Malice N Wonderland left fans divided about his progression toward more
Criticized for lacking creativity, Snoop Dogg's 2009 album, Malice N Wonderland vastly felt like a collection of “Top 40-friendly” collaborations. Despite two successful singles, Malice reached a career low for Snoop Dogg’s international sales and left fans divided about his progression toward more “Rhythm” and less “Gangsta.” Rightfully so, Snoop has incorporated More Malice and less “Alice” for the re-release.
Like the I Wanna Rock mixtape, “House Shoes” and “Protocol” are the antithesis of Malice N Wonderland. Marching through a barrage of Drumma Boy’s hypnotizing violins and Nottz’ wailing guitars, a far more aggressive Snoop Dogg takes listeners for a walk in the shoes of a boss. Though since denied, Snoop fires shots at an implicit father and son duo, spitting, “Who next on the list? / Gangstas don’t kiss, we get old and die rich / I smoke till I’m sleep / Crush these niggas with my fist / Your daddy was a coward, you’s a son of a bitch / So back to the glock with the infra-blue clip / We hit licks and gang bang / You on some T-Pain shit.”
In addition to tried-and-true tracks like “So Gangsta,” More Malice strives for a more experimental sound with a series of studio album firsts. Over a trippy mix of descending drum rolls, the unconventional trio of Snoop Dogg, Diplo, and Kid Cudi spark common interest with “That Tree.” Sounding better on paper, the track lacks lyrical depth as Cudi’s hook outshines its verses. On the contrary, the “Gangsta Luv (Mayer Hawthorne G-Mix)” is able to stand up to and arguably improve the original. With Snoop being the first A-List rapper to enlist his services, Hawthorne puts a synthesizer-less, ‘70s soulful spin on The-Dream’s already catchy hook.
For better or worse, only two of More Malice’s tracks appear in the accompanying Malice N Wonderland film, at least in their original form. While Snoop Dogg and Bun B have already collaborated, Snoop extends an olive branch to Soulja Boy for the “Pronto (G-Mix) ”. To his dismay, the track remains polarizing, with or without Bun. The film gives the nod to this impression by optimistically portraying a performance in front of an initially skeptical, though eventually won over audience.
Malice N Wonderland ends with Snoop Dogg conceitedly rallying a crowd by performing the “It Takes Two”-sampled single, “I Wanna Rock” . Marginally outperforming 2001’s “Lay Low,” the over-pushed track has created unease with its appeal toward Los Angeles’ recent Jerkin’ dance movement. Regardless, the “I Wanna Rock (The Kings G-Mix)” has historical significance as a rare Jay-Z collaboration. With Snoop channeling “Microphone Fiend,” Jay rhymes, “I used to cop Rob Base, turn it into E-Z Rock / Just to stay Doug E. Fresh, all that shit to easy rock / Used to Chef Raekwon, give fiends a Ghostface / Y'all know my Forté, I just might catch a dope case / Uhh! I Mastered the P / With connects in the Midwest, so I'm Heavy in the D / Uhh! Ya boy still Snoop around / Since a pup, I been Kurupt and I fuck with Tha Dogg Pound / Uhh! Roc Nation is the gang now / Some dope lyrics is the only thing I slang now / I Get the Job Done, I put the Kane down / It's no Biggie (heh), I'm just a king now.”
Synchronized with the 2010 Tim Burton film, More Malice is what it is: a collection of bonus tracks from Snoop Dogg’s career lull, packaged with a forgettable movie. Like Malice N Wonderland’s abrupt “to be continued” ending, fans will either want more Malice or want a refund.