Tha Doggfather

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Tha Doggfather
Studio album by Snoop Doggy Dogg
Released November 12, 1996
Recorded February 1996 — September 1996
Genre West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap, g-funk
Length 73:59
Label Death Row/Interscope
Producer Suge Knight (exec.)
DJ Pooh
Daz Dillinger
Soopafly
LT Hutton
Sam Sneed
Arkim & Flair
Snoop Doggy Dogg chronology
Doggystyle
(1993)
Tha Doggfather
(1996)
Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told
(1998)
Singles from Tha Doggfather
  1. "Snoop's Upside Ya Head"
    Released: September 14, 1996
  2. "Vapors"
    Released: April 8, 1997
  3. "Doggfather"
    Released: August 26, 1997

Tha Doggfather is the second studio album by American rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, released by Death Row Records on November 12, 1996. The album was re-released July 11, 2005. Prior to the successful release of his debut album Doggystyle, Snoop was charged with murder. Snoop spent much of 1995 preparing for the case, which went to trial late that year. In February 1996, he was cleared of all charges and began working on his second album, without Dr. Dre as producer. This was Snoop's last album on Death Row Records, and under the name Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Although the album debuted at number one in the week of November 12, 1996 with over 478,971 copies sold, it failed to match the commercial success of Doggystyle & The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. 2Pac, who had become a friend of Snoop during 1996, died weeks before the release of Tha Doggfather, and Dr. Dre had left Death Row to his partner Suge Knight, who was indicted on racketeering charges by the end of 1996. Consequently, Snoop's second album stalled at sales of two million. It was released only one week after another Death Row release, the first posthumous album by slain Tupac Shakur, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, which also debuted at number one. The illustration on the back cover of the CD is done by Joe Cool, the same artist who did the front cover of Doggystyle.

Conception[edit]

Background[edit]

One of the notable things on the album is the lack of production or involvement of Dr. Dre (due to the fact that he left Death Row Records in early 1996 over money disputes) leaving Dat Nigga Daz and particularly DJ Pooh as the main producer of the album. One the key signs of an album not produced by Dr. Dre is the lack of G-Funk compared to Snoop's first album. A key factor being the less noticeable bass sound, high-pitched synthesizers, and less musically sonic detail. Another noticeable thing other than the lack of an appearance by 2Pac other than the outro, is the lack of a major hit single in the US pop charts such as Gin and Juice and What's My Name.

Snoop Dogg stated in an interview with Vh1 on December 3, 2006 that the reason behind many of the differences between Doggystyle and Tha Doggfather was because he felt he needed to bring a positive image to the music industry. He also stated "I think Tha Doggfather was a rebirth of me, as far as me being more positive on what I was tryin' to say and you know tryin' to live the life through my music, instead of me just livin' my life, tryin' to show people that my life... wasn't like my music was, tryin' to bring my life to my music... my present life". Snoop also stated that it was really understood at the time, where people wanted him to feel happy that he had won the case and rapping about violence. Though he did not want to and responded by saying "that's not what I felt" and that he felt emotionally lost since he did not have Dr. Dre, Tupac had just been killed, and Suge Knight was in jail. After that he stated "I'm not gonna glorify none of this negativity that Death Row wanted me to do, I'm gonna bring a positive side of music". He felt like it got looked at the wrong way but in his own opinion it felt successful, stating "I enjoyed it and everywhere I go around the world people; you know I sign more Doggfather records than any other record I put out. That's the one I sign the most and I'm proud at the thang I did and the thang is... sometimes you can outgrow your fans".[1]

Release[edit]

Tha Doggfather has sold over two million copies and charted at number-one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B Charts. In an interview with VH1, Snoop said that everywhere he went around the world, Tha Doggfather is the album he has signed the most, out of all his solo albums. It also did better than Doggystyle on the charts in countries like Australia, The United Kingdom and Canada.

Style[edit]

On this album, Snoop and his guests try to display a more old school gangster style, resembling that of the mafia. In contrast, on Doggystyle, he had displayed himself as a Crip (a street gang). Snoop also demonstrates that lyrically he is still in touch with songs that have exceptional flow like Freestyle Conversation which shows Snoop rapping faster than normal, and Doggyland, with smooth, flowing lyrics about peace to the streets. The production is different from Doggystyle on songs like Snoop Bounce, Snoop's Upside Ya Head, Up Jump Tha Boogie and 2001, which have an old school funk feeling. Tha Doggfather also features some positive content, such as the skit When I Grow Up, in which Snoop tells a young fan to never be like him.

Album title[edit]

Inspired by the hit gangster film The Godfather, the album title uses the same letter format as the movie title. On 100s' debut mixtape Ice Cold Perm, the cover art pays homage to this album's cover.

Music[edit]

Production[edit]

The majority of the album was produced and mixed by DJ Pooh, taking the place of what Dr. Dre did with Snoop on Doggystyle. Snoop Dogg also stated in an interview with Rap City in 1996 after Tha Doggfather just got released that he had been trying to work with Dr. Dre for the album. The problem was that Suge Knight would not allow him to work with Dr. Dre. Snoop also stated that Suge told him that the only way he was going to make the album was without Dr. Dre. He also added that working without Dr. Dre gives him more freedom to work with more producers, instead of just working with one key producer.

The album also noticeably leans to a more "old school" influenced funky beat, sampling songs like "It's Like That" by Run-D.M.C., Vapors by Biz Markie and others like More Bounce To The Ounce by Zapp & Roger and Oops Upside Your Head by The Gap Band. A noticeable thing about one of the tracks of the album, "Wake Up" is that this is the first song that Snoop Dogg actually produced. He stated that L.T. Hutton came in and helped him learn how to produce without Dr. Dre by teaching him how to play keyboard.[2]

Lyrics[edit]

Compared to Doggystyle, the lyrics are much less violent and controversial. As Snoop said in an interview he wanted to present a more positive image in his lyrics. Since he became a father he wanted to be a better role model for his kids. He wanted kid's parents to go out and buy the album for them, instead of the kids going out and getting the album without the parents knowing. A possible reference to Doggystyle in how controversial it was and how the album had debates on whether or not it should be listened to, along with other gangsta rap albums.[3]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]
Entertainment Weekly B+[5]
Muzik 3/5 stars[6]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[7]
The New York Times favorable[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 2.5/5 stars[9]
USA Today 3/4 stars[10]

The album received generally moderate reviews from critics and fans at the time of its release. In a February issue of Spin magazine, Dr. Dre stated his feelings on the album and said "But to be perfectly honest, I don't like Snoop's new album. And it has nothing to do with me not working him, because I'm just like everybody else: I like it, or I don't. The first time I heard the single, I was grooving to it, but then I really started to get into the production and how it was sounding, you know? The first time you hear some shit, you just listen to it to get your groove on, but after that, I start breaking songs down. There's really nothing that was said on there that hasn't been said 50 times before."[11]

Entertainment Weekly praised the album stating that "Even without Dr. Dre behind the board, Snoop and his studio team concoct an intoxicating blend of old-school funk and gangsta cool", but also noted that "There's not much to love in the album's attitude toward sex, drugs, and first-degree murder." Muzik said, "...a more angular, spiky, old school-influenced vehicle for the Dogg Father to strut his matter-of-act rhymes over... you [are taken in] by the strength of the rhyming...". Melody Maker ranked it #49 on Melody Maker's list of 1996's 'Albums Of The Year'. The Los Angeles Times reported that "Snoop still is one of rap's most electrifying performers. But unlike "Doggystyle" and the "Murder Was the Case" soundtrack, few of the beats on this album rival his rapping prowess." They complimented some of the tracks, calling 'Doggfather' "... the epitome of cool smoothness. Over a slow-rolling Daz and DJ Pooh track" 'Freestyle Conversation' "...an Outkast-style exercise in which Snoop speaks a mile a minute, but still manages to maintain a funky rhythm", 'Gold Rush' a "funky pistolero track" and the Biz Markie remake 'Vapors' "the album's real gem". The review went on to conclude that "Tha Doggfather may not be Doggystyle, but Snoop shows that he has the prowess and the talent to survive.".[12]

The New York Times predicted that the album would chart in the top ten due to his presence in the music industry. They also stated that "The album has a few obligatory mentions of sexual exploits and gun-toting, usually delegated to guest rappers. But most of the raps are about his position as a hit-maker. He still has one of the most distinctive deliveries in rap: a casual, nasal, conversational tone that sounds leisurely even when he's barreling forward. His producers are a little less slick than Dr. Dre was, but they have supplied swampy bass riffs and catchy backup choruses, drawing heavily (like Dr. Dre) on George Clinton's P-Funk. Snoop Doggy Dogg insists, and Tha Doggfather does that, maintaining a party atmosphere. Yet while it insists that gangsta rap isn't dead, it plays down tough-guy tales in favor of a star's pronouncements."[13] AllMusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that the album runs on too long at over 70 minutes and "Though it works the same G-funk territory, the bass is less elastic and there is considerably less sonic detail". But also praised the album by stating "Though the music isn't original, and the lyrics break no new territory, the execution is strong -- Snoop's rapping and rhyming continue to improve, while the bass-heavy funk is often intoxicating." He ended the review stating "...the album is a fine follow-up to one of the most successful hip-hop albums in history."[4]

Commercial reception[edit]

Before the release of the album many were questioning if the album would become lost in the turmoil and tragedy of the label. Or even to be bypassed in the rush of Tupac's posthumous album. However retailers thought differently such as Violet Brown, urban music buyer for the Wherehouse music chain. "Customer anticipation has been huge. As soon as record executives found out they were opening against Snoop [this week], they shifted the release dates of some rival rap albums to avoid the Snoop sales rush."[14] The album debuted at number one with strong first week sales of 479,000 copies, with Tupac at number two with second week sales of 250,000 (proving that Death Row still had a strong hold on the pop charts). While falling short of Doggystyle's 803,000 in the first week sold (the record at the time for a rap album), the album still was the third-highest rap debut of that year behind Shakur's "All Eyez on Me" (566,000 first-week copies) and "Killuminati" (664,000 copies), and it ranks fourth overall on the year's list of top debuts, which is headed by Metallica's "Load" (680,000).[15] The album has sold over two million copies in the United States.[16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"       0:46
2. "Doggfather" (featuring Charlie Wilson) C. Broadus, D. Arnaud Dat Nigga Daz 3:57
3. "Ride 4 Me" (Interlude) C. Broadus, R. Aiken, T. Crum, K. Harrison, R. Neal Jr., R. Parker, C. Satchell   1:01
4. "Up Jump tha Boogie" (featuring Charlie Wilson and Teena Marie)   DJ Pooh 4:43
5. "Freestyle Conversation"   C. Broadus Soopafly 4:17
6. "When I Grow Up" (Interlude) C. Broadus   0:37
7. "Snoop Bounce" (featuring Charlie Wilson) C. Broadus, M. Jordan, R. Troutman DJ Pooh 4:03
8. "Gold Rush" (featuring Kurupt tha Kingpin and LBC Crew) C. Broadus, R. Brown, J. Stamps, D. K. Williams, R. Vanterpool, R. Wheeler Arkim & Flair 4:52
9. "(Tear 'Em Off) Me and My Doggz"   C. Broadus, D. K. Williams, L.T. Hutton L.T. Hutton 3:31
10. "You Thought" (featuring Soopafly and Too Short) C. Broadus, P. Brooks, T. Shaw Soopafly 4:44
11. "Vapors"   A. Hardy, M. Hall, M. Williams DJ Pooh 4:21
12. "Groupie" (featuring tha Dogg Pound, Nate Dogg, Warren G and Charlie Wilson) D. Arnaud, R. Brown, N. Hale Dat Nigga Daz 5:06
13. "2001" (featuring Bad Azz, Kurupt tha Kingpin and Threat) J. Stamps, R. Brown, C. Lloyd, M. Jordan DJ Pooh 3:32
14. "Sixx Minutes"   C. Broadus, R. Vanterpool, R. Wheeler, D. Davis, R. Walters Arkim & Flair 4:40
15. "(O.J.) Wake Up" (featuring Tray Dee) C. Broadus, T. Davis, L.T. Hutton, J. Simmons, D. McDaniels, L. Smith Snoop Doggy Dogg, L.T. Hutton 4:43
16. "Snoop's Upside Ya Head" (featuring Charlie Wilson) C. Broadus, L. Simmons, R. Taylor, R. Wilson, C. Wilson DJ Pooh 4:30
17. "Blueberry" (featuring tha Dogg Pound and LBC Crew) D. Arnaud, R. Brown, J. Stamps, D.K. Williams, J. Paquette, S. Anderson Sam Sneed 4:15
18. "Traffic Jam" (Interlude) R. Harris   0:34
19. "Doggyland"   C. Broadus, V. Young, M. Jordan, A. Mizell, B. Gordy, F. Perren, D. Richards DJ Pooh 4:39
20. "Downtown Assassins" (featuring Dat Nigga Daz and Tray Dee) D. Arnaud, T. Davis Dat Nigga Daz 4:22
21. "Outro"       0:42

Leftovers[edit]

  • "Work It Out" featuring Shaquille O'Neal & Mista Grimm[17]
  • "Dogg Collar" featuring Lady "V", KV, Big Pimpin', 6'9, Twin & Bad Azz,[17] later released on the bonus CD of Dr. Dre The Chronic Re-Lit
  • "Street Life" featuring 2Pac, Val Young & Prince Ital Joe[18]
  • "Just Watching" featuring 2Pac & Tha Dogg Pound
  • "Out The Moon" : LBC Crew featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg, Soopafly & 2Pac from Gridlock'd Soundtrack

Chart performance[edit]

Singles[edit]

Title Chart positions Video director
Eurochart Hot 100 UK Top 75 Australia Top 100
"Doggfather"
(featuring Charlie Wilson)
- 36 - Joseph Kahn
"Vapors"
(featuring Charlie Wilson & Teena Marie)
- 18 - Paul Hunter
"Snoop's Upside Ya Head"
(featuring Charlie Wilson)
47 12 44 Darius S. Henderson

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ On "Tha Doggfather" by Snoop Dogg. VH1. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ Snoop Dogg Rap City Interview (Part 2). YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  3. ^ Snoop Dogg Rap City Interview (Part 1). YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Snoop Dogg: Tha Doggfather at AllMusic. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  5. ^ Considine, J.D. (November 29, 1996). "Music Review: 'Tha Doggfather' (1996)". Entertainment Weekly (Time) (#355). ISSN 1049-0434. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  6. ^ "'Tha Doggfather' Review". Muzik (IPC Media): 118. January 1997. ISSN 1358-541X. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  7. ^ Coker, Cheo Hodari (December 8, 1996). "Making a list? Checking it twice? Here are some guidelines to keep befuddled spouses, parents of teenagers and others on the right track.". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 3638237. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  8. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 26, 1996). "Machismo In Rap Atop The Charts". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Nathan Brackett; Christian David Hoard (2004). The new Rolling Stone album guide. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Jones, Steve (March 23, 2000). "The return of N.W.A. Album ahead after attitude adjustments, Dogg addition". USA Today (Gannett). ISSN 0734-7456. 
  11. ^ "Trouble Funk". Spin: 50. February 1997. ISSN 0886-3032. 
  12. ^ "Snoop Still Has Some Bite". Los Angeles Times. November 10, 1996. 
  13. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 26, 1996). "Machismo In Rap Atop The Charts". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Ready, Set . . . All Hail to the Sony Chief". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 1996. 
  15. ^ Snow, Shauna (November 21, 1996). "Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press". Los Angeles Times. 
  16. ^ "Knight Moves". Vibe (New York: InterMedia Partners): 104. October 2001. ISSN 1070-4701. Retrieved October 1, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b DubCNN - Tha Doggfather cut-out track
  18. ^ "» Blog Archive » The Death Row Vaults". Djluicidal.com. 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
Preceded by
The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory by Makaveli
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 30 - December 6, 1996
Succeeded by
Razorblade Suitcase by Bush