Snoop Dogg Presents: The Big Squeeze

Snoop Dogg described his latest album release in a recent Los Angeles Times article as trying to “squeeze” more out of the rap game. It’s a simple statement that offers up little more about the compilation album than the title itself states: The Big Squeeze (Doggy Style/Koch). In many respects, the album could be thought of as an attempt at pinching a little more off the star power of Snoop Dogg. But to simply state that Snoop takes a backseat for The Big Squeeze in an effort to give his West Coast brethren a chance at the limelight would be an understatement. The Big Squeeze marks the first album completely produced by “the Dog Father” himself, operating under the production moniker Niggaracci. Snoop’s transcendental ability to follow different rap styles, from the toughest and most hardcore to soothing and more sensual now seems to typify his production style. That is to say that the diversity Snoop’s used in his vocals now is just as prevalent in his production, utilizing everything from the slower, thudding drum and bass on songs such as “We Came to Bang Out” to the power guitar riffs of 1980s Rock & Roll music in “Like Rock Stars,” or the bubbly sounds of “Spend Some Time.”In addition to Snoop’s production, he enlists the help of a diverse group of mercenaries; some of the last gangsta rappers still romanticizing the street culture of Los Angeles. Featuring rap group Westurn Union, comprised of Supafly, Damani and Bad Lucc, and rap group Warzone, made up of MC Eiht, Kam and Eastsidaz member Goldie Loc, as well as Kurupt and R&B singer Azure, The Big Squeeze seems as if it would be business as usual for the Cali emcees; guns, gangs, blunts, women, sex and so forth.But with the exception of a few songs that demonstrate the egotistical swagger and grimacing lyrical barbs of packing heat, saggy pants and low riders, the majority of The Big Squeeze sounds misogynistic, featuring more skirt-chasing than anything else. “31 Flavors,” “Fuckin’ Is Good for U” and “Get Closer” are all just a sampling of the love ballads and sexual desires in Snoop’s all-star team of emcees; all songs that sound just like what the titles’ evoke.The Big Squeeze ultimately shows that there is something comical in hearing a collective of rap artists who often portray themselves in their music as arrogant, tough individuals, suddenly toned down for a musical version of what one might find on “skin-a-max” late night television.