Snoop Dogg Bush Columbia
It’s odd to think Snoop Dogg was once feared by the curtain-twitching classes. With no-holds-barred lyrics that depicted sex, gangster culture and, of course, weed, Snoop was one of several ‘bad influences’ in the 1990s. White America was scared of black men who wouldn’t “behave”, brashly successful and irreverent (to a large extent, it still is).
Then, like many of his peers (Ice Cube foremost among them), Snoop transitioned from putative gangsta to avuncular entertainer, to the point where Snoop could dedicate a song to Prince William’s stag do without a trace of malice. His way into the establishment has been markedly breezy, achieved through sheer charisma and some great songs.
If the social commentary is gone, the sex and drugs remain. With Bush, Snoop has produced an homage to the P-funk and RnB of the 70s, the Bootsie Collins / George Clinton vibe, in a haze of innuendo and laid back posturing. Opener California Roll benefits from Stevie Wonder’s vocals and harmonica, the Midas touch of Pharrell, and some just-about-not-tedious lyrics on weed.
But it soon becomes clear that while these joint efforts have produced easy, fun listening, there’s no variety here. Each track merges unremarkably into the next, lending the album a listless, workmanlike feel. No risks have been taken whatsoever. Lead single Peaches ‘n’ Cream is another highlight, but there’s nothing here to match previous career highs of any of its main participants.
Bush came about a decade too late. Much like Snoop, the album is immensely likeable – just a little half-baked.