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You Know His Motherf***in' Name: "Doggystyle" Turns 20


The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AllHipHop.com.

In his recent review of Doggystyle, Kendrick Lamar said, “I actually listened to it when I was 6.  Believe me, when you’re from Compton, Long Beach, Watts, South Central, Inglewood…that’s all they were playing around you as a kid.  I couldn’t escape it.”

Being close to Kendrick in age, I also recall Doggystyle’s unavoidability as a little kid.  But I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and that is about as different from Compton, California, as two cities can possibly get.  Those differences didn’t matter though.  Snoop Dogg became one of my favorite recording artists when Doggystyle dropped.  I’m confident I probably speak for others too when I say that and not just in America, but all over the world.Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle - CD

It is because of that achievement, a perfect combination of skill and style, this album deserves to be recognized on its 20th anniversary.  Doggystyle helped take Hip-Hop to places it had never been before; the culture hasn’t looked back since.  And the project’s influence only continues to expand with time.

I didn’t get my own copy of the album until years after it first came out.  However, between an older cousin, passing cars, and MTV, it was not difficult to hear or see Snoop at the height of his debut’s popularity.  One of my earliest memories of Hip-Hop is seeing the “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” music video.  I remember watching Snoop on top of the V.I.P. record store rapping above the crowd and thinking that was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.  Honestly, that song and video is one of the reasons that I wanted become a part of Hip-Hop in some way.

My favorite thing about Snoop Dogg and one of the reasons Doggystyle succeeded is that he was so laid back.  The gangsta content in the music was still there, but he wasn’t angry like many of his hardcore Hip-Hop contemporaries.  There was just a confidence in Snoop’s voice that didn’t require him to yell.  But because he wasn’t so aggressive, Mr. Broadus’ raps were more appealing than others’.  Who wouldn’t want to be at the fun house party depicted in “Gin and Juice”?  Even if there was some questionable behavior taking place, it was certainly more inviting than the party that N.W.A becomes wanted for a homicide at in “Gangsta Gangsta.”

As far as the flow on Doggystyle, Snoop is in a class by himself.  There are many examples of where his delivery is so fluid that it sounds like an instrument.  Additionally, the way he changes and recites words take his lyrics to another place which is simply amazing.  For instance, in “Tha Shiznit,” one of my favorite rhymes is, “Cause Snoop Dogg is Trump tight like a virgin, the surgeon / is Dr. Drizzay, so lizzay, and plizzay.”  There’s a lot of wordplay there already, but adding “izzay” throws in even one more element.

“Gz and Hustlas” is another standout to me because of the fact it was a freestyle.  Then, on the flip side of that approach, there’s the concept song, “Murder Was the Case.”  It’s a brilliant song where Snoop makes a deal with the Devil.  Each song is equally captivating, even if for totally different reasons.  And last but not least, there’s the foul but funky record, “Ain’t No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None).”  It’s my guilty pleasure.  But for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’m alone.  Not only did the title make it into the lyrics of another Snoop Dogg song, “Don’t Tell,” and its accompanying X-rated video clip, Mariah Carey, Da Brat, and Missy Elliot remade “Ain’t No Fun” from a female perspective for the remix to “Heartbreaker.”

Production-wise, I think the whole album is incredible.  The G-Funk sound that Dr. Dre first started developing on Efil4zaggin and evolved on The Chronic reached perfection with Doggystyle.  The melody that Dre brought to the music gave it a component that had been unheard of in Hip-Hop prior to his arrival.  The result was street music with pop appeal.  In my opinion, the epitome of this is “Doggy Dogg World” where The Dramatics make a guest appearance.  In the words of Taa-Dow, “We got something old and something new for y’all tonight.”

While I’ve heard friends of mine criticize Doggystyle for being just a continuation of The Chronic and/or that the interludes drag the album down, I disagree.  Parallels can certainly be drawn between the two albums, but I think that Doggystyle expands on The Chronic’s winning formula.  It builds on the foundation that Dre’s album laid- from, among other things, the production to the features to the album artwork.  Then in terms of the interludes and even the “Lodi Dodi” cover, it’s Snoop paying homage to the influences that he allowed to shape him into the artist he was at that time.  From Slick Rick to The Mack, Snoop is clearly a student of it all and it is in part because of this knowledge he acquired that he was (and still is) able to be such a credible voice in popular culture.

When I was in elementary school, before I knew Snoop was going on trial for murder or even understood what a multiplatinum album meant, Doggystyle was one of my favorite things to listen to.  Twenty years later, I know those things and then some.  It’s STILL one of my favorite things to listen to.  In the end, as a rap music fan, the music is what matters most and Doggystyle remains some of the best music that I have ever heard.

Respect due.

What do you think about Doggystyle?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!

  • JLlama

    I remember going to a Midnight release for this cd with my big brother. I was 13 at the time. This shit hit like a damn hip-hop atom bomb.

    • MrsOno

      Definitely stood in line at the Wherehouse to by this CD at midnight!!

  • YungKizz

    classic of all times

  • John Q. Public

    Def the best album of 93

    • To many dropped in 93.

      ATQ’s Midnight Marauders,etc.

      That was the golden age, but DoggyStyle was definitely a classic!

      • Pirate7x

        Wu-Tang Enter the 36 Chambers? Mad great albums back then but I agree DoggyStyle was dope.

      • That too, but DoggyStyle was definitely the best out of the west, and anywhere else besides NY.
        *$hot$ Fired!

    • Schooly B

      Ice Cubes Lethal Injection

  • dee

    Classic and Dogg Food is a underrated Classic

    • Dhz30

      dogg food is my shit

      • dee

        nigga i banged that shit damn near this whole summer they was ripping bar 4 bar the whole album

    • DeeWilli_85

      It may be underrated today (to an extent) but it did go double platinum, in the US alone, when it was released “Dogg Food”

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  • Lord Saltsworth McGinty III

    I was stationed in Japan when this dropped. It was banging in all of the clubs over there.

  • WAVY BABY OWWWWW!

    Snoop Dogg is the greatest rapper living, you cant debate about that. He is everything a rapper is or was supposed to be and he is still very relevant. When you think of hip hop or all the greats you think of snoop dogg

    • wickedjones

      he is one the greatest.

      • Pirate7x

        True, one of but not THE greatest. Talented & sharp businessman too.

    • dee

      and he still give you a freestyle of the top not written

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  • bigdoe6

    This is a Masterpiece.

  • Jovaughn

    I remember the anticipation for this album. Everybody was waiting for this after the Chronic!

  • Vinsanity

    G-Funk was created with Above the Law, not Dre on N.W.A.. Doggystyle still is one of Snoops best work and in hip hop in general. Track listing and the order that its in, videos, album cover and booklet is brilliant. The whole thing was really a good concept.

    • Can’t forget about the Murder Was the Case mini-movie/soundtrack that Doggystyle spawned either…and that soundtrack was thorough as a mufukka too, I still jam it from time to time.

      • DeeWilli_85

        Me 2 that “21 Jump Street” will always kill me. Death Row greatest label in HipHop. G Funk, greatest era in HipHop

      • Yes indeed, to this day I can still bump that whole soundtrack front to back without skippin a song. I miss the days when cats were puttin out that kind of timeless music.

  • just_some_bastard #ALCOHOLIC

    Snoop has always had some kinda gimmick whether he was a “gangsta” or a “pimp” or a “Rastafarian”. I just don’t care for him because I feel like he is a phony. Was he a good rapper at one time? Sure but he should’ve just been himself and made music he wanted to make and not what he thought he needed to be to sell records.

    • Logic

      Few thoughts green messiah Snoop dropped the ball when pac died. why?

      The mainstream music Industry is consumed with the promotion of
      death and destruction, greed and extravagance. Basically the current
      climate of culture from music makes unity of the black man in the
      western hemisphere unrealistic. The drum is not being used to uplift
      the Black woman and child.

      The grassroots has to reclaim the drum of true inspiration. Music
      that spreads the joy of intellectual ingenuity. Nation building
      potential of Black Brotherhood is the atmosphere Freelife Records
      will compliment.

      ​Freelife Records coordinates grassroot development
      opportunities that include vunues for performances, aid with studio
      recording, mixing, mastering, video shoots, and video editing.
      Artist development means nation building, which is community
      service.
      Check out 40 hard tracks by Logic N the Chi on
      soundcloud help promote em with likes comments and shares so we can
      start from scratch with the artistry

  • OnlyFaDaReal

    Greatest rap album of all time!

    • John Q. Public

      One of them for sure. I cant ever say what is the greatest rap album of all time… to me there are too many out there and hard to compare.

      • OnlyFaDaReal

        Yep especially the older rap albums.

      • DeeWilli_85

        My G! Of course there is no one single “Greatest Rap Album of all time” Im merely giving the album it’s just due (being that Death Row cemented HipHop/Rap into Pop Culture) and therefore I also wrote “Arguably”

      • John Q. Public

        u right

    • DeeWilli_85

      Arguably – the Greatest HipHop/Rap Album of all time!!!

  • yomamma

    Legendary… this shit was knockin’ from start to finish. Can’t say that about most of these albums now smh

  • Man I remember bein 13, sellin half my Nintendo games for CRUMBS just so I could get this album. My pops used to keep his foot on my neck without fail about listenin to Hip-Hop, til the moment he heard the Dogg and that uber-cool ass voice…he eased up a lot after that, to the point he went and bought Tha Doggfather HIMSELF the day it dropped and had that shit on repeat every day for 2-3 months…LMAO To this day Snoop and Warren G are his fav. Hip-Hop artists too.

  • DeeWilli_85

    Production-wise it is superior, more advance and more polished than “The Chronic” without losing it’s edge (at all!) – no disrespect to “Chronic”

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  • Orus Dias Delaney

    Most of these current rappers & fans were Conceived to this Album. Sad thing is lyrics & beats from b4 then are being recycled for this 21st Century Rap.

    • Logic

      few thoughts Delaney 1st one is

      Snoop dropped the ball when Pac got murdered. why?

      The mainstream music Industry is consumed with the promotion of death destruction, and hypersexual personnas. Basically the current climate of culture from music makes unity of the black man in the western hemisphere unrealistic. The drum is not being used to uplift Humanity.

      The grassroots has to reclaim the drum of true inspiration. Music that spreads the joy of intellectual ingenuity. Nation building potential of Black Brotherhood is the atmosphere Freelife Records will compliment.

      ​Freelife Records coordinates grassroot development opportunities that include vunues for performances, aid with studio recording, mixing, mastering, video shoots, and video editing. Artist development means nation building, which is community service.

      Check out 40 hard tracks by Logic N the Chi on soundcloud help
      promote em with likes comments and shares so we can start from
      scratch with the artistry

  • water_ur_seeds

    Timeless, brings back amazing memories!!!

  • Beat Kaneda

    If the dude likes DOGGYSTYLE whats that slimy shit dripping off his chin

  • Logic

    Snoop dropped the ball when Pac got murdered. why?

    The mainstream music Industry is consumed with the promotion of death destruction, and hypersexual personnas. Basically the current climate of culture from music makes unity of the black man in the western hemisphere unrealistic. The drum is not being used to uplift Humanity.

    The grassroots has to reclaim the drum of true inspiration. Music that spreads the joy of intellectual ingenuity. Nation building potential of Black Brotherhood is the atmosphere Freelife Records will compliment.

    ​Freelife Records coordinates grassroot development opportunities that include vunues for performances, aid with studio recording, mixing, mastering, video shoots, and video editing. Artist development means nation building, which is community service.

    Check out 40 hard tracks by Logic N the Chi on soundcloud help
    promote em with likes comments and shares so we can start from
    scratch with the artistry

    • iamwhoiam

      Good luck with that…

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  • Cold Hard Truth

    nailed this article.
    agree,one of the greatest albums any genre as far as im concerned.
    A soundtrack for a generation.

    • Shad Reed

      Thank you for the compliment…. And I agree with you 100%, “,one of the greatest albums any genre as far as im concerned.”

  • Black

    Should of stayed with No – Limit. Somehow Snoop lost all off his Doggystyle

  • Mack II

    Shit Just listened to that 20th year samples by Dj Snoopadelic! That shit is fire… Get a bar!!! Blood took it back to the days good days sounding like Mixmaster Spade late 80’s mix tape… You would of had to live in the moment to understand, shout out to the originals that pioneered this ish!! Dj krazy toons, Uncle jams army, King T Mix Master spade and LA Dream team Bobby Jimmy The wrecking crew and all those who I felled to mention!!! Now THAT’S ALL HIP HOP!!!!!