You can look at the hard-hitting Tha Blue Carpet Treatment as a reaction to the crossover-minded R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, an album that featured Justin Timberlake and the mega-single "Drop It Like It's Hot." Since that polished -- some would say "watered-down" -- effort put him over the top (again), Snoop was seen shilling for Chrysler and Orbit gum when he used to rep Girls Gone Wild: Doggy Style videos and that green sticky-icky you can only get on the West Coast. The time to buy street cred would be now, right? Well, Snoop's been doing some amazing things under most folks' radar, and this album is the natural outcome. While the title is a little poke at the Crip/Blood, blue/red dichotomy, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment feels like the G-funk soundtrack to Snoop's 2005 West Coast peace summit and all the positive hood moves he's made since then, like squashing all West Coast beefs and throwing some love to Cali's often-ignored Latin hip-hop community with his intentionally leaked "My Peoples" freestyle. It's the latter relationship that's responsible for the excellent "Vato," and while special guest B Real might be way bigger than 2Mex or most of the other names mentioned in "My Peoples," the Cypress Hill sideman needs Snoop in 2006 much more than vice versa. Polished efforts like the pimping "That's That S***" with R. Kelly and the strip club anthem "I Wanna F*** You" with Akon fall between Doggystyle-d gangsta throwbacks like the slinky "Crazy" with Nate Dogg and "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)," which features E-40 and Tha Dogg Pound next to lesser-known vets Goldie Loc and MC Eiht. Juggling "Candy"'s guests would be hard enough for lesser Gs, but it's a testament to Snoop that he can, and more so that he manages a full album that touches upon just about every ghetto flavor. Banger after banger, produced by everyone from Timbaland to the Neptunes, leads to a couple numbers that almost throw the album off-track: "Psst!," where Jamie Foxx woefully pretends he's Prince, and the pee-wee football anthem "Beat Up on Yo Pads," which is just out of place. Then there's the dream number "Imagine," a duet between Dr. Dre and Snoop that ponders a hood life not blessed with hip-hop, a life where the two would have never gotten "out from under." As the album exits on the positive "Conversations" with Stevie Wonder, memories of Rhythm & Gangsta's grandest moments return, and it becomes obvious Tha Blue Carpet Treatment isn't so much a reaction to that album as it is a house party celebrating Snoop's whole career. With heaping helpings of G-funk and Left Coast attitude, there's no reason any West Coast-loving hip-hopper should miss this party.
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment Review
by David Jeffries