Thursday, November 13, 2008

Throwback Thursdays: Snoop Doggy Dogg - Gin And Juice (1993)

Am I the only one who thinks of this song every time they hear anyone reference gin? And furthermore, who drinks gin??

In any event, I felt that I had been giving East Coast rappers all the shine on Throwback Thursdays. So, I figured it would only be right to give props to one of the West Coast's legends, Mr. Cordozar Broadus (yes, that's actually his name).

Snoop got his start by being heavily featured on Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" album, which is widely regarded as a hip-hop classic. It was a good look for the Dogg, especially considering that he ethered Dre on most of his own records. Of course, that was followed by Snoop signing with Death Row Records and dropping a classic of his own, "Doggystyle". Classy title. According to the good people at Wikipedia, the album went four times platinum.

While recording the album, Snoop was indicted for his involvement in a gang shootout and murder. He hired Johnnie Cochran, so you already know he beat the charge. He dropped one more album with Death Row before their inevitable breakup. He claimed that Suge Knight was jerkin' him out of his money, seeing as how Suge held ownership to every record Snoop made until his contract expired (think Puff Daddy vs. L.O.X.). He refused to make any more records with Death Row, and then signed with No Limit Records.

After switching labels, he shortened his name from Snoop Doggy Dogg to just Snoop Dogg. I'm still not sure why, but No Limit was pretty popular in the late '90s (HOODY HOO!). Snoop rolled with them for a while and tried the whole rap supergroup thing, which never really works out well. He dropped three different albums under their helm before parting ways with Percy. He then dropped an album in 2002 that featured this gem, which is a song I consider to be among one of the best singles of his career. Them Brazilian chicks in the video weren't half-bad, either.

After he left No Limit is when things started to get a little ridiculous. He put out "Drop It Like It's Hot", which is the first new song I remember hearing my freshman year of college (is that Lauren London in the video? She could get work). This was a good song (or a good beat, at least), but we really started to see Snoop's skills diminish at this point. It was like watching Patrick Ewing limping up and down the court for the Orlando Magic. Or watching Greg Oden as a rookie. Just pathetic.

It seems at this point in his career, he doesn't really expect anyone to take him seriously. Honestly, I think he stopped taking himself seriously. What makes songs like "Gin And Juice" so memorable is that he no longer raps like that anymore. Nobody considers Snoop to be among the best rappers in any category, and he's been in the game for 15 years. It's almost as if he's allowed himself to become a hip-hop caricature, highlighting everything stereotypical and nonsensical within the culture.

You knew it was over for Snoop when he started making videos like this one and starring in "nigga films" such as these. The real icing on the cake, though, came when he decided to make a country song as a tribute to Johnny Cash. If you click no other link in this post, be sure to click that one. You're guaranteed to either laugh out loud or shake your head in shame. Maybe even both.

Suffice it to say, I can no longer in good conscience cosign Snoop Dogg. I think comparing this video to the music he makes today will make it crystal clear how far he's fallen off. R.I.P. to Cordozar's career.

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