March 11, 2008, - 3:13 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Well, that paragon of class and virtue–Snoop Dogg a/k/a repeat-convict Calvin Broadus–is out with a new album, “Ego Trippin’”. No-one can accuse him of not believing in truth in advertising.
But while it’s more of the same, reading the USA Today review of it by music writer Elysa Gardner is a hilarious exercise in BS “literature.” Here it is with my commentary. Note the new phrases, er . . . oxymorons: “gangsta ethics” and “soberly misogynistic” (nice new high-brow term sanitizing despicable hate; hmmm, I’ll try this absurd tactic. . . “soberly Klannish”, “soberly necrophiliac”):
“A b- – -ch is a b- – -ch, and a ho is a ho,” Snoop declares on Never Have 2 Worry, the fifth track on Ego Trippin’ ‚Äî and he doesn’t seem to be joking. More than 16 years into his career, Snoop clearly isn’t interested in sensitivity training.
You don’t say?
What makes his latest effort at once fascinating and disturbing is his apparent inability to connect the dots between his personal struggles and the gangsta ethics he champions so artfully.
“Gangsta ethics” is a phony term in the first place, but putting the word “artful” next to it or anything about Snoop Dogg is even more absurd. You can just hear the smooch sound of Ms. Gardner’s lips to Mr. Dogg’s rear even while she’s declaring that she’s shocked–shocked!–that Dogg doesn’t connect the dots between his crime-filled life of hoodness and his “values,” er . . . “gangsta ethics.” This is news to her?
Musically, Trippin’ ranks with the rapper’s best work; he and his co-producers fold ’80s electro-funk into arrangements that feel at once nostalgic and bracingly fresh, from the shimmering single Sexual Seduction to the Princely Cool.
“Bracingly fresh”?! Is there anything fresh and new about “bitch” and “ho”? PUH-LEEZE. The only thing “fresh” about Snoop Dogg would be the latest flesh wound he’s administered to one of his “peeps.”
Snoop’s distinctly mellow rhyming shines brightest when he’s in a playful mood, as on the twangy My Medicine or Deez Hollywood Nights, where he boasts of being at a club “smoking with one of the Marleys – one love.”
“Distinctly mellow rhyming”? Bitch is a bitch, ho is a ho? Hello . . . .? “Playful”? “Shines Bright”? The farm called; it wants the cowchips back.
But the references to bad girls and fun drugs grow less amusing when considered alongside material that either is more soberly misogynistic or tries to trumpet family values.
Um, when were the references to “fun drugs” or the rest of it “amusing”? Just curious.
On Why Did You Leave Me, he asks why a true love “had to go away.” Well, duh.
No, actually, “duh” (however ’80s and passe that word is) is hardly you should be uttering after this clueless “review,” Ms. Gardner.
More like “D’oh.”
Tags: Calvin Broadus, Ego Trippin', Elysa Gardner, music writer, rapper, Snoop Dogg, the USA Today, USA Today