N.W.A. bloodied their gangsta rap with menace: crack addiction, drive-bys, broken homes. Dr. Dre's G-funk cool (with its all day picnics, smoked BBQ and house parties) softened this image considerably. Then Snoop dropped Doggystyle. Darkness still lurks around most corners. "I'm on my way to Chino, rollin' on the grey goose, shackled from head to toe," the rapper croaks in "Murder Was the Case." But what really stands out is his Parliament-inspired knack for detailing the tragic comedies that come with ghetto life. Though he was a gangbanger in his youth, Snoop quickly became hip-hop's court jester.
Justin Farrar, Google Play