23
Apr
12

I ♥ Tuesdays Vol. 7

When I called Wiz Khalifa the Evolutionary Snoop Dogg in my 2010 in Review column in February, I felt like I was merely stating the blatantly obvious; similarities in lyrical contentstyle, and stature are glaring. It came as no surprise, then, when I heard that hip-hop’s two most prominent potheads were collaborating on a feature film and accompanying soundtrackMac & Devin Go to High School.

Following in the footsteps of former stoner buddies Cheech & Chong (and more recently, Red and Meth), Snoop and Wiz play high-schoolers (Snoop as a 15th-year senior) who help each other face the hardships of student life, with no shortage of assistance from their mutual friend Mary Jane.  Though few details are available regarding the release of the movie, the duo managed to put together 12 quality cuts, and with the album’s first official single maintaining a steady buzz since dropping in October, the sleazeball execs good folks at Atlantic Records decided that this Tuesday was a suitable release date. 

Following my disappointment with Wiz’s Rolling Papers and Snoop’s pedestrian effort on stage last Thursday at Luxy, I had the bar set low for this one: Wiz had seemingly sold out his fresh formula for a crack at the charts, and Snoop is well over a decade past his prime, having recently surpassed the 40 year-old mark.  Plus, it’s a soundtrack, and hip-hop soundtracks have a history of mediocrity.  This one here, though, sounds a little more like a cohesive effort and makes for a pleasantly surprising listen.  Drumma Boy-produced album opener “Smokin On” featuring Juicy J sets the tone with bar after bar about buying, selling, rolling, and smoking the highest of high-grade. “OG” featuring another proud smoker Curren$y finds the trio boasting about the perks of the rockrapstar lifestyle afforded by their successes.  And as much as I’d like to stab Bruno Mars in his got damn esophagus, even the lead single has a certain undeniable charm.

How do Snoop and Wiz manage to so easily surpass my expectations? Easy, really.  They stick to what they know on this one, and it’s exactly the type of music their core fan base is looking for.  Both emcees have set a precedence of making incredible smoke music – soundtracks for sessions – and by avoiding touching on unfamiliar subject matter, both Snoop and Wiz are able to do what they do best.  No, this collabo effort will not come close to matching the sales these dudes are used to, but it does offer some promise to long-time fans that: a. Wiz hasn’t lost the charisma that made Kush & Orange Juice such a successful project, and b. that at 40-plus, Snoop still has the ability to make true smokers anthems without the self-parodic nonsense that has turned Snoop into your grandma’s favorite rapper.  Kudos to both Cal and Cam for reverting to the time-honored formula that garnered both cats respectability in the game and lead directly to their current status as genre dignitaries.

— Noakes

Originally published December 13, 2011 at theblast-blog.com

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