I posted a thread a month ago where I was asking everyone to describe the transitions between albums for whatever artists...but I figure it's better to do each post artist by artist. I figure the best candidates for this would be Snoop, Busta, Nas, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and several others who have had commercial success for a large period of time.
So here's what I'd say for Snoop's...it's not really my opinion on how good (or bad) the albums were, but just focusing on how he evolved or changed styles throughout his career, and showing what worked and didn't work.
Doggystyle: Took the G-Funk from the first half of the Chronic and basically made it his own sound. Laid down blueprint for his career and the direction he'd go forever.
Doggfather: Dre's presence is greatly missed, but at the same time, it laid out the sound for the last period in G-Funk with Soopafly, DJ Pooh, and Daz. It kept similar themes from Doggystyle...."You thought" tried to be "Ain't no fun," "Vapors" was an 80's remake just like "Lodi Dodi." His flow fell off some and didn't sound as focused, and lyrics/storytelling seemed to suffer as well.
Da game is to be sold: Took that No Limit palette and used a small amount of the West Coast sound. Definitely attempted to cater to NL's fans with Beats by the pound n the rest of them, along with a million guest appearances from NL. It didn't hurt him much, and many of the commercial heads appeared to love it. This was when he started to experiment with whatever the hot sound was at the time, which showed on almost every album afterwards. Many folks felt that he never sounded comfortable on these songs, but it worked enough for the time. This was probably the biggest change in his sound between albums.
Top Dogg: Found a great balance between the South sound and the current West Coast sound at the time. Stepped his story and flow game up some, and was able to make GREAT songs for both sides. "B please" and "Party with a DPG" were great West flavored tracks, while "Down 4 my niggs" is one of the biggest South club hits of all time. Even tracks like "Ghetto symphony" were great to the NL fans at the time. Dre's return was great, and even though it wasn't Doggystyle level, folks loved their collabs. Along with Dre, he linked up with DJ Quik, and this might be the only album to ever have 3+ songs produced by Quik and 3+ from Dre, who are seen as L.A.'s best/favorite two producers.
Da Last Meal: Similar to Top Dogg...had great balance btwn regions, but focused even more on the West Coast tracks. He started to focus more on the Pimp side that ended up showing a lot more on other albums. After putting on Tha Eastsidaz, he started to let his "Crip side" show as well...he'd always been a gangsta rapper, but never really mentioned or banged "Crip" in such a blatant way until he rolled with them. The Pimp side still showed more than this side did.
Paid the cost: The West had fell back off after a great 2001 year, and this album shows that he tried to mix the sound up and go towards the East Coast and regular commercial market more so than the East or West. Introduced Snoop + Neptunes which was a great move at this time, although the first single "From the chuuch" was bland. "Beautiful" may have been his biggest single that was more on the Commercial-formulaic side at this point, since tracks like "Loosen control" didn't blow up as big. Featured two tracks from DJ Premier, which was one of the first times that he'd put tracks from an "East Coast" producer on his own album, although he'd been featured on plenty of other albums/soundtracks with these types of producers.
Rhythm & Gangsta: Realized how much success he had with The Neptunes and focused on working with them, and got tracks from them that each had a different vibe. "Drop it like it's hot" was a trendsetter, from the drums-only until the last bars in each 8 bar segment, along with the snare breakdowns in it. "Let's get blown" worked as a song that appealed to Neptunes fans, but had a Old School "Snoop" type of vibe at the same time.
Blue Carpet Treatment: Had a variety of sounds, but as a whole, was more on the West Coast and the 2006 commercial sound at the time. Dre's work was solid, but showed that their chemistry wasn't AS strong as it had been in the Last Meal/Top Dogg era. The Neptunes work wasn't nearly as strong as it was on the previous two albums, although they only had two songs. The current L.A. sound was shown with some of those slightly-off beat drums/instruments on tracks like "Crazy" "Gangbangin 101" and "Don't stop." "Candy" was obviously a response to the Hyphy movement, which was actually running L.A's club scene at the time.
Ego Trippin: The QDT (Quik Dogg + Teddy) sound made it's debut, but didn't have the impact they all hoped it would. Scoop made an incredible club track in "Life of the party" which was the almost perfect track...one of the few L.A. club songs before the Jerkin movement that sounded like it was from L.A., yet appealed to everyone. The album lacked focus as a whole, and it showed that Snoop was a bit lost at the time on what direction to go. "Sexual eruption" was huge, and it was as much of a trendsetter as it was a response to the Pop sound moving in that 120 BPM "Euro" sound. Plenty of rappers tried this sound after Snoop, but none had success. In a way, it showed Snoop's bravery or even his "I'll put out ANYTHING I want" which he's always been lucky to have, but it also went along with that "Snoop doesn't care and we don't take him serious" attitude that plenty fans seem to have.
Malice in Wonderland: Some tracks were an obvious response to Jerkin, which was HUGE in L.A. at the time and was making noise nationwide. "I wanna rock" used similar elements from "Life of the party" but focused on being a Jerk track, and he mentioned Jerkin on 3-4 songs on there. Tracks like "Pronto" were also his usual attempt at making a "hot" trendy song.
Doggumentary: Similar to his previous albums, mixed it up with West Coast album cuts along with trendy attempts for singles, mainly in "Wet" "Boom" and "Platinum." Some songs felt straight from Tha Eastsidaz era, such as "Wonder what it do" "We rest in Cali" "El Lay" and even "This Weed iz mine." Tracks like "Gangbang rookie" showed that hybrid East-West type production that he's used a few times such as on "Ups and downs" from R&G.
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