Old Dogg, No New Tricks

Ego Trippin' (Geffen Records)
Snoop Dogg

By Kory Wilcoxson

At an early point in his career, Snoop Dogg was actually known for his rapping skills and silky delivery. But as he morphed from rapper to cultural icon, the main source of his fame became...well, his fame. He dipped his finger into so many pots (movies, youth football leagues, his own reality show) that music became an afterthought, just one more way to take the Snoop Dogg message worldwide.

Of course, such diversification can cause a drop in quality and instead of doing one thing well, Snoop simply does a lot of things. Ego Trippin', his ninth album, is a perfect example. There's not much new here to add to Snoop's repertoire and the things that are new (like "My Medicine," the country-fried tribute to Johnny Cash) would have been better left in the editing room.

When you throw 21 tracks on an album, something is bound to stick and Snoop does score with the lean "Deez Hollywood Nightz" and "Sta in My Jeans," with the hilarious chorus "My pockets look like Rerun, your pockets look like Raj." Snoop is still one of the coolest dudes in the business and he deserves a shout-out for his staying power alone. Just don't expect any new tricks.

You know it's at www.snoopdogg.com.