snoopdoggThe Hip-Hop faithful are used to seeing coastal shifts throughout the illustrious history of the game. However, today we can observe that the West Coast seems to be bearing the brunt of this highly competitive genre. From inventing a separate niche within hip hop – gangsta rap, to not evolving or fine tuning this style for over 3 decades, the West Coast sound definitely needs some form of resuscitation. Maybe 2010 would mark the comeback of the West Coast under the leadership of its founding fathers.

To celebrate a quarter of a century, Priority Records has put together an album of some of the best West Coast hits such as Eazy E’s “Eazy does it”, N.W.A’s “Alwayz into something”, Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” and the Westside Connection’s “Gangstas make the world go round”. The album has been aptly titled: The West Coast Blueprint by Priority Records' newly appointed Creative Director, Long Beach’s very own, Snoop Dogg.
Having got my hands on a copy through Amazon, I am quite impressed with the remastering and reworking of these all time classics. The album begins with a spoken word intro by Snoop and ends with a new remix of Cube’s “Check Yo Self” featuring The Hustle Boyz. The focus of the album is more on the old than the new, with only 4 new tracks featuring alongside the remastered work. Definitely a couple of positives and negatives when it comes to this release, love the fact that Mack 10, one of West Coast’s forgotten soldiers, gets some air play on this album. However, on the other hand, the album negligibly features any Tupac Shakur. I definitely felt that this was an opportunity for Snoop to shine the light on some of  West Coast’s upcoming talent, which would be taking a page out of South and the East Coast. In time, will artists like Bishop Lamont, Big XO, Juice, Elijah,The Menace and Slim Da Mobster be able to carry the torch and stand toe to toe with the Young Moneys of the future? That is the a question which seems to have an all to obvious answer. All in all I would give this album a 3 out of 5 star rating.

Whether The West Coast’s Blueprint will play off its nostalgia factor or audiences will see this as another attempt to release a Greatest Hits compilation is yet to be seen as the album is only a month into release.

Official release date: 23rd Feb 2010.



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