Doggystyle (30th Anniversary Edition)

Doggystyle (30th Anniversary Edition)

Coming fast on the heels of Dr. Dre’s seminal solo debut, Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle plays like the sonic equivalent of the night of partying that must inevitably follow The Chronic’s long lazy afternoon of Crenshaw cruising. The Chronic ended on a slightly dark note, with the low-rolling menace and unbelievably casual misogyny of “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” and Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut is shot through with that track’s debauched undercurrent. Though tracks like the unforgettable “Gin and Juice” and “Doggy Dogg World” provide moments of gleeful levity to rival the sun-saturated joy of “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang,” Doggystyle often sounds weary and dopesick where The Chronic was celebratory. Case in point is the epic “Murder Was the Case,” which features uncharacteristically baroque production from Dr. Dre and a relentlessly ferocious rap from Snoop that finds the normally laidback MC—who was facing murder charges by the time the album dropped—mimicking Scarface’s cold-blooded delivery. Doggystyle’s occasionally gloom-laden atmosphere makes it at least as compelling as The Chronic, and helps to distinguish it from the glut of malt-liquor-soaked West Coast party rap that began to appear on the charts in the wake of Death Row’s unexpected commercial ascendance.

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