Release Date: Nov 16, 2004
Record label: Geffen
Internet leakers caused the release of R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece to be pushed up a week, but that just means the world got to bask in the excitement of Snoop's great return for seven extra days. Upon its release, the ultrahot production team the Neptunes' contribution to the killer lead single "Drop It Like It's Hot" had been duly noted, but lost in all the chatter was how inspired and on-fire Snoop sounds. Any fan keeping up with his street-level mixtape series Welcome to the Chuuch could tell you something new and fresh was brewing, and 2002's Paid tha Cost to Be da Bo$$ was excellent, but Snoop's let his fans down before and two years off could mean trouble.
Who remembers the tabloid campaign to ban "this evil bastard" from Britain? Ten years later, the old Dogg has learned new tricks, and is more often found hamming it up in Hollywood films than putting himself in harm's way in South Central. None the less, a need to safeguard his position in the rap hierarchy leads him to act the gangsta fool here, abetted by the ubiquitous Neptunes, 50 Cent and His Inexplicable Hipness Justin Timberlake. Snoop does what a mutt's gotta do: postures a bit ("I've reached the status of a modern-day John the Baptist," he drawls on I Love to Give You Light), does his laconic rap thing - is he ever actually fully conscious? - and produces at least one Snoop-sized classic in a jazz-hop duet with Pharrell Williams, Drop it Like it's Hot.