7 Days of Funk

'7_Days_of_Funk',_Frontal_artwork,_Oct_22,_2013

Anyone familiar with Snoop Dogg’s recent foray into the reggae world under the moniker of Snoop Lion will be forgiven for being wary when approaching his latest guise: Snoopzilla, a name assumed in tribute to funk legend, Bootsy “Bootzilla” Collins. Taking on another alter-ego might sound a concerning decision to some of the hip-hop star’s fans but, given Snoop’s spectacular G-Funk roots, a collaborative album with exquisite musician and producer, Dâm Funk, makes more sense than you might first think. As Snoop put it when discussing the collaboration, “We’re the babies of the Mothership. I’ve had funk influences in my music my whole career.”

The sincere enthusiasm for paying homage to the artists of Parliament-Funkadelic is palpable and, unlike the jarring sound of Snoop’s attempts at reggae, the music showcased on 7 Days of Funk is actually sublime. With that said, while the name promises straight-up funk, this is really best considered as a hip-hop album. With smooth vibes, the occasional flourish of beautiful guitar grooves, bouncing beats and vocals that switch seamlessly between slick bars and velvety R&B crooning, it doesn’t seem too hyperbolic to say this album is very much a return to form for Snoop. Again, there isn’t really enough in the way of full-on seductive bass sounds to truly consider this as a proper funk album, but the G-funk vibes are very much in evidence and it’s a delight to listen to.

Opening with the propulsive beats of ‘Hit Da Pavement’, there is a discernibly slick sound to the music which has something of an early 2000s R&B style to it. The sultry backing track is complemented perfectly by the soulful vocals from Dâm Funk and Snoop’s standard nonchalant drawl. Let It Go is a sugary, little romantic number which, again, seems to be nodding to sparse 2000s R&B as much as to cosmic funk, right up until a guitar starts jamming luxuriously in the background. In spite of the swathes of honeyed synths and harmonised vocals, Ride falls a bit short of the rest of the album, with a somewhat sub-par verse from Kurupt.

Lead single ‘Faden Away’ is full of sleazy vibes and an eastern sound to the catchy synth lines, while ‘1question’ (featuring funk star Steve Arrington) is a fast-paced, exciting jive with the refrain of “I just got one question to ask / do you love me?”.  Indeed, surprisingly, the album as a whole is quite heavy on the love songs, like the particularly sweet ‘I’ll Be There 4U’ — though, with lyrics like “Let me get you to the funk, girl”, it becomes apparent that the love this LP is expressing is not in fact adulation for a prospective lover, but adoration for the genre of funk itself.

This is easily the best thing Snoop has released in years. As far as Funk goes, it falls pretty far from the Mothership, but then if Bootsy et al were making music today, you have to suspect that their output might not be too far from 7 Days of Funk.

Originally published in tn2 Magazine

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