Album Preview: Snoop Goes Back to Everybody Else's Old School on "Ego Trippin' "

February 4, 2008 11:42 AM ET

For anyone longing for the days when low-fi Soul Train space funk ruled the airwaves, Snoop Dogg's "Sensual Seduction" provided a welcome salve. While Snoop's ninth album Ego Trippin' isn't a solid hour of vocoder-aided sex jams, as Rock Daily learned in an exclusive listening session, it's something much more. Clearly run down by the traditional hip-hop tropes and traditions, Snoop has made Trippin' into a veritable buffet of twentieth century radio goodness, throwing back to scenes with which he's never been involved. In between Roger Troutman-esque funk bangers like "Snoop Dogg Is Out" and "Life of the Party" are forays into the Dirty South ("Ridin' in My Chevy"), celestial gospel ("Can't Say Goodbye") and at least one song that sounds like a B-side from Prince's 1999 ("Cool"). Perhaps most impressively, there's a phenomenal country-rap tune called "Johnny Cash" (a collaboration with Everlast) whose chorus ("Get my money/Buy my medicine") channels rail-riding bluesmen. Produced by Snoop in collaboration with Teddy Riley and DJ Quik (a collective they refer to as "QDT"), Ego Trippin' will reveal all sides of Snoop Dogg: the father, the party animal, the savvy industry veteran and the OG.

Related Stories:
Rock Reality Show Recap: Keyshia Cole Guests as Snoop Teaches Kids About Dirty Games of Hockey, Show Biz on "Father Hood"
Snoop Dogg Discusses the Majesty of "Sensual Seduction"
Snoop Dogg Resurrects Rick James' Style for Pimpin' New Video, Bitch

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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