot like one of his beats from his first album. I haven’t decided if that is a good or bad thing yet. As the song indicates, this is a short song, sub 2 minutes but one of Snoop’s most focused flows in recent memory. Actually, the more I listen to this song, this is pretty good vintage Snoop here albeit too short.

1800
Featuring Lil’ Jon ; Produced by Lil’ Jon
Where the hell has Lil’ John been? Well, I don’t know but he’s back, and he’s up to his old tricks. This song is no less than a club banger and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this be released as a single. Lyrically, I’m not going to pretend it’s greatness, but the sound and delivery make me pretty sure this would be a hit in the club.

Different Languages
Featuring Jazmine Sullivan; Produced by Teddy Riley, Snoop DeVille, & PMG
I have never been so torn on a Snoop track. I’m literally on the fence about this one. The track is simple as hell and the keys are kind of loud, almost annoying. However, the bass and rhythm make it hard to dislike. Jazmine is on the hook and you know that I love her on anything, but they run her voice through some filter so it sounds odd, then they add this other odd voice as well. I’m not one to second guess Teddy…but I really don’t know what to think about this one. I love it, and I hate it at the same time. Snoop offers up some really elementary lyrics even for him on this track. “Uh, oh yes I am/This my plan/You my girl/I’m yo man/Take yo pain/Take my hand/Take my name/Make my kids/Do yo thang/Ain’t no game/Show no shame/If I’m the boss, Bosslady must be yo name.”

Gangsta Luv
Featuring The-Dream; Produced by The-Dream & Tricky Stewart
With the world seeing this song live on the BET Hip-Hop Awards, we were introduced to the collaboration of The-Dream and the D. O.double G. It took me a while to appreciate this song. The-Dream has really saturated the game with his sound so it’s hard to even appreciate his music sometimes. Not only that, but Snoop is on his usual steez, weed, women, and “pimpin’”, but it has grown on me. I can definitely hear this song being played in the more mature clubs because of the smooth groove of the synth and catchy baseline. Johnny Mac killed the hook for me though so I don’t see myself vibing to this one anytime soon (He said it sounds like they are saying “Gay Gangster” on the hook.).

Pronto
Featuring Soulja Boy Tell’ ‘Em; Produced by B-Don & Super Ced
I have always been one to say that the older vets in the game need to bring in and work with the younger cats coming up in the game, so even tho the pairing of Snoop and Souljah seems odd, I can give him credit for doing it. The hook of this song is one of the most annoying I’ve heard on a Snoop track and maybe one of the worst sounding Auto-Tune uses ever. The other side of the coin is that I like the way Souljah and Snoop flow on this track. Souljah starts his 2nd verse with the typical “I don’t freestyle cause my style ain’t free” but lands nicely at the end. Everyone else I’ve read hates this song, it’s not that bad to me…but that hook is terrible, I can’t defend that.

That’s Tha Homie
Produced by Danja & Timbaland
Danja and Timbaland had one thing in mind with this track, the bounce. Everything else seems misplaced, wrong, and loud. The song is purposely off-key and painfully busy. The nonsensical rhymes don’t help this song at all and I’d go so far as to say that this is one of Snoops worse songs…right next to the country song from the last album. SKIP

Upside Down
Featuring Nipsey Hussle & Problem; Produced by Terrace Martin & Jason Martin
The young man known as Lil’ Snoop (Nipsey Hussle) teaming with Big Snoop…wow, this should be good. DAMN RIGHT IT IS. The track is no nonsense bass with a nice drummer boy addition to it. I really dig this track. Once again, Snoop gives us some vintage lyrical assault and Nipsey is not a game.

Snoop: “Lil’ mama tryna show the Dogg her G-strang/While she sang ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But A G Thang’/A nigga throwin’ signs tryna let me know that he bang/Like I give a muthafuck what he claim!”

Nipsey: “End…all the speculation/The preconceived notions got me overcompensatin’/For you slow niggas that means I been concentratin’/On shittin’ on these records while you niggas constipated….my album on the way and I ain’t worried about the stats/But I can tell you how the streets gon’ react, they gon’ say put em on up!”

This song is the best on the album and should get some serious club love.

Secrets
Featuring Kokane; Produced by Battlecat
Shit, not another one. Some samples and sound just don’t work and this is another example. It’s not a skip because once Snoop gets on the track it sounds like a different song, a much much better song. They add a little more sound under his part and his flow really grounds the track and makes everything outside of his part sound like a bad dream…however, his part is far too short so you are quickly back in the bad dream.

Pimpin Ain’t EZ
Featuring R.Kelly; Produced by Nottz
Kells and Snoop back at it so you know the track should be pretty smooth and laid back. Well, I was close…it’s a really simple track that is really driven by the repetitive chord and the simple bass knock. I’m confident we could close our eyes and imagine what this one sounds like so I’ll move on to the next track. Oh, the one thing of note, Snoop again delivers some pretty interesting flow here.

Luv Drunk
Featuring The-Dream; Produced by The-Dream & Tricky Stewart
I don’t feel like I need to tell you about the track, it’s produced by and features The-Dream again, so you have a good idea what it sounds like…only on the slow groove tip. The OG is a LONG way from “Murder Was the Case” on this one, and gives us some forgettable lyrics on a song that would serve better as an instrumental.

Special
Featuring Brandy & Pharrell; Produced by The Neptunes
I’m gonna cut to the chase, this isn’t just one of my fave songs on the album, but one of my faves in his catalog. His game is off and on on this track and the initial lead in on his verse makes you cringe a little, but he gets it together. This song could have been flawless if Snoop had adopted one of his smoother sounding deliveries but he sometimes chops it up in places and kind of kills the groove. Brandy sounds great on the hook and Pharrell is really owning his false-setto. I’m sure you’ll hear this one on one of my FROCAST‘s in the future.

Bottom Line:
Sometimes I wonder if Snoop is having an identity crisis. At moments he reaches back and grabs the skill and sound that made him one of the most revered guys in the game, then he follows that up with songs that sound like he’s trying too hard to stay relevant to a younger audience. He let’s us know that he’s a grown, family man now, then talks about pimpin’ and women like he’s still a single teenage kid new to the game. The title of the album almost echos that sentiment, that he’s somewhere between. The big problem with this album is consistency. When he has the right flow, it’s on the wrong track, when he has the right track, he has the wrong lyrics and flow, etc. Those problems make this album a tough listen, and I like Snoop. I think the die hard fans will give him a pass and keep on buying his music. For those of us that are just regular fans, lyrically, at times, this reminds us why we liked him in the first place at times, but mostly it solidifies why we get so aggravated with him.

nappyPicks: “1800”, “Upside Down”, “Special”

Download: Snoop Dogg – “1800” (feat. Lil’ Jon)
Download: Snoop Dogg – “Upside Down” (feat. Nipsey Hussle & Problem)

thescore12stars

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