Snoop Dogg - Neva Left
The album cover for Snoop's 15th studio record Neva Left is an entirely appropriate throwback picture. It lets you know that this is an album that is going to glorify Snoop's LA style, his laid back delivery and impeccable lyricism. The few albums before his last, Coolaid, felt like Snoop Dogg was chasing a new style or some kind of reinvention. However it seems like the way forward for Snoop was embracing his past. This record is filled with G-Funk beats, or beats which are influenced heavily by the style and it fits Snoop's voice like a glove. Many MCs embraced the West Coast style of rapping but very few are still hanging tight like Snoop. Snoop Dogg rather than reinventing himself on this album is cementing his legacy. While the majority of the album seems to be about celebrating the life of Snoop He also is not afraid to experiment and try new things. "Trash Bags" is one of the more heavily trap influenced songs and tries to be one of those bangers, but the way it crawls it never really fully comes together. Only four of the tracks on Neva Left are featureless, to varying degrees of success. However you can tell that whenever Snoop picks up the phone damn near every rapper in the game answers the call. Yet, even for Snoop brining Method Man, Redman and B-Real together on a track is some next level stoner shit.
"Go On" with October London has Snoop diving into a synthy smooth track and is one of the biggest highlights on the record. "420 (Blaze Up)" needs little explanation, but does sort of lazily remind you that it's contributors smoke weed, as if you needed a reminder (Wiz Khalifa, DJ Battlecat). At over an hour and 16 tracks Neva Left feels like a real old school hip hop record but thankfully Snoop does not include much in the way of interludes or skits. The tracks that really allow Snoop to stretch his artistic wings are "Lavender" produced by Kaytranada and BADBADNOTGOOD and "Let Us Begin" with KRS-One. "Lavender" is smooth and features Kaytranada now very distinct style, but it is abruptly stopped for Snoop and KRS-One to attack the beat. Both men sound supremely confident, and incredibly grown up talking about grown-men shit yet never leaving the idea that music can be fun behind. This record is really slick but manages to avoid falling into any kind of pop pitfall. This is music for the true hip hop heads as well as the people who casually like Snoop. The Doggfather has been around since 1993 and if this album is any indication He is going to be on the scene for a very, very long time.
8.1 out of 10