Snoop Dogg - Paid tha Cost to be Da Bo$$ 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Dan Macintosh   
Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$,
Priority Records, 2002Snoop Dogg,
| Performance 9 | Sound 8 |

Snoop Dogg appears to love living a life of contradictions: When he’s not making rap music, he’s either coaching a youth football team or directing porn movies. Whoever said you can’t have everything never gave this news to old Snoop Dogg.

Snoop Dogg has “Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$,” and also purchased the right to live any way he darn well pleases (or so it appears). The subject matter here is just as contradictory as the man himself, because it opens with the pro-gangsta sentiments of “Don Doggy,” but then later speaks of marital fidelity on “I Believe In You” and of anti-drug feelings with “I Miss That Bitch.”

If it’s too much trouble for some listeners to make sense of Dogg’s priorities (assuming there even are any), nearly everybody can at least appreciate the many different musical elements he finds room for in his raps. Snoop was raised listening to the classic soul music his mom played for him, and these influences continue to find their way into his songs. George Clinton is respected with “Stoplight,” which is nothing more than a rewrite of Parliament’s “Flashlight.” On “Ballin’,” vocal group the Dramatics sing along with Snoop. One also finds a long “who’s who” listing of contemporary rappers on this disc, including appearances by Redman, Nate Dogg, Jay-Z and Ludacris.

There are also a few standout tracks on this release. “Beautiful” chugs along like a long-lost Rick James funk track, and “Batman & Robin” has a little fun with the legend of these two comic book superheroes.

Snoop Dogg is about as hard as they come, but he always wraps his stone cold sentiments in silky smooth soul vocals. He’s one sweet-talking criminal, a lot like a salesman who knows how to talk folks into buying a whole lot of stuff they’ll never really need. He may just lull you into all but forgetting his ghetto roots here. A boss such as Snoop would certainly make for a hazard in the workplace, but on CD, at least, he’s earned his chance to be the man in absolute charge.

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