With today’s proliferation of mass media, pop culture icons have a tendency to seem overly ubiquitous. They stare at us from the covers of glossy magazines, talk to us from both the small and silver screen, interact with us through our laptops and hypnotize us with their inescapable hit singles. But too often these days, while our biggest stars may be omnipresent in our lives, we feel no genuine connection to them or their artistry.
Yet, hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg is different. While, he’s everywhere, all of the time—from The View to 106th & Park, Sportscenter to One Life To Live, and from commercials with Adidas to Pepsi Max—Snoop’s continuing appeal to his legions of fans stems from a true bond that they have built with him through his music. And like Bigg Snoop, the music’s been everywhere. Whether it’s a stadium stage or the screen on your mobile phone, Snoop has most likely rocked it.
Now, as anticipation steadily climbs for his quickly approaching 11th studio album, Doggumentary, Tha Doggfather is continuing to enhance his connection with his fans through his music. Not only is Snoop utilizing his unrivaled digital presence to offer his fans inside access to the creative process behind the Doggumentary, but the album itself acts a memoir of sorts—both chronicling his journey in the game thus far and plotting where his path will lead him in the future.
The latest collection reflects everything that the world has come to embrace about the man born Calvin Broadus. While delivering several of the bombastic street raps that initially propelled Snoop to stardom, Doggumentary also boasts the sort of unpredictable collaborations that have made him a pop culture phenomenon.
Unafraid to experiment with his established sound, the intoxicating lead single "Wet" sees Snoop working with the newly hot production duo The Cataracs. Together, they unite to startling effect, creating an entrancing and atmospheric club jam that has already pounced on various radio formats. Another first-time contributor to Snoop's illustrious catalogue is producer Lex Luger. The native Virginian (responsible for Rick Ross' thunderous anthems “MC Hammer” and "B.M.F.") provides Tha Bigg Boss Dogg with something even more triumphant—the fittingly titled "Platinum," a song that also reunites Snoop with famed crooner R. Kelly.
From here, Snoop continues to roll out the blue carpet, inviting alternative heroes Gorillaz to provide the psychedelic organ thrusts to Snoop’s unusually playful flow on "Sumthin Like This Night". Rising sensation Wiz Khalifa stops by for the playful, self-explanatory "This Weed Iz Mine," which sees our host gleefully announce that he's taking it back to "classic Snoop." Then the melancholy strings of the Kanye West produced "Eyez Closed" inspire a wizened D-O-Double G to both reflect and caution, "If you taste success, make sure it's from a tall glass." Still the energy immediately ramps up with the surefire hit "Boom" featuring T-Pain. Here, Snoop announces himself the "chief rocka" over producer Scott Storch’s ingeniously utilized sample of Yaz’s “Situation”.
While mainstream audiences will undoubtedly rapturously receive the aforementioned, Snoop spends ample time on Doggumentary rewarding his loyal core fanbase. "My Fucn House" is as authoritative as its title suggests, as Snoop, Jeezy and E-40 delve into the trap over Rick Rock's energetic pomp. "We Rest N Cali" is Snoop's unapologetic ode to California's more sinister dwellings, aided by a typically merciless Goldie Loc. "Gangbang Rookie" will be considered vintage Snoop as he asserts himself as, "a Boss out here on the West" over Jake One's rattling funk. While Jake does an impeccable job recreating West Coast G-Funk on both "Rookie" and the album intro "Toyz N Da Hood," Snoop recruits a few other notable comrades to assist. These include Battlecat ("The Way Life Used To Be," "Wonder What It Do"), Fredwreck ("Peer Pressure"), and Meech Wells ("Take U Home.") All mentioned succeed in conjuring definitive Snoop, whether he is shamelessly spitting game, confronting adversaries, or reflecting on his incredible career trajectory
To promote Doggumentary, Snoop has wisely conceptualized the album’s title. By aligning his social media prowess with his creative output, Snoop is "doggumenting" the album’s progress online. He has already launched the much discussed #PuffPuffPassTuesdays campaign, where he releases exclusive visual and audio content to his 2.5 million Twitter followers every week. Next, unprecedented access to Snoop's inner circle is granted via his frequent Ustream sessions. These afford millions of fans across the globe the opportunity to log-in and interact with Snoop live, as he streams new music. Snoop is also responsible for the prolific WestFestTV channel on YouTube, which regularly uploads candid footage of Snoop in action and a slew of viral music videos.
Snoop Dogg's ability to stay at the forefront of popular culture and connect with his fans has resulted in unwavering relevance. While he’s a TV and movie star, the founder and coach of a hugely successful youth football league and a savvy adapter of new technology, Snoop Dogg remains Tha Doggfather of hip-hop. Incredibly, his music is as "doggumented" now as it was in 1992 around the launch of his timeless debut Doggystyle. In fact, a stronghold over the various social networking platforms makes him more accessible than ever. With all eyes on the skinny kingpin from Long Beach, Doggumentary is the perfect title for the man who continues to occupy the throne as the world’s most famous rapper.

As Hip Hop attempts to regain its definition, fans have already defined it with Southern California trio, Pac Div. The group consists of brothers, Like and Mibbs, along with longtime friend BeYoung. The three came together in high school. While new talents strayed towards microwave music that trades quantity for quality, Pac Div crafted an original sound timeless sound influenced by the golden era of hip hop.

In 2006, Pac Div released a thematic mix tape. The tracks chronicled day-jobs, trying to appeal to the fairer sex without fat pockets, restoring a Black presence in Hip Hop, and carefully coifed wardrobes amidst the pursuit of glory. The results were jarring, the unsigned group landed on the pages of many magazines, Vapors, Urb, Source, XXL, Billboard, Rolling Stones, and 944 Magazine. As well as a large internet presence followed.

During the course of the group's development, Hip Hop superstars began to notice. With Myspace love alone, Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes reached out to affirm that Pac Div is making innovative and fun music. After that, a chance meeting with The Roots' Questlove in a Los Angeles record store led to a passed demo – which shockingly then led to the drummer personally calling the group to also extend support. In Addition to Snoop Dogg shouting out on one of his songs, the group received approval from Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, and Ludacris. Rather than crutch these endorsements on album covers and Myspace banners, the trio matter-of-factly reminded fans that this was no overnight success.

Offers from major labels followed, the group found a home with Universal Motown Records and readying for their debut release, Grown Kid Syndrome late 2009. The album delightfully forgets the tangents rap music has taken in the mainstream and simply affirms that good music is timeless. Pac Div is crafting their album are focused on making sure their live show is well…live. The group has toured domestically and internationally with heavy hitters and tastemakers alike, Nas, Q-tip, Busta Rhymes, ICE- T, and Ludacris.

California Hip Hop is restructuring in the second half of the '00. Styles, faces, and crews may change, these three young men remind us that it is, was, and forever will be the Pacific Division.

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