Celebrating his recent appointment as "Creative Chairman" of Priority Records, Snoop Dogg has managed to release an album whose overall meagre level of creativity makes one wonder how he'll work out in his new position.
Sure, he's still one of hip-hop's most engaging characters himself, boasting here of how he's "connected everywhere", but despite the array of collaborators old and new, Malice N Wonderland wants desperately for innovation and fresh attitude. There's only a certain amount of entertainment value in hearing Snoop bang on about hot tubs, pimping, gang-banging, booze and, as he so eloquently puts it in "Luv Drunk", getting "my rat-tat-tat in her boom-boom pie", and Snoop long ago used up his complement. As a bona fide industry don, he refers to young protégés like Problem, Nipsey Hussle and Soulja Boy as his "nephews", and while some show promise – Lil Jon's groove to the tequila-talking "1800" has sinister fizz and pep, and B-Don's auto-tuned hook to "Pronto" possesses a certain panache – the album is overly reliant on old-school producers such as The Neptunes, Timbaland, Tricky Stewart & The-Dream, Nottz, and even Teddy Riley. The best track, due to the greater coherence imposed by R. Kelly, is "Pimpin' Ain't EZ", which rather indicates just how over-familiar things are in Snoop's world.
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