In celebration of Priority Records’ 25th anniversary, hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg runs through his catalogue of West Coast favourites in The West Coast Blueprint. With a few well-placed interludes, Snoop guides the album along like a radio DJ, providing insight and commentary on California hip-hop’s golden age. Blueprint has tracks that any casual hip-hop fan will recognize and also includes some forgotten gems. Tracks like “Pay Ya Dues” by Low Profile and “Playaz Club” by Rappin’ 4-Tay have bass and G-Funk vibes, but they failed to earn the universal respect that “Eazy-Duz-It” and “Alwayz Into Somethin” achieved.
It’s clear that Snoop Dogg put some thought into selecting these tracks, but it’s hardly as comprehensive a tribute as he’d like you to think. Sure, gangsta rap was at its peak from the birth of N.W.A. to the death of Tupac, but since he ignored the 2000s, the album comes off as incomplete and, to be honest, a little lazy. Snoop also filled the album with his own material. Six tracks on the album credit him: three are interludes, two are his own material, and one features his hip-hop posse The Dogg Pound. But then again, what is hip-hop without blatant self-promotion? The rest of the tracks are all well selected. The classics are here, but it’s the unknown songs that make the album shine. Regardless of how much you like hip-hop, The West Coast Blueprint should at least give you a track or two to add to your iPod’s pre-drink playlist.