Mount Westmore - SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT Music Album Reviews

Mount Westmore - SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT Music Album Reviews
Jumping from the blockchain to streaming platforms, the four West Coast OGs offer an album’s worth of trunk-rattling traditionalism that celebrates their exalted elder status.

If you missed the debut LP from hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore last summer, you’re excused. In a stunt seemingly designed to persuade blockchain enthusiasts to use multiple Slurp Juices on a single album, the quartet of West Coast OGs (Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, and Too $hort) released Bad MFs on a shady Maltese NFT platform called Gala Music in July 2022. The release gambit mirrored Snoop’s announcement from a few months prior that Death Row —which he’d just purchased—would become “the first NFT label”; in a similar spirit, Mount Westmore made their live debut in April 2021 at a pay-per-view boxing match featuring YouTube irritant Jake Paul. 

Outside the coterie of Bored Ape collectors and stunt pugilists, anyone who’d heard of Mount Westmore had every right to be suspicious of a simple cash grab by four rappers who got bored during lockdown. Once the singles “Big Subwoofer” and “Too Big” started circulating in a more traditional manner, however, actual rap fans—or at least those of us over 40—could feel something close to anticipation for more of the same trunk-rattling West Coast traditionalism. The rappers may all be in their fifties, but between Snoop’s syrupy flow, $hort’s raspy pimp croak, and E-40 rapping like he’s about to throw up at any moment, three of hip-hop’s most inimitable timbres show little signs of wear (Cube’s bark has, understandably, mellowed with time). While the revised, expanded, and retitled SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT that slipped onto streaming platforms in December won’t likely appeal to anyone born after the first Friday movie hit theaters, and its occasional attempts to court contemporary relevance fall flat, the album more than proves that it’s possible to age gracefully in a young person’s game.

The quartet reportedly recorded several dozen tracks for the project during quarantine, and, true to their chosen name—a nod to the interminable G.O.A.T. debates online and off—the contributions are equal, with few features (save a P-Lo appearance and a very brief spoken-word Dr. Dre cameo) and the collective privileged over individual showmanship. Thirty years after the rappers’ respective primes, it’s still thrilling to hear them trade verses on opening one-two punch “California” and “Motto,” with era-specific production handled by Bay Area veteran and longtime E-40 collaborator Rick Rock. Though 40 isn’t the most famous of the four, he nearly steals the show from the get-go, providing the sour hook for the first song and a wicked double-time verse to open the second. 

The quartet is clearly comfortable with its exalted elder status, and it’s worth remembering that the four rappers came up during the hip-hop era that privileged Black entrepreneurship and multimedia stardom. On “Free Game,” over a DecadeZ track that hearkens back to the pre-Dre era of L.A. electro-rap, they outline their CVs and offer a how-to guide for surviving the game. “Fuck the police, pay attention to the OGs,” argues Cube, while Snoop—perhaps the most widely beloved ’90s rapper—reminds us that he’s “gettin’ money out your favorite television stations.” Though these four have crafted some of hip-hop’s most indelible songs about the politics of street life, this album prioritizes the party and bullshit. The small exception predictably involves Cube, who obliquely responds to critics of his dreadful COVID opinions and political allies on “Have a Nice Day” with a weak nod toward cancel culture. Cube’s strangest choice here comes via “On Camera,” which would seem to nod toward his iconic 1992 album track about Black citizen surveillance, but instead, no shit, is about the kind of home-surveillance system often used by suburbanites to profile and incarcerate young Black men: “Yеah, punk bitch, you better put it back/Let ’еm know we got cameras on this cul-de-sac.” 

Cube telling trespassers to literally get off his lawn is a reminder of just how far hip-hop has traveled since N.W.A.’s debut 36 years ago. Coupled with the fact that the current crop of twentysomething rappers seem to have less knowledge than ever about the genre’s progenitors, this album could easily scan as a bunch of crotchety elder statesmen demanding respect from the youngsters. Instead, SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT is merely a good album on its own merits, which is not shocking at all to anyone who’s followed these rappers in their resting-on-laurels decades. Especially when we’re constantly reminded that rappers reaching their forties, let alone fifties, represents something of a minor miracle, it’s worth hoping not just for another Mount Westmore album—there are reportedly dozens more tracks—but for other OGs to stake their own claims to historical status in the present moment.

Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Mount Westmore - SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT Music Album Reviews Mount Westmore - SNOOP CUBE 40 $HORT Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 18, 2023 Rating: 5


Post a Comment