This; Snoop’s second album; is bound to be compared to his Doggystyle debut. The cover photo; the rapper wearing and surrounded by black; also brings to mind 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me. It isn’t up for either challenge; Tha (Dreless) Doggfather is actually the weakest Death Row release so far; but it does include a few bangers and Bouncers.
my rating : 3 of 5
These two albums, each considered a double album as far as the time limits of CDs and cassettes go, were bound to be compared. What’s amazing is how comparable they are. They represent the rival rappers at their best, though it’s not so much 2Pac and The Notorious BIG but their musical associates that make the projects as good as they are.
The beats are the best parts. They’re mostly provided by Death Row and Bad Boy’s in-house producers; Johnny J and Stevie J get the most credits; though Diddy steps out to invite the likes of DJ Premier, who produced Unbelievable from BIG’s debut, and Rza. I prefer the grimy streets of New York over west-coast California’s G-funk though.
Eyez has better hooks because Death Row has better singers. Nate Dogg, Danny Boy and Michel’le are the highlights of their features along with uncredited crooners like Nanci Fletcher and Stacey Smallie. It’s special guest George Clinton who shows his ass though. Can’t C Me is the best song. Life After Death doesn’t have an obvious standout.
Still, when it comes to Biggie and Pac as rappers, while neither will wow you with lyrical prowess, I prefer the former. Pac, whose flashy delivery would make for a more entertaining concert performance, rarely has anything particularly interesting to say. Biggie can be surprisingly poignant, funny even, especially when he’s Got A Story To Tell.
my vote : Life After Death
“Biggie, give me one more chance,” to cash in on your death. This movie; based on the life of Chris Wallace, better known as The Notorious BIG; isn’t really about biographical art. Neither does it offer anything new about his life. It’s just a straight summary that goes from his hardships as a Brooklyn street kid to the Biggest name the “eastcoast” rap world has to offer without offering any unique insight or perspective of its own. That means, even if you never read Vibe or watched BET enough to know what’s going to happen, what does is never enough to warrant a Hollywood movie.
Aside from his “so-called beef with you-know-who” and the spectacular murders that follow, BIG’s life of rags-to-riches, worldwide fame and bitches; Naturi Naughton plays the role of Lil Kim; just isn’t that interesting when the words don’t rhyme over beats. The storytellers here; screenwriters Reggie Rock and Cheo Hodari, along with director George Tillman; simply lack the creative know-how to make up for that fact. What that results in is a movie any cinema-driven fan could’ve made with a big-enough budget and approval from $ean “Puffy” Combs as executive producer.
my rating : 3 of 5
The first song, Same Song, is a good song. They, rather Underground frontman Shock G, should’ve saved it for the next album. It seems a little out of place here as one of only three new cuts; the other two are merely decent; on an oddball EP that should’ve never been Released.
Parts of it are from the soundtrack to the movie Nothing But Trouble. Others serve as a Remix companion to Sex Packets. There’s a tamer version of The Way We Swing and a dub version of Rhymin On The Funk in which Shock G and alter ego Humpty Hump Argue about said music.
The best song though, not just of the Remixes but the whole set, is a new and improved version of Packet Man. The original basic beat is replaced with the kind of horny piano ensemble Vanessa; uh-uh, not the X-rated video queen; might sing to and it sounds quite gratifying.
my rating : 3 of 5