Forget aging gracefully — aging strangely is far more interesting. Indeed, the last few years have seen ’90s rap superstars transition into their late 30s and 40s with different approaches.
There’s the dignified mogul archetype of Jay-Z, who has fulfilled his ambition of becoming rap’s Frank Sinatra. There’s Ghostface Killah, who recorded an R&B/rap hybrid record touching on “mature” themes from adultery to the difficulties of sustaining long-term love. And there’s Chef Raekwon’s “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy, where he continues to produce artful songs within the confines of a familiar aesthetic.
Snoop Dogg has had one of the most endearing evolutions, transforming from a cold-blooded gangsta rapper into a lovable stoned uncle. Indeed, there’s nothing too bizarre for Snoop: country songs dedicated to weed (“My Medicine”); Auto-Tuned retro funk jams (“Sensual Seduction”); guest hosting “WWE Raw.” But then, he’s also serving as the creative chairman of Priority Records. Eighteen years after “Deep Cover,” Snoop remains at the top of the charts, collaborating with Katy Perry and still highly sought after for cameos.
While none of his recent incarnations will make you toss your copy of “Doggystyle,” they’re always ingratiating and fun. Unlike many of his peers, Snoop is relentlessly self-aware and always willing to poke fun at himself and others, a quality that has served him well.
His latest hash-brained scheme is a series of viral videos, aimed at garnering the attention of various celebrities. It’s all in the promotion of his latest project, “My #1 Priority,” a compilation of the greatest Priority Records cuts of the last 25 years — and of course, Snoop himself.
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