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SoulBounce’s Class Of 1993: Snoop Doggy Dogg ‘Doggystyle’


I remember it like it was yesterday. It was November 23, 1993 at precisely 12:01 am, and the wind was smacking me in the face along with a crowd of fellow college students standing outside our campus convenience store. We dealt with the cold air whistling through the dark because we were on the cusp of getting our hands on Snoop Doggy Dogg's debut LP, Doggystyle. Any chill in our bodies was about to be warmed up with the funk and flow of hip-hop's newest West Coast superstar.
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We already knew Snoop Dogg's capabilities, thanks to his legendary rhyming on Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Although Doggystyle was Snoops' first album, it was more of a continuation of the former with a stronger introduction into the G-funk style of West Coast hip hop. In the midst of diverse personalities in the mix during this golden era of music, Snoop Dogg's laid-back, almost effortless flow cruised into the mainstream audience's ears and hearts while maintaining the street cred that catapulted him to fame.

One of the album's most cherished anthems was "Gin and Juice" in which alcohol and fruit juice companies should have cut ol' Snoop a check for the increase in sales. With Dr. Dre at the helm of its production, the heavy beats and signature synths were on deck as Snoop painted a picture of how the West Coast lounges at a party. While some considered his flow misogynistic, the realism and addictive nature of his delivery overshadows anyone's perception of imperfections. This single also earned Snoop a GRAMMY nomination for Best Rap Single in 1995.

His distinctive voice carried the vibe of intricate storytelling and reflection of street culture with the braggadocious "Who Am I (What's My Name)?," which paid homage to the P-Funk flow of Parliament Funkadelic. George Clinton also appeared on the LP in support of the budding MC.

The hits just kept leaping from this LP with "Lodi Dodi" and "Murder Was the Case," which charted on the Rhythmic Top 40 despite lack of radio airplay. "Murder Was the Case" had an eerie synth lead and haunting female chant-like hook, followed by a video that would go on to win a 1994 MTV Music Award for Best Video.

Doggystyle debuted #1 on Billboard and has sold more than five million copies in the US. It is regarded as Snoop's most successful project to date. What's more significant is the album's depiction of an era that was a large part of hip-hop's landscape in the early '90s. Before you could conjure your own West Coast Hip-Hop playlist on iTunes, this was the album you could bump in your CD player from start to finish with no skips.

Doggystyle earned its place in golden era hip hop history because it had heads like me waiting in the winter air just to get it in our souls.

Snoop Doggy Dogg Doggystyle [Amazon][iTunes][Spotify]


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