7 Days Of Funk is by far the best music Snoop Dogg's made in a decade. That's surprising, as lately the D-O-double-G has been more concerned with hawking his routinely awful films and merchandise than with making tracks. A short list of the worst offenders includes the unfunny stoner comedy Mac & Devin Go To High School, the reality show Snoop Dogg's Fatherhood and a smoke-able book of song lyrics. (OK, that one's kind of cool.) By far the crumbiest venture was Reincarnated, a Vice-sponsored descent into cultural clumsiness, cod reggae and mind-melting skunk—a crisis of identity no one needed or wanted. But any criticism of Snoop's work is perfunctory when you consider its financial success. His Snoopify app alone makes $30,000 a week through the sale of virtual merchandise, the priciest of which is a $100 Golden Spliff. Cash has always been Snoop's M.O., but before 7 Days Of Funk, it seemed like making decent music had been cut out of the business plan.
If there's one thing that makes 7 Days Of Funk's success less surprising, it's the presence of Damon G. Riddick, better known as Dâm-Funk. Since a video of Snoop freestyling over one of Riddick's DJ sets appeared on YouTube in 2011, it was clear any collaboration between the two would be something to savour. The American artist has been making music since the late '80s with little commercial success, so it's heartening that his music will now reach an international audience.
Dâm-Funk's love for '80s electronic funk is palpable. His tracks drip with George Clinton, Roger Troutman and Slave influences, the very music that powered Snoop's debut and altogether best album, Doggystyle. The end result sees Snoop retreading old ground, but in the context of his recent creative dry spell that's no bad thing. He even confessed in an interview that working with Riddick brought his "knack back." That's hard to deny.
Lyrically, 7 Days Of Funk offers little to muse on. Snoop's mainly concerned with discussing how funky he is and what a good time he's having. It's largely free of the misogyny and gangsterisms that have defined his past work—not surprising, given he's a married man and a multi-millionaire. His role is largely to add texture to Riddick's impressively colourful beats—almost the same job that George Clinton played when Parliament were at their most improvised and raw. There are plenty of standout tracks on the album, but perhaps the best is "Do My Thang," a perfect blend of slippery synth bass, sci-fi funk and nonsensical raps (the primary hook has to do with Snoop's footwear). Like most of the album, it has a feeling of spontaneity often missing in contemporary rap music, and it's all the better for it.
Tracklist01. Hit Da Pavement
02. Let It Go
03. Faden Away
04. 1question? feat. Steve Arrington
05. Ride F. Kurupt
06. Do My Thang
07. I’ll Be There 4u