Sunday, November 14, 2010

Snoop Dogg to the Rescue!

Dr. Perry

As much as I enjoy ranting on about my issues with music whenever I get the chance to, I would normally refrain from writing about it, simply because once I start I wouldn’t quite know where to stop, but when it comes to Snoop Dogg’s career, I have been satiated with things that cannot possibly be left unmentioned. This last month, I've been watching the music video for the song Get 'Em Girls by Jessica Mauboy which amusingly enough features the aforementioned rapper. Now, from the first viewing to the last, I am reminded of something that I can’t quite put my finger on, I don’t know what it is...oh, wait a minute, that's right - I'm reminded of every other female pop song Snoop Dogg has been featured in this last decade!

Ever since I started listening to rap, I have watched Snoop Dogg, in amazement, go accelerando from a successful rapper who you might say was one of the building blocks in the golden age of rap, being placed alongside names like Dr. Dre and 2Pac, to what he is today, some sort of icon of the retarded love child between pop and rap, placing himself alongside names like The Pussycat Dolls and Katy Perry; that's right, not even male pop stars. It would seem that Snoop has earned himself a seat in pop music, becoming some sort of white knight for the genre. This way, whenever some female dance-group have the misguided idea that their moves have something to do with having what it takes to make a musical record or some female pop star wishes to throw her convictions away and dabble in misogyny, the pop-business now know exactly who to call when they want these otherwise doomed ideas to make a profit, and after all, making the most money that can be made is something that pop knows how to do better than any other genre. So, if Snoop Dogg is the thing bringing in cash, which not only draws in pop lovers but rap lovers too, pop is sure to squeeze every drop of juice out of him until we are utterly sick of the sound of his voice.

When it comes to pop, I’ve found that the cosmetic-side of things often gets first priority over the music-side. This inevitably means that any pop music video ends up looking like a video with some music attached to it, as opposed to a music video that was attached to a song, even if it isn’t so. So given how important music videos are to pop and to compare Snoop’s latest venture with our own Jessica Mauboy, I indulged myself in every pop video for a song that he has been featured in since the first in 2000 and, in doing so, I noticed that they are all much alike: firstly, he will always appear in the initial twenty seconds, either to pop off a few lyrics or to simply state his presence in the song, much the way that they do in any rap song; after that twenty seconds, he will either repeat words like ‘yeah’, ‘what’ and ‘aha’ faintly in the background or, more commonly, make like Houdini in a disappearing act until, three-quarters into it, he makes his awaited return in his brief and tacky ‘rap’ verse. This way people are intrigued by the sight of him, yet they are forced to wait out most of the song and the headlining performer’s vocals in order to hear Snoop do his thing; it’s all business.

This transformation from '90s gangster to the pimp of girl-pop is a bizarre change of direction in Snoop Dogg's career, and would be in any rapper’s career, for that matter. This would be like if in five years time Eminem began featuring in pop-songs, and I'm not talking about being featured in an Akon song or featuring the occasional pop star in his own songs, I am talking about all out ‘Britney Spears feat. Eminem’ type stuff. In ‘Get ‘Em Girls’, Snoop says “I walk you down the runway of success”, so this begs the questions, after virtually assisting The Pussycat Dolls in their debut success by featuring in one of their first hit songs and bringing instant-success to every other pop song he has been involved in since, does this mean that it is only a matter of time before Snoop is grinding up against some other pop-glamour? With two songs being released within months of each other (‘California Gurls’ in May and ‘Get ‘Em Girls’ in September), can we see a trend beginning to form? I guess the larger question is has Snoop Dogg now become a brand name on the pop-palette because it guarantees a song hit-status when it gets attached, walking pop stars down that ‘runway of success’, so to speak? We shall see. Aha, aha, yeah.

Check it out for yourself:
Still D.R.E. (2001) and then California Gurls (2010)
The Next Episode (2000) and then Get ‘Em Girls (2010)
Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang (1993) and then Buttons (2005)
and the list goes on…