Album Review: Snoop Dogg - Malice N' Wonderland

Posted by Marcus J. Moore On 10:50 AM

Artist name: Snoop Dogg
Album title: Malice N Wonderland
Release date: 12.08.09

By now, Snoop Dogg needs absolutely no introduction in hip-hop music, as his name is synonymous with the West Coast gangsta rap movement of the early 1990s. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 17 years since the brash, young Long Beach emcee debuted on Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” and took the game by storm. On Malice N Wonderland, Snoop’s tenth album, he proves that his laid-back, yet confident lyrical cadence can still shake ground and influence his peers. The person who stands before us now is definitely a mature adult, but not so stuffy that he can’t rhyme about sex, women and clubbing.

Over the years, Snoop has provided a plethora of sounds for our respective soundtracks, some of which are certified classics in hip-hop history. Who can forget the infectious call-and-response of “Gin and Juice,” or the feeling they got after listening to “What’s My Name?” for the first time in 1993. And don’t tell me you forgot about the shock and awe that was Murder Was The Case, an album Snoop released during his fight to stay out of prison. That sound is back on Malice N Wonderland and does not sound like a carbon copy of Snoop’s classic debut, Doggystyle.

On this recording, Snoop has done something that few veteran artists can do. He provides a record that is both fresh and relevant while respecting what brought him to the industry. Malice N Wonderland is modern, but doesn’t stray far away from Snoop’s home. Songs like “I Wanna Rock” and “Secrets” are quintessential Snoop, reminiscent of his early days in which his tracks were heavily punctuated by the deep basslines and snapping drums, which are staples of the West Coast sound. Other songs like “1800,” featuring Lil’ Jon, “Pimpin’ Ain’t EZ,” featuring R. Kelly, and “Pronto,” featuring Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, are ready-made for the club. However, “Different Languages,” featuring Jazmine Sullivan, stands out as Snoop shows affection for his wife Shante Taylor, whom he playfully calls “Ms. Bow Wow” throughout the song. But while that song is about loving his wife, “Gangsta Luv,” featuring The Dream, is more hardcore and details what it’s like to be with a gangsta.

With Malice N Wonderland, Snoop Dogg has created yet another blueprint for West Coast rappers to follow. From beginning to end, Snoop’s album is choked full of singles and club bangers, which are all done with quality in mind. Twenty years is a long time to be in one place, but Snoop proves yet again that he’s right where he belongs — right at the top of the hip-hop game.

— Marcus J. Moore

Sound-Savvy rates Malice N' Wonderland with 4 out of 5 platinum headphones

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