Today is N.D. Graydon’s inaugural post on the pages of The Greener Side of Hip Hop. Let’s welcome him as he kicks things off with a review of Snoop Dogg’s “Bush”… Enjoy!

In the 90’s the artist then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg bum rushed the industry with his witty gangsterism, smooth flow and aggressive ganja filled lyrics which smoked the industry until everyone caught a contact and within two albums, “Dr Dre Presents The Chronic” and his seminal opus “Doggystyle, he elevated himself to Icon status.

Anyone remember the first time they heard Dr.Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg together on 187um from the “Deep Cover” Soundtrack, he spun a dark and seductive track about the world of drug dealing and being caught up with undercover police.

Well, this isn’t the Snoop Doggy Dogg we were first introduced, this is a veteran that over the years has deviated from gangster music to focus on a more RnB/funk infused style with his own signature Snoop Dogg twist. A departure from his original style which many may think of as corny, but if they look back at his catalogue this is something he has been building up to for quite some time, after all he, Nate Dogg and Warren G did usher in and coin “The G-Funk Era”. So, that says a lot about the headspace they were in and direction they sought to move in.

Now, 20 years later he has musically come full circle with the release of “Bush”. Before you write this album off I am asking you give it a chance.

So, what happens when Pharrell executive produces a Snoop Dogg album you ask? We have seen this before, but this time is different. Imagine the two of them locking in the studio with the same mindset they had when they produced the chart top song “Beautiful” featuring Pharell and Charlie Wilson and you get gold.

The vocal stylings of Charlie Wilson can be heard throughout every track of this project as Snoop takes you on a funk laced thrill ride, getting you into his groove and keeping you in his groove. If you were looking for a hip-hop album, you are looking in the wrong place, this is a funk album. Not as funky or as well planned out as Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly but it does a damn good job bringing you to a place which inspires you to kick back, relax and blaze up a spliff (if you partake). The overall body of work is full of soul – you can tell from the onset of the first track that the album is a passion project (An album he wanted to do because this is the type of music he loves).

The album starts off with California Roll featuring the legendary Stevie Wonder and Pharell on the chorus, it does a wonderful job at setting the tone of the album. Thirty seconds into the 2nd track “This City” you realize this album is aimed at an older more mature listeners (Not that the youth can’t vibe with this), the two steppers and grown and sexy audience.

Other stand out tracks are “R U A Freak” which is beautifully raunchy and smooth, if you weren’t told that this was a Snoop Dogg album you may very much be fooled into thinking this was another artist or group. The more I listened to the album, the more I thought to myself this must be amazing accompanied by a live band.

If, you take a glimpse at the track listing the first track that will stick out and people will gravitate to out of curiosity is “ I’m Ya Dogg” featuring Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar, and as expected this is one of the best tracks on the album, while Rick Ross and Kendrick Lamar offer the Hip-Hop Snoop offers a healthy dose of RnB and he sounds amazingly comfortable as Kendrick Lamar fondles the track in a way only he can do, maybe making it the best track of the album and it would be so even without the features.

Overall, “Bush” is a beautiful smooth, funk laced album, if you love Charlie Wilson and Snoop Dogg you will find yourself, incredibly pleased with this album.

– N.D. Graydon (@ndgraydon)