Happy Birthday, Snoop Dogg: The Doggfather's 15 Greatest Songs!
By Rashad D. Grove
(AllHipHop Features) Snoop Dogg is one of the most iconic personalities in popular culture. Since his emergence on the scene in 1992, Snoop has been a tremendously influential MC in hip-hop. A master of reinvention, Snoop’s longevity is noteworthy in an industry that doesn’t always value its veterans. Not only is Snoop one of the most heralded rappers of all-time, but as an actor, T.V. and film star, food critic, entrepreneur, label owner, philanthropist and much more, he has undoubtedly been a mover and shaker within the culture. His discography traces multiple genres such as R&B/Soul, rock, reggae and even gospel. Snoop’s artistry knows no bounds.
As we celebrate the legend’s birthday, here’s glance at Snoop Dogg’s 15 Greatest Songs.
15. Vapors, 1996
Snoop has mastered the fine art of covering classic rap songs. He honors the original but also incorporates his own unique style, breathing new life into the song. Covering Biz Markie’s “Vapors,” Snoop’s gives his best performance on his sophomore album, Tha Doggfather. He seamlessly weaves the narratives of Daz, Nate Dogg, and Warren G in his remake of “Vapors.” By covering this classic, Snoop not only proved his lyrical ability but his deep appreciation and knowledge of hip-hop culture.
14. What’s My Name Part II, 2000
“What’s My Name Part II” is often overlooked in the expansive cannon of Snoop Dogg. Featuring the techno-funk of Timbaland, who was smoking hot at the time, “What’s My Name Part II” became summer a jam of the year 2000. Accompanied with another definitive visual, Snoop reintroduced himself to the new millennium with a certified banger.
13. Life of the Party, (2008)
“Life of da Party" is another West Coast anthem that had the clubs on fire all over the country. As the third single from Snoop's ninth solo album Ego Trippin', it features Too Short and Mistah F.A.B. and the electro funk production of Scoop DeVille. “Life of da Party” is one of the best tracks in latter half of Snoop’s illustrious career.
12. Lodi Dodi, (1993)
Over the G-Funk production of Dr. Dre, Snoop dropped the West Coast version of “Lodi Dodi.” Paying tribute to one of his greatest influences Slick Rick, Snoop’s “Lodi Dodi” is arguably the best cover in rap music history. Snoop’s “Lodi Dodi” was a brilliant remake of the1985 classic that made both Slick and Doug E. Fresh proud.
11. Sexual Seduction, 2008
You can always count on Snoop to go left when everyone else is going right. Uncle Snoop was never afraid to experiment with different sounds and genres. This is apparent in “Sexual Seduction.” The track featured Snoop doing his best T-Pain impression as he sung and rapped using auto-tune. As the first single of his ninth studio album Ego Trippin', produced by Shawty Redd, its retro feel and vibe was heavily influenced by the styling of the late Roger Troutman. “Sexual Seduction” showcased Snoop breaking genre barriers and expanding the notion of the music the MCs could create.
10. Doggy Dogg World ft The Dogg Pound, Nanci Fletcher, and The Dramatics, (1993)
Anyone familiar with Snoop Dogg would know of his love for classic R&B and Soul. Black music is infused in his melodic style of lyricism. Only Snoop could pull off a posse cut with The Dogg Pound, the fabulous Dramatics, and vocalist Nanci Fletcher. “Doggy Dogg World” boasted one of the best videos of 90’s hip-hop with its portrayal of a 70’s Blaxploitation film. Featuring Pam Grier, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Antonio “Huggy” Fargas, Ron “Super Fly” O’Neal, and so many others made appearances as “Doggy Dogg World” was the culmination of Snoop Dogg as a superstar.
9. Still a G Thing, (1998)
After dropping his classic Doggystyle LP and the lukewarm reception to his sophomore record Tha Doggfather, for the first time, Snoop faced career uncertainty. 2Pac was murdered, Dr. Dre left Death Row, Suge Knight was indicted for racketeering, and Snoop needed a transformation. He made the decision to join the No Limit army with Master P, who was dominating the rap game. Smoothly gliding over the production of Beats By the Pound, Snoop’s first recorded “Still a G Thing” proved that he could exist and make hits outside of the shadow of Dre and Death Row. “Still a G Thing” was Snoop’s pronouncement to the game that he was still a force to be reckon with.
8. Ain't No Fun (If the Homies Can’t Have None) ft Warren G, Nanci Fletcher, Nate Dogg, and Kurupt, (1993)
A deep cut from Doggystyle, “Aint No Fun” was West Coast classic that embodied the California sound and style. Overtly sexual in its orientation, “Aint No Fun” is raw, wild, and young, capturing the essence of Death Row era Snoop Doggy Dogg.
7.Bitch Please ft Xzibit Nate Dogg, (1999)
As both Snoop and Dre’s began to have success on their own, they reunited on
Bitch Please,” from his fourth album Top Dogg, and the result was another gem. With a stellar guest verse from Xzibit, “Bitch Please” proved that the organic chemistry between Snoop and Dre was still alive and well. Without question, “Bitch Please” is one of the many highlights of his time with No Limit.
6. Who I’m I? (What’s My Name?), (1993)
Doggystyle was one of the most highly anticipated debuts in music history. After his standout contributions as a sideman on The Chronic, the expectations of a Snoop solo album were through the roof. When Doggystyle was released, he didn’t disappoint. The first single, “What’s My Name,” interpolating George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog,” was the engine that pushed Doggystyle to sell over 800,000 records in his first week of release. Snoop’s flow and Dre’s production was the perfect match to launch Snoop as rap’s biggest star.
5. Lay Low ft Master P, Nate Dogg, Butch Cassidy, and The Eastsidaz, (2000)
Another dope track by Dre, Snoop’s “Lay Low,” from Tha Last Meal, Snoop’s fifth album and final project with No Limit records. Nate Dogg croons on one his greatest hooks with Master P, Butch Cassidy, and the Eastsidaz all contributing to one of the best songs of the year. The success of “Lay Low,” was a fitting end this productive tenure at No Limit.
4. Murder Was the Case, (1993)
During this time in his career, life was imitating art. As Snoop was the biggest music star in the world, he simultaneously was on trial for murder. A timeless classic with some of Dre’s best production, “Murder Was the Case” was semi-autobiographical account of Snoop’s real lived experiences. “Murder Was the Case” was a song about a gangsta that was given a decision live his right or continuing in the wrong way. “Murder Was the Case” was transformative moment in the life of Snoop.
3. Beautiful featuring Pharrell, (2003)
The synergy between Snoop and Pharrell was undeniable on “Beautiful.” As one of the greatest rap love songs, “Beautiful” features The Neptunes at their best and Snoop’s rises to the occasion to deliver one his finest performances. Featuring additional vocals from the legendary Charlie Wilson, “Beautiful” is one of Snoop’s biggest songs peaking at number 6 on the Billboard 100.
2. Drop it Like It's Hot ft Pharrell, (2004)
Once again Pharrell’s magic touch was in rare form with Snoop Dogg on “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” It’s Snoop’s biggest hit and his first single to reach number 1 on the Billboard 100. With one of the catchiest hooks ever, “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” was ubiquitous in 2004. The Neptunes with their famous, minimalist production approach, was the perfect sonic landscape for Snoop’s laid-back delivery. In 2009, "Drop It Like It's Hot" was named the most popular "Rap Song" of the decade by Billboard.
Gin and Juice (1993)
Without a doubt, “Gin and Juice” is the quintessential Snoop Dogg song. The second single from Doggystyle, it’s his signature song. Exploring the theme of an impromptu house party, riding over Dr. Dre’s use of the “I Get Lifted” sample by KC and the Sunshine Band, “Gin and Juice” was not only one of Snoop’s best songs but gin and juice became a popular cocktail of choice be connoisseurs of spirts everywhere. “Gin and Juice” displays Snoop’s extraordinary storytelling skills as narrates the party scene in Long Beach. With another memorable video and one the best hooks of all-time, “Gin and Juice,” peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 100