Coolaid is the fourteenth studio album released by Snoop Dogg in his 24 year long music career. The album is produced by Just Blaze, Swizz Beatz (who also features on a few tracks) and Timbaland. The album cover illustration is a nod to some of Snoop Dogg’s earlier hip hop releases, Doggystyle (1993) and The Last Meal (2000). Artists featured on the album include; Too $hort, Jeremih, Wiz Khalifa, Trick Trick, E-40, Jazze Pha, Suga Free and October London.
From the opening track, Legend, Snoop says it like it is; demanding respect from the new kids in hip hop saying “You know what I’m ripping 20 million, 20 years ago Cuh, you was like 7, You ain’t gotta like it, B***h you gon’ respect it.” In Ten Toes Down, Snoop’s signature smooth vocals deliver raw and honest lyrics that challenge some of the social perceptions of gangster rap. The production is uncluttered and shows experienced restraint and craft. The stand out lyric from this track has got to be “…split you like a Kit Kat”. Snoop reaffirms his affiliation with the West coast gang, the Crips, in several of his tracks. In Super Crip, his subdued tone of voice makes his aggressive lyrics even more menacing. Snoop Dogg is Affiliated.
Oh Na Na featuring Wiz Kahlifa includes a sexy 80’s synth and is a kind of ode to one of Snoop’s greatest loves, namely sweet Mary-Jane. His rap flows like silk through a breeze in this track. Two Or More features an energetic funk bass line and samples Gino Soccio’s Try It Out (1981). Another outstanding use of sampling is found in the track My Carz; it uses J Dilla’s take on Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ (1979) synth part, as heard in ‘Trucks’. This track contains interesting rhythmic play and Snoop’s husky voice compliments the bright synth sounds. By including these samples, Snoop Dogg revives these classic tracks making them relevant to a new audience.
On the downside, the 20 track long album would have benefited from excluding a number of pointless and ambling tracks that detract from the cohesion. Let Me See Em Up featuring Swizz Beatz is boring and repetitive. In Let The Beat Drop also featuring Swiss Beatz, you would think a more enticing beat would drop, but no. Double Tap featuring E-40 and Jazze Pha is uneventful aside from an alright hook.
Snoop Dogg’s latest release has a number of stand out tracks and is an overdue and welcomed return from his Reggae adventure as Snoop Lion. The overall vibe of the album is chilled and seems an appropriate accompaniment to Snoop Dogg’s ‘herbal hobbies’.