Only a few people in the music industry are as chamaleontic as Calvin Broadus is. He’s gained fame with his rap as Snoop Dogg, he then became Snoop Lion when he decided to join Rastafarianism and devote himself to reggae. This month, alongside funk master Dam Funk, he turned into Snoopzilla (the name being a homage to Parliament/Funkedelic bassist Bootsy Collins aka Bootzilla) and released ‘7 Days Of Funk’ whose music main character is now funk.
Released on December 10 under the record label Stones Throw Records, ‘7 Days of Funk’ can be either the hundredth transformation undertaken by Snoop Dogg or a right coronation of his music path adorned with interesting collaborations: singer, songwriter, Slave’s leader and producer Steve Arrington and American hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound all took part to the realisation of the album. Or, it can also be a sort of weird, peculiar return to origins: “You may think I’ve had enough, but it’s a must I find my way back to the funk”, Snoopzilla sings in the forth track of the album, ‘1Question?’.
It’s called ‘7 Days Of Funk’, but it’s actually got nine tracks: two more days to relax and taste those American West Coast sounds that, together with some drops of rap, pervade the entire album. Its consequential result is that special, oddly romantic atmosphere that surrounds two lovers on the dance floor while Snoopzilla is romantically crooning ‘I’ll Be There 4U’.
Electronica makes its path all along the album and clearly emerges from the intro of ‘Systamatic’ where electronic drums, keytars and synths (actually distributed all over the record) step by step throw themselves into the music cauldron of funk seasoned with echoes of rap and whispers of love. After all, from the very beginning the direction is clear: ‘Hit Da Pavement’, a sort of reminder of the dance floor, is characterized by funk sonorities and exactly that kind of groove that makes you shake your body and move your head back and forth while listening to the record.
Although Snoop is not rapping here as much as in his previous efforts, the intervention of Kurupt and his hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound in songs like ‘Systamatic’ and ‘Ride’ undoubtedly fill in the gap and add just the right amount of beat that contributes to make the whole album sound like an actual Snoop Dogg work.
After a twenty-years-long career and eleven albums (his debut arrived back in 1993 with ‘Doggystyle’, the first debut album to enter the charts at number one) you may argue this is not a proper rap album. It’s not. It’s a combination of electro-funk, groove and rap arranged by Dam Funk whose mastery perfectly combines itself with Snoop’s love for fun and finds the missing half of the same heart. There’s some chemistry between the two: you may like the genre or not, and for sure Snoop Dogg’s heavy rap gives room to Snoopzilla’s more intimate lovers’ interaction, but no doubt you’ll be finding yourself move at least your right leg even though you’re quietly sitting on a armchair.