Hive Five: Snooptastic Collaborations

Snoop Dogg and Damon Albarn in Glastonbury, England, June 2010. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty

Sportswriter Bill Simmons coined the term “Tysonic” to describe someone whose behavior is just so crazy that there is officially nothing you could hear that they did that you would not believe. (See also: Charlie Sheen.) When we saw the track listing for Snoop Dogg‘s forthcoming Doggumentary, we were inspired to coin a similar phrase: “Snooptastic,” to describe a musician whose choice in collaborators is so bizarre and awesome that over time, there’s no one they could record with who ends up surprising. Snoop and Bjork? Snoop and the Sword? Snoop and Jimmy Buffett? None of them are any weirder than the artists he’s already collaborated with. Here we present the five most Snooptastic Snoop Dogg collaborations for your consideration.

1. “Superman,” Snoop Dogg feat. Willie Nelson (from 2011’s Doggumentary)

Neither Snoop nor Willie need anyone else’s approval at this point in their careers. If they want to record a twangy, acoustic-guitar/harmonica jam about their shared love of weed that neither of their fanbases want to hear, then who’s going to stop them? Nobody. Nobody is going to stop them.

2. “Sumthin Like This Night,” Snoop Dogg feat. Damon Albarn (from 2011’s Doggumentary)

Damon Albarn is a Snooptastic recording artist himself — his Gorillaz records have featured guest spots from Del the Funky Homosapien, Dennis Hopper and Lou Reed, because, why wouldn’t they? Snoop dropped in on Gorillaz Plastic Beach and Albarn returned the favor with this weirdo stoner jam on Snoop’s new one.

3. “U Should Know Better,” Robyn feat. Snoop Dogg (from 2010’s Body Talk 2)

For a European dance music star, Robyn’s collaborations are par for the course: Diplo, Deadmau5, Max Martin — but she brought in the Big Boss Dogg for the second EP in her Body Talk series. Snoop, who at times can sound like he’s phoning verses in from the sidelines of his pee wee football league, sounds positively energized in her presence.

4. “The Shaggy Show,” Insane Clown Posse feat. Snoop Dogg (from 1999’s The Amazing Jeckyl Brothers)

Nothing about ICP is Snooptastic — usually, their collaborators are fellow Detroit rap-metal rejects — but in 1999, they had a major label budget and opted to invest in guest spots from Snoop Dogg and ODB for The Amazing Jeckyl Brothers. This song’s characteristically stupid, and proves the dark side to Snoop’s willingness to collaborate with anybody who can pay him – for better or for worse.

5. “Ups & Downs,” Snoop Dogg feat. the Bee Gees (from 2005’s R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta) The Masterpiece)

Snoop’s first foray into not-giving-a-damn how uncool the collaborators he picked for his own records comes to full fruition when he decided to team with the Bee Gees.  And such incident was also the first indication that being Snooptastic wasn’t just something you do for a paycheck.  At some level, your heart’s got to be in it as well.

 

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