The 20th Anniversary of Doggystyle


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Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of Doggystyle—not the sex position but the debut album of the rap king once known as Snoop Dogg. Hip-hop had never heard anything like Calvin Broadus, Jr. before. His calm voice and laidback flow was like a breath of fresh air—and it was perfect for the “G Funk” sound orchestrated by his producer and mentor, Dr. Dre. Combining funk music with gangsta rap, Snoop and Dre created a unique style that fans can still bob their heads to today. Compared to other gangsta rap albums at the time, Doggystyle was light and fun. Listening to it is like chilling with Snoop at a ghetto house party. It could be a little dangerous, but mostly, it’s just tons of fun.

The album opens up with a funky bang called G Funk Intro, which features a kickass verse by Lady Rage. Afterwards, Snoop dives right into Gin and Juice—an early 90s hip-hop anthem that has since become a hip-hop classic. Who Am I? announced Snoop to the world, engraving both his name and tune into the minds of music-lovers everywhere. Other greats include Doggy Dogg World, Gz and Hustlaz, and Pump Pump. And then of course, there’s Murder Was the Case, an awesomely creative song that shows Snoop being gunned down and striking a deal with the devil: he can keep his life and become a famous rapper—all for the minor price of his soul. Ironically enough, about a year after this song’s release, Snoop was indicted for murder after his bodyguard shot and killed an armed man who had been approaching their car. In other words, murder really was the case that they gave him. Snoop performed the song at the 1994 MTV VMAs, proclaiming his innocence across the nation. But when the rapper stepped off stage, the only thing waiting for him were police and handcuffs

Snoop Dogg was the Kendrick Lamar of his day. Literally. He was the hottest rapper at the time and had Dr. Dre as a mentor and producer. Since its release on November 23, 1993, Doggystyle has been certified five times platinum and is known as one of the greatest rap albums ever made. It had also been the fastest selling album of all time, before a certain white kid from Detroit came along with twisted lyrics to steal the title. Debuting at number one, it sold over 800,000 units in its first week—a number that artists would be lucky to achieve today (just ask Lady Gaga; ARTPOP didn’t even crack 300,000). Doggystyle features Snoop in his prime and captures a unique period of hip-hop. Play the album now, and I can promise you one thing: all you’ll want to do is relax, sip on some gin and juice, and listen to the MC’s complacent voice.

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