No Beating Around the ‘Bush’ for this New Dogg
23 years into his career, Snoop is finally able to do something that many artists are never fully in touch with themselves to reach. He has ventured almost completely away from who he once was to delve completely into a project that seemed to just feel right. It’s what we saw Kanye do in 808s and what we can chalk Tarantino’s one-off blaxploitation film “Jackie Brown” up to.
But like other Snoop albums, “Bush” ends up as a trip through Southern Cal, as told through the eyes of one comprised of George Clinton’s Funk, Stevie Wonder’s love and the glitzy bliss of Chic and Donna Summers, not to mention the myriad Charlie Wilson features.
Once known as the guy ready to tee off on any adversaries (that side Snoop does still rear its head on Instagram sometimes), a chill that has always encompassed Snoop — and Southern California —is more prevalent than ever, sending the twostepability (it’ll be in Webster’s soon, trust) of the album through the roof, giving some extra spin to the discoballs days past on its way.
Along with breathing some life into the groovy days of straight jive, Snoop’s 13th solo album is retrofit for today. “Bush” is similar to Star Wars in this aspect; legendary pioneering reintroduced with new flash and flare. It’s to credit for the Big Sean “Ass” — like claps and Mannie Fresh-esque bass hits accent the intro track “California Roll.”
It’s also the cause of a capering Kendrick verse (“I’m ya D-O- double G / And I need mo’-Pedigree”) and a clunky Rick Ross feature — that sometimes fails to catch the beat — on “I’m Ya Dogg.” All made possible by the studly, spreeing Skateboard P.
Pharrell, the executive producer of the album, joins Snoop in excavating their childhoods, adding a little extra in the process. In fact, “Bush” is very much a continuation of what Williams was able to do for Daft Punk on “Get Lucky” musically.
The Nile Rodgers influence runs deep along with the literal use of bells and whistles that still serve as notices to step on to the dancefloor, boo thang in arm. Vocally though, Snoop is there to making the use of the vibrant synths and snaps more explicit, softening his voice more than he’s ever done to let you know that “she’s DTF, cause she’s down to feel” (“R U A Freak”). This Snoop is not short of sensuality.
Snoop is now doing what Kokane, Nate Dogg and Charlie Wilson have done for him for more than two decades and when the Dogg’s at the helm himself, it’s not half bad. Of course, his uncle Charlie is still there to supply the groove where ever it may lack.
The album is a more confident “Sexual Eruption” (Snoop’s first public go-round in this voice) as Snoop cares less about spitting hip-hop cadences, leaving his comfort zone and spends most of his time smooth-streaming a Cadbury flow that is just as cool anything else the Doggfather has ever been on.
His comfort in relying on his influences — and Pharrell — to create the mood make “Bush” a “set it and forget it” album. You can roll up, burn and pass out in peace before you drift off into dreams of you gliding through the air eating chips like Homer Simpson in space.
Or you can start off in a “Bush”-induced, Funk-tinged tango with bae before finding your way to the nearest place fit for a sweet, steamy, playful erm, boogie all before the album reaches “Peaches N Cream.” This “Bush” is to be enjoyed thoroughly.
ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You’re ready for that “Parental Advisory” label to warn against a trip back into the 70s for a Funkfest.