The cliche that "you're only as good as your last hit" actually proves to be true for a lot of popular artists. The fire that once ignited your buzz can begin to dim a little. One artist who has found it relatively easy to keep his name, face, and music in the mix is Snoop Dogg, who continues to be one of the more recognizable figures in hip-hop a quarter-century after making his debut alongside Dr. Dre on their classic 1992 single "Deep Cover."
In 2017, Snoop Dogg is more than two decades removed from being a pup in the rap game and has long been considered an OG, but has also had to deal with talk of his latter-day regression as a lyricist or questions regarding his ability, or lack thereof, to turn in a complete rap album that speaks to the streets as much as it does the chic crowd that seemed to be the target of his more recent offerings like Bush and Coolaid. Neva Left, Snoop Dogg's 15th studio album, looks to quiet these concerns, and its the most focused body of work from the legend in quite some time. With guest appearances from Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Wilson, Method Man, Redman, Kaytranada, BadBadNotGood, B-Real, K Camp, Devin the Dude and others, Neva Left features an array of costars, but Snoop Dogg is at the center of it all, as he holds court over the course of the album's 16 tracks.
We've highlighted 5 of the best songs from Neva Left that stand out the most.
"Love Around the World"Snoop Dogg Featuring Big Bub
"This why they show me mad love all around the world," Big Bub croons on "Love Around the World," Neva Left's finale cut and one of the noteworthy tunes from Snoop's latest that instantly captures the listener's attention. In addition to delivering the hook, Big Bub also contributes a soulful instrumental powered by a sample of “When I’m With You” by Brenda Lee Eager, which Snoop Dogg navigates and sashays over with his signature melodic flow. "I'm represented by Fetti, I'm so hardcore/Feet to the floor, on one accord," the pride of Long Beach, California drawls as he lays down his mack and slick talk on "Love Around The World," a premier selection that finds Snoop maneuvering with verbal finesse.
Kendrick Lamar lets the listeners, young and old, know that Snoop Dogg still ranks as one of the coldest rhymers in rap and has yet to lose his midas touch on the DJ Battlecat produced "Still Here." Boasting a sample of "I'm Still Here" by The Notations, "Still Here" quickly transitions from Chi-Town soul into a breezy number fitting for a West-Indian jamboree, and finds Snoop in a festive manner, delivering his lyrics with his inimitable brand of charm. A testament to his staying power after a quarter-century in rap, "Still Here" is a celebration of Snoop's excellence and consistency that rates as one of the stronger tunes.
"Promise You This"Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg takes aim at opportunists with their hands out on "Promise You This," a pulsating party-starter that is as infectious an inclusion on Neva Left as any. Produced by Dupri of League of Stars, "Promise You This" is a reminder of the vet's ongoing ability to craft catchy, dance-floor-friendly ditties.
"420 (Blaze Up)"Snoop Dogg Featuring Devin the Dude, Wiz Khalifa & DJ Battlecat
No Snoop Dogg album is complete without a jam for the smokers, and "420 (Blaze Up)" serves that purpose, while also doubling as one of Neva Left's better tracks, making it an essential listen. Featuring Wiz Khalifa & Devin The Dude, "420 (Blaze Up)" finds Snoop and his costars extolling the virtues of partaking in a good smoke session, with each toker boasting about their smoking habits and prowess when it comes to burning it down with the best of them. Produced by Lamar "Mars" Edwards & DJ Battlecat, with singer Shon Lawson tackling the hook and contributing additional vocals, "420 (Blaze Up)" is a smoothed-out standout that is a hot pick for your rotation or playlist.
"Bacc In da Days"Snoop Dogg Featuring Big Tray Dee
Neva Left is one of the more admirable projects from Snoop Dogg in recent years and contains a bevy of highlights, but none are as explosive as "Bacc In da Days," which finds The Doggfather taking it back to the concrete and keeping it gangsta. Produced by J-Massive and featuring an appearance from Big Tray Deee, "Bacc In da Days" lifts a sample from A Tribe Called Quest's classic "Check The Rhyme" and amplifies it with a bit of G-Funk, making it a credible west coast banger. "I used to come through with the tools and Glocks/Party don't rock like it used to rock," Snoop rhymes on the hook, bringing to mind the days of yesteryear.