December marks the release of the iconic West Coast gangsta rapper and habitual toker's tenth solo album, 'Malice N Wonderland.' Described by the 'Doggfather' as something "the ladies can dance to," the 15-track album, one of Snoop's best in years, is a complete 180 from the vengeance-seeking 'Ego Trippin'' -- his last album and hoorah, so to speak, with his former label Geffen/Interscope.
"I was in a bad spirit on 'Ego Trippin.' I didn't want to have nobody on there," he explains. "It's like how Kobe Bryant was complaining when he had no help. That's how I was feeling. Get me outta there and trade me to another team where they gonna help me win. I wanted to leave the label trippin', set up my next record where I could pull out all my favorites, have all these big name artist on my album and make my s--- look, feel and sound good."
For 'Malice' Snoop, referred to as "Uncle Snoop" by the hip-hop community, called on his "nieces" and "nephews" to get back some of his up-close and personal, laid-back and good times attitude. The guests, namely hit-makers Soulja Boy Tell Em and The Dream, deliver that signature '00s multi-layed, organ-turned-soundboard production sound missing from Snoop's last ten years as a hip-hop artist.
"What I wanted to do with this record was comeback with something that felt good and made people dance," Snoop says. "You see, I'm known for making people have a good time. I wanted to capture all of that moment but within the realm of the first time you heard Snoop Dogg. The first time you heard Snoop dog it made you smile, it made you laugh, it made you dance, it made you just wanna party. I just wanted to get back to that element."
Snoop, for the most part stays true to himself, revisiting 'Doggystyle' with the 'Gangsta Luv' lyrics "Baby like the way I wake her up/ 'cause I'm a gangsta, I grab her by the butt.. " and "... when I'm tearin' that ass up' workin' you like a shift/I give it to you like a gift." The family man also dedicates two songs to his wife of almost twelve years, Shante Broadus. "Have you ever had sex so good it made you speak a different language?" Snoop asks explaining 'Malice''s R&B stand out 'Different Languages,' which features emerging R&B vocalist Jazmine Sullivan.
'Special,' the other R&B dedication to his wife on 'Malice,' reunites Snoop with his 'Drop It Like It's Hot' producers Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, aka the Neptunes, and sports his first-ever collaboration with first-cousin Brandy. Williams' vocals on the track hit high notes comparable to that of John Legend. "I couldn't believe the n---- hit that note," Snoop says of Williams' work on 'Special.'
Back to that other question Snoop forgot we asked before: What would anyone find in Snoop Dogg's own Wonderland? "In my Wonderland nobody dies, nobody gets diseases, everybody lives forever," Snoop lists off. "You can smoke, drink and have sex unconditional. That's a wonderland ... and you do know that." Buy 'Malice N Wonderland' on iTunes.