Picking up right where “Malice N Wonderland” left off, Snoop Dogg’s “More Malice” feels like a bonus disc that should have been packed in with the original and shipped to select retailers. Some reports even suggest that might be an option, although on my copy it’s hard to see how since “More Malice” comes with its OWN bonus disc, a special “Malice N Wonderland” movie on DVD. If you’re the consumer who buys all of your albums digitally, I’ve got good news – you’ll get a copy of the movie for the video player of your choice. Sadly there is neither the time nor space to review the new Snoop Dogg flick here, and to be honest I’m a little leary of doing so after how wretched “The Adventures of Tha Blue Carpet Treatment” turned out to be. I’ll take on the movie review, but for now let’s let it “do what it do when we do” like The-Dream and see how much “Gangsta Luv” Snoop has for us on this sequel.
For some consumers “More Malice” may be worth buying just for the opening song “I Wanna Rock (The Kings G-Mix).” At first the difference between this and the original may not seem obvious, since both have the same Scoop DeVille beat and hook that pays tribute to Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock. In short order though you hear a familiar voice saying “H-O” and Snoop asking Jigga “to take off on the track mayne,” and the ever helpful Shawn Carter is more than willing to oblige with a few bars:
“Hol’ up, I wanna rock right now
My name is Hov and I came to shake the town
Yeah, ya boy’s internationally known
But I’m from the hood, got a pocket full of stones (STOOOOONES)
I used to cop +Rob Base+, turn it into +E-Z Rock+
Just to stay +Doug E. Fresh+, all that shit to easy rock
Used to +Chef Raekwon+, give fiends a +Ghostface+
Y’all know my +Forte+, I just might catch a dope case
UGHHHHHHHH!!! I +Mastered+ the +P+
with connects in the Midwest, so I’m +Heavy+ in the +D+
UGHHHHHHHH!!! Ya boy still +Snoop+ around
Since a pup, I been +Kurupt+ and I fuck with +Tha Dogg Pound+
UGHH!! Roc Nation is the gang now
Some dope lyrics is the only thing I slang now
+I Get the Job Done+, I put the +Kane+ down
It’s no +Biggie+ – heh, I’m just a king now”
Remixes do play a big part in this ten track sequel. While the “G-Mix” of “Pronto” once again features the same beat (this time by B-Don and Super Ced), this one brings in Bun B to provide a guest verse. The Mayer Hawthorne mix of “Gangsta Luv” does manage to distinguish itself from the original though, as the new take he provides has a cucumber cool that takes an already radio friendly song to an extra melodicious level. The flipside of that coin is the Travis Barker mix of “I Wanna Rock,” which does add extra percussion to the regular album take… and not much else. I mean no disrespect to Travis Barker but it seems that in this case putting his name in the title was the most noticeable difference.
If “More Malice” was nothing but remixes, it really should have been packed in with the original and not issued fresh, but thankfully there are some brand new songs here as well. “Protocol” is an interesting Nottz production, with the Cali rapper bragging he’s about to “gangbang you on some T-Pain shit” over a stuttering drumbeat wrapped in synths and wailing guitars. It’s borderline to being experimental, but Snoop’s G swagger holds it down. “So Gangsta” featuring Butch Cassidy feels more like what you’d expect from the Westside, complete with a laid back Dae One beat and Cassidy crooning that is (as always) vaguely reminiscent of Nate Dogg. “House Shoes” is a major sleeper here though – a Neptunes banger that should JUMP off this album with the least bit of radio or video push. The violin backdrop is hypnotizing, the tambourine and hi-hat drum tack add to exotic feel, and the background voices loudly whispering YO punctuate his bars nicely. I realize “loud” and “whisper” should be contradictory – trust me that they’re not.
“I think they love it when I’m trippin
That pop shit make it hard to listen… (YO!)
But when it sounds like thissss
It make a nigga wanna pop his clip in, now listen
Turn that beat up, that bass got ’em feelin froggy
Quit your talk, I got homies bigger than John Coffee
and they’ll tear this whole place up
Got gangsters puttin on makeup, ya dig?”
Odds are more people will immediately gravitate towards “That Tree” featuring Kid Cudi though as Cudi is one of the current flavors of the moment (and deservedly so) in hip-hop. The other new track “You’re Gonna Love Me” is an interestingly mellow melody provided by Sakke where Snoop shares billing with Mac Lucci where Snoop puts his mack game down with lines like “Be my ride or die bitch/We fuck then we fight, we fight then we fuck/I’ma beat it up tonight like Kimbo Slice.” How… romantic? Well if you’re S-N double-O P, you can get away with shit like that, and for the most part he does on “More Malice.” While calling some of these songs “remixes” stretches the definition of the term and really ought to be considered “extended versions” or “alternate takes,” the new Snoop tracks make up for their shortcomings and make this a successful sequel to the original.