Snoop Dogg

Raw N Uncut, Vol. 1: The Soundtrack

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A soundtrack to the shaky-camera DVD of Snoop's 31st birthday party, Raw n Uncut, Vol. 1: The Soundtrack includes very little from the Doggy Dogg himself. Only four of the cuts feature any rapping from the man -- the other tracks credited to Snoop are just spoken word clips from the video -- but two of them are especially good. "Big Dog" is mostly a Glen Robinson cut, but it's great to hear Snoop mack to some of the stickiest G-funk since Tha Doggfather. His contribution to "Big Dog" is minor, but "Snoop Freestyle Boss Up" is 100 percent Snoop venom and the reason hardcore fans should take notice of this set. The raw, uncluttered cut is a great "where I live/how I live" number that reminds listeners how on point Snoop can be and that his skills don't always need glorious production to shine. "Money Macking Murder" from unknowns Bas Azz, 40Glock, and Mac Minister is a worthy party number, but it's "Chain Gang" that steals the show. With Bizzy Bone and fresh, quirky production on the cut, "Chain Gang" deserves better surroundings than the just fair hip-hop and what's-the-point interludes that round out the disc. Probably the least-known above-ground release Snoop ever put his name to, Raw n Uncut, Vol. 1: The Soundtrack isn't the disaster expected, but there's only an EP's worth of prime shiznit.

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