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Whether riffing about his beloved Lakers (“We can come back; we’ve got a nice bench with depth”) or “my auntie”/Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner co-host Martha Stewart (“We’ve got this great buddy-buddy thing on- and off-screen”), Snoop Dogg is always an entertaining interview. In this particular instance, the aforementioned comments are colorful byproducts stemming from the main attraction: a recent chat at the rap icon’s Los Angeles compound about his 20th studio album, I Wanna Thank Me. It’s the follow-up to his No. 1 gospel album, 2018’s Bible of Love.
Released today (Aug. 16) via Doggystyle Records/Empire, I Wanna Thank Me borrows its title from Snoop Dogg’s viral acceptance speech after receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 22-track set boasts a wide-ranging tally of writer/producer collaborations and guest cameos that includes DJ Battlecat, Jazze Pha, Swizz Beatz, Swae Lee, Chris Brown, Mustard, Jermaine Dupri, Anitta, Ozuna, YG, Slick Rick, Trey Songz, Russ, Rick Rock and Wiz Khalifa. The project is also accompanied by a same-titled visual, part one of which is linked below. Part two will drop on Monday (Aug. 19).
I Wanna Thank Me steers its way from social consciousness to fun through tracks such as “Countdown,”“So Misinformed,” “One Blood, One Cuzz,” “I C Your Bullshit,” “Turn Me On” and the set’s new single release. “Do It While I’m in It” featuring Dupri, Ozuna & Slim Jxmmi. One of the most moving moments on the album is the track “Wintertime in June” featuring Snoop Dogg homie Nate Dogg.
“That particular song took about a year and a half to write because I would always cry, just hearing him sing,” says Snoop Dogg of the song. “I couldn’t catch the groove on this. So I brought in James Fauntleroy to write it. He came and sat next to me, put me in a pocket and coached me … and there you have it.”
What was your creative mindset going into the studio?
It's like I'm always filling a void. When I make music, I feel like it's needed because there's nothing like it that's already out. With this particular project, I was thinking to myself, "Where do I fit in the rap game?" I ain't that young, fly rapper no more. I'm like a great uncle to a lot of these rappers now. They’re sending me songs and trying to be a part of this too, so I’ve got to welcome that because they’re the future. They’re the ones who control the game right now. And for them to want to do records with me keeps me relevant, keeps me still in the realm when young kids hear my voice instead of “Who is that old-ass man rapping?! He needs to sit down somewhere with a cane, rest in peace.” Hell no to the no no no!
I also have to educate, elevate and innovate all at the same time. So that was the perspective going in as far as picking the music, making sure the rap selection was right, making sure that the people I collaborated with as far as writing understood what was going on and bringing in Battlecat to mix like 90% of the record because there was a sound, a frequency I was looking for that he knows how to get. And I had to make sure that all the producers understood that Battlecat ain't fucking your track up, he’s fucking your track up! You know what I'm saying?