On the heels of the breakthrough release of The Chronic (Death Row Records) by Dr. Dre (1992), Doggystyle (Death Row Records) by Snoop Doggy Dogg was released on November 23, 1993. Having contributed, to a large extent, on The Chronic, you know that Snoop had his own debut to drop! That “lazy drawl” – G-funk style of rap – reigns supreme, again, here; but, on a whole new level. If you’ve never heard Snoop Dogg, and his swaggering vocals, you are missing out!
Snoop explains that the hook to this record is its realism, which is based on his own personal experience. Dre would come up with kick ass beats, and Snoop would sit right there and write lyrics on the spot. The album is littered with skits, because the distributors were demanding a finished product (before it was finished). Dre finished the songs they had, inserted the skits (within 48 hours), and sent it off. Desiring not to stretch G-funk any further yet, Snoop and Dre decided to produce layers in the style beyond that of The Chronic. Doggystyle is less about heavy, slow beats and more about high-tempo, lean tracks.
The album artwork (obviously) refers to the sex position, and is also a play on Snoop’s name. Technically, the cover illustrates some lyrical quotes from George Clinton’s 1982 single, Atomic Dog. But the artwork also expresses the culture of the Gangsta ethos – self-indulgence; drugs, cars, sex, and money.
Doggystyle debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling 800,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week, making it the fastest selling hip-hop album of all time. “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” was the first single released from the album, and it peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles, and reached #1 on the Hot Rap Singles. It was certified Platinum in mid 1994. “Gin and Juice” was released as a single on January 15, 1994, reaching #8 and #1 like the previous single.
This record is pivotal for the hip-hop community, a classic “must have” album that Mark’s the evolution of the genre to a more melodious, synthesized, funk beat. Its controversial subject matter and lyrical content only help increase its appeal. Like The Chronic, Doggystyle is dangerous. And how wonderful that danger is!
Favorite Songs: Gin and Juice ; Lodi Dodi ; Murder Was the Case
Rating: 10/10!! Just a “must have” record!
What are some of your favorite songs off of Doggystyle?