Okay, let’s just forget for a moment that Snoop was the comedy dad character in reality TV show Father Hood. Try and forget his terrible commercial dance track ‘Sweat’ with ubiquitous producer of the moment David Guetta. And if you can, try to wipe from your memory his collaboration with Katy Perry on airhead anthem ‘California Gurls’. It’s fair to say that Snoop has made some questionable career decisions over the last few years. His reggae album under the moniker Snoop Lion in any of your CD collections? No? Thought not. What we really need to remember is that at one time, Snoop was the coolest man in the whole world. He was, well…the dogs bollocks. He was introduced to the world by mentor Dr Dre (the second coolest guy in the world) with tracks such as ‘Who am I? ‘ and ‘Gin and juice.’ We found ourself a new hip-hop icon. Debut album ‘Doggystyle’ was released in 1993 on Death Row Records under his name at the time, Snoop Doggy Doggy.

Snoop fitted the roll well. Whilst he is a married man and father of three, it’s fair to say that he has lived up to the reputation expected our our rap stars. From his early days right through his career, Snoop has been involved in several legal wrangles; numerous drug and firearm offenses, as well as GBH and even an involvement in the murder of a rival gang member in a drive by shooting. He was cleared of the charge after a long court battle. He is been in and out of court and prison throughout his life. He has even been banned from travelling to the UK and Australia after incidents occurring in airports. But in contrast he is known for his charity work, and coaches his local school’s football team.

You only have to look at the track list of ‘Doggystyle’ to see how many classics are packed on this album. ‘Who am I (what’s my name)?’ Packs a punch from the opening bars. It is without doubt a hip-hop classic, and along with later release ‘Drop it like it’s hot’ is still his defining moment. ‘Gin & Juice’ is a more laid back summer jam that rattles around your head for hours after hearing it. ‘Murder was the case’ has the sound of an instant classic. Even after all these years since its release, it still sounds just as fresh.

‘Doggy Style’ as a whole has a sound of its own. The only way it can be described is just classic Snoop. It isn’t just the sound of an artist making his mark, but defines a whole era of hip-hop music in general. It was one of the big players in the day and still sounds as strong when listening to it today. As an artist he has had his ups and downs. His new album ‘Bush’ has a lot of the characteristics that made him as huge a star as he is today, and is well worth checking out. But this is where it all started, and he has set the bar impossibly high for many rappers coming through behind him.