Who knew Snoop Dogg was a member of the red-state massive? On Rhythm & Gangsta, the man who's appeared in both Starsky & Hutch and his own direct-to-DVD porn expertly hews to Dubya's creepy conservative vision: Guns? Love 'em. Women? Hate 'em. Money? The more (for me) the merrier. What makes a track like "Can U Control Yo Hoe"--a putrid reinforcement of some 1950s (if not 1850s) ideal of female subservience--so repellent is the tune's sunny, chime-touched G-funk: "You got to put that bitch in her place," Snoop and his cronies croon over the childlike bounce, "even if it's slapping her in her face." At least the folks who rail against gay marriage have the decency to invoke doomsday in language that can't be mistaken for a playground chant. There's lots of stuff worth hearing on The Masterpiece--"Signs," a breezy '80s-electro homage produced by the Neptunes with Justin Timberlake on the chorus; "No Thang on Me," a heartwarming Curtis Mayfield slow jam dedicated to Snoop's kids; "Drop It Like It's Hot," the fascinatingly bizarre, bravely stripped-down lead single. But appreciating it is too much like big-upping Bush for spelling potato correctly. Get right, Snoop; America's small minds need expanding.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.