Review Summary: Do not drink the COOLAID.
Have you ever heard of the saying, the retired should stay retired" That couldn't be more true for California veteran Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Broadus), the epitome of a celebrated rapper who needs to eject himself out immediately, a wrinkled, diverse 43-year old who's totally fallen out of grace in this advanced decade. For all the stellar anthems he's given to us in the 25+ years he's been around, nothing as such has been existent as he switched to the psychedelic Snoop Lion, then to DJ Snoopadelic after that failed venture which included a hideous Miley Cyrus collaboration, only to avert back to the Dogg surname once again. The goal that Snoop is trying to achieve, as he said in an 2012 interview with The Fader, is to "make music that is timeless and bangs". The unfortunate reality is that, as was showcased in his 2015 groovy, druggy comeback BUSH, was that he just tried way too hard to get to that and it showed in utter disparity, shuttering his way through an entire sun-bathed excursion without uttering a single expletive and underneath average, dry production. That was the tipping point for where Broadus decided he needed to get back to what built him his legendary status in the first place, back to stringy, melodic West Coast rap with his raw, mellow lyricism and that's exactly what he tries to attempt in his "official" rap comeback COOLAID. He tries pretty hard, but it tumbles down to such a new low for Snoop he might as well keep a low profile the rest of the way through and call it a career.
Calling this rap return but a mere attempt at getting back to what was working is surely an understatement, because this feels like a literal trip to some kid's lemonade stand where he charges you horribly for some really wacky drink in return. Sipping this bitter cool aid, you're suddenly gulping in disgust as you're treated to laughable, silly samples like the bland "Legend", hinted in tasteless, molded bass lines that are overdone and blasts over in instances as Snoop tries to brag over how much of a rap legend he is in a somber, hazy venture that feels so out of touch that it desecrates the little of his old, explosive self he had left. Lame, comedic lyricism like "motherf**king legend/fifty b**ches neckin'" do no further justice for Broadus as he dissipates into illusion quick and fast, easily his worst track in the aged career he's driven on. The unfortunate outcome is that it doesn't end just there, as it is a stuck-up, bloated 20-track mindf**k that is voided out of creditability, as generically familiar outings like the grayish, blackened "Super Crip" falters, being perched atop kaleidoscopic, grungy bass lines and foggy synths that try to simulate a menacing, fearful feeling inside but does the complete opposite instead: delivering numerous face-palms of sarcastic pleasure and deep disappointment all throughout. Not even the features help its invalid cause, as Wiz Khalifa inserts a needle and injects you with a torturous serum in the cringeworthy "Kush Ups", and washed-out veterans like Too $hort getting lost in the overly basic "Don't Stop". By the time you're done with this cup of drink, forcibly poured down your throat, the sickening aftertaste of this is difficult to overcome.
If there was any other beverage choices in COOLAID that you were hoping to try, to suffice yourself from the sourness you just endured, the options are severely limited. The only choice that feels out of place with this hellish nightmare is the nostalgic, glistened "Ten Toes Down", which is infinitely the bright spot that comes away from this. Set under warm, glowing synths with downbeat, clamping bass lines (featuring a sample that was in Diddy's latest LP "MMM"), Broadus comes into his very own in which was essentially nonexistent throughout this excursion, glamouring with humbling lyricism "came in this game as a kid, huh/still down ten toes in this sh*t, huh" as he recognizes where he stands right now in hip-hop, a legend in legacy but in the present not as prominent as he once was. That is the ultimate definitive that COOLAID showcases at the end of it, is that Snoop barely shows any representation of his old self on full display, and instead gives us over an hour of downright awful material that's lacking of musical diversity and scope. It's surely a deathly drink to make sure to avoid, and if you do take the risky steps and consume it otherwise, enjoy the groggy consequences that just came along with it.
Album Rating: 1.5
As much as I was let down by BUSH a year ago in May, this release has concluded for me that Snoop has truly fallen off the cliff as an artist. This is awful, easily one of the worst rap releases of the year.
Feedback, criticism, praise, album and artist thoughts are much appreciated as always everyone. Let me know!
the summary couldn't have been anything else.
6 out of 6 thought this review was well written
Album Rating: 3.0
This is nowhere near as bad as you make it sound. Like, damn.
Affiliated, Super Crip, Ten Toes Down, Got Those, What If and Cool Aid Man are my favourite songs, the rest is average, except for the ones with Swizz, those are the only downright awful ones.
I want a Snoop Lion comeback!
Great review, even though from a cursory, curiosity-driven listen I dug some of what I heard. Some of it was painfully average and a little cringey but not as bad as I expected from the review. Still I'm not a big hip-hop fan so I'm not drawing on a history to compare it to, but I enjoyed what I heard so I'll probably give his a proper spin soon.
Digging: Dekagram - May Flights Of Devils Guide
Why does this album cover look like a bad Adult Swim Show that'd have a China, Illinois humor style?
Digging: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band - Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller)
the album art looks more like a bootleg t-shirt you find in a mexico/california T-Shirt shop on the beach.
This sounds like an awful album, that art is awful, everything is awful.
was this a surprise release? didn't have any knowledge of this album coming out.
Doggystyle was so promising. What happened?
he's a joke now, has been for some time
Album Rating: 3.0
Is...is Doggystyle your last point of reference for Snoop? Because he had a lot of decent to great albums afterwards (Doggfather, Last Meal, Blue Carpet Treatment) and some absolute duds (Game is to Be Sold, Ego Trip, Malice). It's been a hell of a long ride.
But still, this album is absolutely okay. Too much filler, but when it's good, it's really good.
Rhythm and Gangster is pretty decent too. Snoop might not of ever made another album as consistent as Doggystyle but he put out a lot of solid stuff afterward and has been featured on many classic songs i couldn't ever imagine him not being on.
sucks, doggystyle is his only essential release
Digging: Ryuichi Sakamoto - Sweet Revenge
Album Rating: 4.0