THE rapper better known as Snoop Dogg hits the Lovers Rock sweet spot as he connects with his inner Rasta – turning 40 seemingly putting all that gangsta culture in a different perspective.
“Money makes the man and that’s a crime,” he suggests on the opening Rebel Way, while No Guns Allowed is a subject guaranteed to have topical currency in the United States. Snoop’s vocal interaction with daughter Cori B shows a human and vulnerable side not often heard in the hip-hop world.
This is bona fide reggae music, informed by his patented street persona but without diluting the dance hall doctrine, even on something as potentially crass as Lighters Up. Collaborators Mavado and Popcaan provide the island flavour, as our (anti)hero gets his teeth into what potentially could prove to be a good old FM radio nugget.
The record manages to celebrate heavy dub to the lighter pop touch of Althea & Donna to 1960s Trojan Records classics – So Long being a mellow illustration. Get Away is much tougher, forged for gritty urban dance floors.
Tired Of Running nails the fertile reggae-rock crossover, checking the same commercial boxes, while The Good Good is almost unbearably bouncy. This is a clever blend of modern recording techniques with traditional Jamaican values.
Download this: No Guns Allowed, Tired Of Running