Volume 93, Issue 4

Wednesday, May 28, 1999


And let the festivals begin...

Larger venues shouldn't shade smaller summer concerts

Is that nostalgia or is it musical leftovers I smell?

Front Line comes into its own

Comedians pen self-help book, without the help

Top Dogg without a bone

Top Dogg without a bone

Snoop Doggy Dogg
No Limit Top Dogg
No Limit/Virgin

With this second album coming within a year of his last, Snoop Doggy Dogg has officially joined the hurriedly mass-produced corral of Master P's No Limit label. Unfortunately, No Limit Top Dogg does not stand up to his pre-No Limit quality, but it does make the rest of the No Limit lemmings look sick by comparison.

Despite the overwhelming amount of No Limit garbage found on the majority of the album's tracks, Snoop's skills manage to rise to the surface. His classic sense of humour is still evident in silly tracks like "Snoopafella," a ghetto comedy twist on the old Cinderella fable.

The real strength of No Limit Top Dogg is Snoop's collaborations with his ex-Death Row producers, Dr. Dre and DJ Quik, who know exactly how to minimize all outside influences and concentrate on the veritable asset of Snoop's lyricism. DJ Quik delivers a smooth and innovative background to his tracks, providing Snoop with an ideal sonic playground to bust rhymes in his own distinct style.

Dr. Dre's tracks blister with his patented Westside funk, providing Snoop with an outlet to express more meaningful lyrics than the No Limit faire which pervades the rest of the album. Dre's skills behind the sound board are unparalleled in today's sampling-mad hip hop wasteland, resulting in quality original beats, especially on the album's first single, "Buck 'Em."

All in all, No Limit Top Dogg is much stronger than Snoop's previous No Limit album, Tha Doggfather. Being the most decorated officer in Master P's No Limit army certainly has its advantages, including permission to guide the progress of one's own music. If the nuggets of sonic gold hidden in this album are any indication, Snoop Doggy Dogg is at the brink of realizing his artistic potential.

For now, however, listeners must be content to sift through Snoop's efforts to find the diamonds in the rough.

–Luke Rundle

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Copyright The Gazette 1999