By 2010, the hiring of a celebrity CEO had become commonplace in the world of hip-hop, so Snoop Dogg’s new gig as Creative Chairman of Priority Records didn’t seem much more than a press release-generating idea from the marketing department. By kicking his new job off with Snoop Dogg Presents: The West Coast Blueprint, the Doggfather proves he’s taking this job much more seriously than expected. This compilation of old-school West Coast hip-hop isn’t really a history lesson since the Death Row label is ignored and many other big hits are missing, but Snoop’s choices are all welcome and sometimes underappreciated, as artists like Yo-Yo, the Luniz, Ant Banks, and Rass Kass all get their chances to get back on the radar. Big tunes like “Eazy-Duz-It,” “Check Yo Self,” “Playaz Club,” “La Raza,” and “I Got 5 on It” sound fresh when surrounded by these forgotten gems, and curator Snoop makes the set even more enjoyable by dropping in with a few interludes that are sentimental, at least by pimp standards. The rapper’s new, closing take on “Check Yo Self” is light and fun, leaving the set’s odd attitude toward cuss words the only thing left to complain about, since some of this street knowledge appears in its edited form.
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