Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg - Collaborations

Red and Mef. Rae and Ghost. Big Boi and Three Stacks. Nas and AZ. Erick and Parrish. Fame and Danze. Pimp and Bun. Havoc and Prodigy. Mos and Kweli. All but two of these notorious emcee duos have released full-length albums to critical acclaim. The exceptions to this list are 1) Rae and Ghost, though their solo releases often feature one another on over half the album’s tracks, and 2) Nas and AZ, a duo we’ve already created a compilation for. Who else but Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre would fit into this lineage of great lyrical tag team partners? At this point, the Doc and Dogg are mega-stars, one an obsessive-compulsive hermit still working on his follow-up to a record released a decade ago, the other an emcee who puts out an album every once in a while to meet the costs of his expensive weed habit. All jokes aside, their track record is as thorough as they come In short, they absolutely owned the early-to-mid-‘90’s, at least on the West Coast. Cranking out hits and knocking off rappers from their pedestals, Snoop and Dre were a force to be reckoned with. And since we love to hook you up with compilations over here, I figured we’d give ‘em the Hip Hop Is Read treatment.

Like the Method Man and Redman ‘Appearances’ compilation, this one’s a double disc release. The format deserves some explanation though. Disc one aimed to include the major songs you probably know really well, such as “Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang”, “Deep Cover”, “Still D.R.E.” and so on. Disc two focused more on remixes, extended versions, b-sides, rarities, and tracks which had brief, non-verse features by either Snoop or Dre. A couple of tracks on disc two, for instance, don’t even feature Dre, but were classics from The Chronic which I felt needed to be on here anyways. Each disc is in semi-chronological order and each disc borders on just below the maximum 80-minute mark, equaling a combined run time of over two and a half hours!

The one thing I regret about the set is that 2Pac was never on a track with both Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Given Death Row Records’ dominance with these three artists, you’d think it would have happened, right? Coulda, shoulda, woulda… Maybe there’re some unreleased tracks locked up in the vault? I hope so. And I hope they see the light of day… one day. Anyways… I always say that West Coast hip hop plays as a perfect soundtrack for hot summer days. Maybe it’s just ‘cause I’m from L.A.? I dunno… If you agree, then the release of this compilation is perfect timing! The next thing you know, your middle and ring fingers will be merging as one, automatically. Peep out the manuscript… enjoy… and turn it up!

Rest In Peace Eric Wright