Snoop Dogg looks back with ‘I Wanna Thank Me’

Photo courtesy of Doggystyle

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., more commonly known by his stage name Snoop Dogg, released his latest album “I Wanna Thank Me” on Aug. 16 via Doggystyle Records.

Snoop’s new album is the perfect way to remind the world of his continued relevance in the modern hip hop scene. Not only is the title wrapped with an aura of egotism, it seems as if Snoop Dogg is trying to remind the audience of his legacy.

Snoop Dogg hails from the rich tradition of West Coast gangster rap and is on some of the most iconic tracks in history. Snoop might even have the catchiest verses of all time on the Dr. Dre track “Still Dre.”

Snoop’s career essentially began under the guiding hand of Death Row Records with the album “Murder Was the Case,” roughly coinciding with the death of N.W.A. At this time, the West Coast gangster rap scene was cutthroat and Snoop managed to rise to the forefront of the genre.In addition to the many fueds between artists, West Coast hip hop was also feuding with the down South scene and big artists like Outkast. Fast forwarding to today and Snoop is much more open to collaboration and seems to just want to create as much exposure for himself and for other artists as possible.

Out of his 22-track long album, he has features on all but 5 tracks. He even worked with Russ on “Take Me Away.” In an interview with Billboard, Snoop admitted he was trying to branch out: “With this particular project, I was thinking to myself, ‘Where do I fit in the rap game?’ I ain’t that young, fly rapper no more. I’m like a great uncle to a lot of these rappers now.”

Still, many of the songs feature that same slow rhyme that is traditionally associated with his portfolio. Some songs tell stories of his history with Death Row, and most pay homage to his twenty-eight years of history in rap.

The song “Let Bygones be Bygones” starts with a simulated interview with Snoop in which he mentions, “I’m cool with Suge‚ I’m cool with Master P, Dr. Dre, I’m cool with everybody.”

The mock interviewer responds “Yeah‚ I mean, how could you not be cool with Snoop?,” to which Snoop responds “but I had to go get that cool with him. I had to go sit down with Suge.”

Suge Knight is broadly known as rap’s villain and is responsible for complicating the relationship between Death Row Records and Snoop Dogg. Stories of Suge recall his harsh treatment of his employees. Among other misdeeds, Knight is accused forcing employees to drink urine as punishment for making an error.

Following Dogg’s murder trial after the death of 2Pac, relations with Death Row were strained, and Snoop left on bad terms.

Snoop uses this album to declare publicly that he has “squashed” the beef with Suge.

The sound of the 22-track album is not limited to Snoop’s traditional G-funk sound. Snoop also experiments with some Rastafarian sounds. The rapper touches on many topics — he features a posthumous verse from his long time collaborator Nate Dogg and also mentions the passing of Nipsey Hussle. In a way the album feels like an afterword summing up Snoop Dogg’s journey.

Still, few believe that this is his last album. Surprisingly enough, Snoop has never been on Billboard’s top 200 or received a Grammy — but he is a landmark in the rap landscape. The release of “I Wanna Thank Me” comes around the same time as the release of Young Thug’s much anticipated album “So Much Fun,” which has dominated the attention of most of the hip-hop audience. Regardless, Snoop fans are already praising this album as one of his most versatile, and it looks set to surpass the streams of his last album “Bible of Love.”