Snoop Dogg

Last December’s Malice N Wonderland may have been the Long Beach rapper’s lowest-charting release yet, but that’s not to say his career is nearing a smoke-shrouded end. Snoop’s new material doesn’t often stray far from his trademark cadence, and recurring cliché gangsterisms match uninspired rhymes that make the record seem more like an attempt at mainstream-crossover than the real thing. But there are still flares of brightness, from a radio hit pairing with The-Dream to more Neptunes-produced pop brilliance to grown-man love songs inspired by his high-school-sweetheart-turned-wife. And despite any recent mediocrity, the Doggfather is a pioneer of West Coast gangsta rap with the impressive back catalog to prove it. NICK FELDMAN

Fri., March 5, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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