Snoop Dogg - Tha Doggfather (2xLP)
A lot happened to Snoop Doggy Dogg between his debut, Doggystyle, and his second album, Tha Doggfather. During those three years, he became the most notorious figure in hip-hop through a much-publicized murder trial, where he was found not guilty, and he also became a father. Musically, the most important thing to happen to Snoop was the parting of ways between his mentor Dr. Dre and his record label, Death Row. Dre's departure from Death Row meant that Snoop had to handle the production duties on Tha Doggfather himself, and the differences between the two records are immediately apparent.
Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail. In essence, all of the music on Tha Doggfather reworks the funk and soul of the late '70s and early '80s, without updating it too much -- there's not that much difference between "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" and "Oops Up Side Your Head," for instance. Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating.
At over 70 minutes, Tha Doggfather runs too long to not have several filler tracks, but if you ignore those cuts, the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history.