When I got a press email announcing that Snoop Dogg had a gospel project, a double album titled Bible of Love, on the horizon, I immediately took a screenshot of the message and forwarded it to a few friends and posed the same question: “When did that nigga get saved?”
Granted, perhaps I was a bit wrong for assuming that Calvin Broadus hasn’t been doing a few Crip walks for Christ this entire time. After all, is it truly that hard to assume that someone who survived a working relationship with Suge Knight in the 1990s might have a strong belief in a higher power?
Even so, this is Snoop Dogg, of all people. I’m sure he could lead a great prayer during his youth football league’s games or while making some collard greens slow-cooked with some turkey necks, but that’s not exactly the way to pave a road to releasing full-fledged gospel tracks.
Then again, Snoop Dogg has come a long way from the album that introduced me to him as a kid: Doggystyle. And to his credit, he’s been trying his hand at different types of music for well over a decade now. There was that brief stint in which he went by Snoop Lion and gave us a reggae album. Likewise, there was the album Bush, which, I as I previously wrote for The Root, was more or less his stab at being hip-hop Charlie Wilson (featuring Charlie Wilson).
With that in mind, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that Snoop Dogg has now decided to get all sanctified on us. What does shock me a bit, though, is that I don’t actually hate his gospel works. I say this as someone who tends to hate gospel rap. No shade to the saints, but I don’t really want coke-rap-like flows from drug-free Christians who can’t even cuss on a song.
There are a few exceptions—Christian rappers who don’t sound corny (Lecrae comes to mind)—but for the most part, I only enjoy gospel music that sounds as if it’s leading me off of Massa’s plantation, or like that Mary Mary where they sound lovely and holy, but you can also sneak that shit into the club and the thots won’t notice until it’s time for another Hennessy-cranberry.
Snoop Dogg’s music sort of reminds me of the latter because he’s managed to work with real gospel artists and not embarrass himself before the Lord.
So while I think Kim Burrell is a homophobic jackass whom I wouldn’t lend spit to in the Third Circle of Hell, I have to admit that this shit kinda slaps. However, please note that after I first heard this song on Spotify, I heard the following: “Aye, aye. Step back, motherfucker. Watch out!” And then I heard the sound of guns go off. For those unfamiliar, that’s from the track “Mount Kushmore.”
God did create weed or whatever.
I could definitely play “Words Are Few” with my mama in the car and not be worried she’s going to pull over and dose me with holy water for wasting her time. He wouldn’t necessarily get a “TAKE YOUR TIME!” if he performed this at church, but he would get more than the basic clap you have to give everyone singing because it’s church. That’s quite a feat for the man behind “Sexual Eruption,” which is a different kind of religious experience for me, but I need to keep with the theme of this post.
I’m not surprised that the Clark Sisters agreed to work with Snoop, because while they are strong Christian women, they tend to keep it current. I’m fairly certain that Karen Clark Sheard in particular would record with Nicki Minaj if the coin and the Christ levels were high enough. That’s a compliment, believe it or not. I love her.
Now, there are some songs that are more or less Uncle Snoop playing the role of Kirk Franklin, but if you can get Faith Evans to do something for you, you very much should just shut up and let her handle it. Amen.
Admittedly, I listen to the chopped and screwed versions of most gospel tracks (especially Mary Mary, although Mean Mary Trump definitely has decreased my listens substantially), so I know a lot of y’all are taking me with a grain of holy salt. Nevertheless, I want to commend Snoop for being bold enough to go from Murder Was the Case to Jesus handling the legal fees and my salvation.
I’m surprised that Snoop didn’t reach out to Monica for a collaboration, though. If you follow Monica on Instagram or have just ever heard Monica speak, she, too, is a Christian who will pull out her gun and pistol-whip you and pray over your body. I cannot wait for her to become my favorite megachurch pastor. When that day comes, I hope she invites Snoop to perform every and now then. I’d tithe for that.
If these saved-Snoop tunes don’t do it for you, please note that he also has another project out entitled 220. That eight-song collection is typical hedonism. You’re welcome either way.