At the seasoned age of 44, Snoop Dogg is still going strong. The legendary MC has already established himself among hip hop’s greats, but still churning out LPs like it’s nothing. His 14th studio album Coolaid, his 4th in 6 years, has the Long Beach rapper bringing the funk, barking back at his haters and doling out positive vibes throughout.
The album kicks off with “Legend,” and has the usually laidback Snoop as fierce as you’ll hear him on the mic, as he sharply defends his status among rap’s elite. “80 million sold, and I ain’t check the records/Checked a couple rappers, told ’em not to test me/Ask me who am I? Motherf*cking legend,” he hollers. This song, however, is an outlier, as the rest of the 20 track record has the usual cool as the other side of the pillow Snoop we all know and love.
Speaking of cool, there’s plenty of smooth cruising music to go around on Coolaid. “Double Tap” has Snoop recruit Jazze Pha and E-40 help him flow effortlessly on the classic West Coast beat, provided by Pha. “Affiliated” has Snoop and Trick Trick proudly wearing their gang relations on their sleeve with a synthy joyride of a beat courtesy of Cardo. Speaking of Taylor Gang, Uncle Snoop reunites with his nephew/fellow marijuana aficionado Wiz Khalifa on “Oh Na Na,” which has the two professing their love for, you guessed it, weed. You saw it coming though. I mean it is Snoop Dogg after all.
The first half of the album has arguably the best batch of songs. Standout track “Ten Toes Down” has Snoop returning to his G-Funk roots, attesting that he’s still in the game after all these years with both feet firmly on the ground. The motivational “Don’t Stop” has Snoop and fellow California legend Too $hort advising the listener to never give up your dreams. Jeremih adds another catchy, sultry hook to his collection on “Point Seen Money Gone.” 10th track “Two or More” puts Snoop in the middle of an ’80s roller rink, bringing the funk in the grooviest way possible. Produced by Snoop himself under his Niggarachi production alias, the song is a perfect example of why the Long Beach spitter is still relevant; his appeal to both young and old.
Lyrically Snoop is on his A-game. “Put the hammer to your bisquick to your biscuit/Jam with the jelly sellin’ grams at the telly,” he flows on the aforementioned “Affiliated.” “LBC, we’ve been known to get our G on/They call me Don Corleone that’s the corner he on, P-I-M-P on,” he lulls on “Super Crip.” Even in his mid-40s, he’s still got it.
Granted, there are some flat out misses. “My Carz” takes Gary Numan’s popular “Cars” beat and doesn’t do it justice, not to mention the chorus is, frankly, cringeworthy. Two of Swizz Beat’s contributions to the album, “Light It Up” and “Let the Beat Drop” fall short of the toast-to-the-good-life vibes they were probably intended to give off. However, while the lows may be low, the highs are high on Coolaid. Uncle Snoop comes correct on the mic and makes some fabulous beat choices, culminating in an enjoyable and fun listen that should earn the storied rapper a place among hip hop’s top releases this year.