As the year comes to a close; if there were one word used to describe the Hip Hop industry in 2011, the most appropriate would easily be collaboration. Just about every artist is teaming up with one of his peers and releasing music. Two MCs with a history in collaborating, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, decided to take this trend to the next level, and release a movie and accompanying original soundtrack. Mac and Devin Go To High School. So to prepare us for the movie, Snoop and Wiz released the soundtrack about, to quote the Doggfather, “marijuana motherfucker.”
While Snoop and Wiz share an affinity for the sweet leaf, their styles differ quite a bit, making the beat selection not as easy. However, the two stoners were given a terrific selection of beats that fit both artists perfectly. With big name producers such as Drumma Boy, Warren G, Nottz, Jake One and 1500 or Nothin, the production of Mac and Devin flows seamlessly. Standout tracks include the hypnotizing “That Good and French Inhale,” produced by Cardo and Jake One, “Smokin On,” by Drumma Boy and “Talent Show” by Jesse “Corporal” Wilson.
While stoner rap is still waiting for a lyrical heavy hitter (no pun intended), Snoop and Wiz offer a respectable effort with Mac and Devin. While the lyricism is nothing mind blowing, there are quotables scattered throughout the album such as Snoop Dogg on “Smokin On” “Hypo grow with the hydro flow Smoking on some shit I don’t know” and Wiz’s “Im with the boss dog, yall fuck niggas fleas” on “630.” Standout tracks include the Spitta assisted “OG,” “Talent Show,” and the bonus track “High School.”
Now I’m sure a lot of people are thinking, how can two artists make songs, one of which who “only raps about weed,” without getting repetitive halfway through? One of the ways Snoop and Wiz accomplish this is through incorporating the plot and idea of the film into the songs. Tracks like “Talent Show,” :Lets Go Study,” and “Young Wild and Free” seem to be inspired by the film, while “You Can Put It In a Zag, Imma Put It In a Blunt” plays off the relationship between Snoop and Wiz. The bonus track “Dev’s Song,” a slow song consisting primarily of Wiz singing, switches it up along with introspective “World Class.” The only song that seems a little out of place is “It Could Be Easy,” but is by no means a bad track. Standout tracks “World Class,” “Smokin On,” “OG,” “I Get Lifted” and “You Can Put It In a Zag, Imma Put It In a Blunt.”
All stannery aside, this album is easily in my top 3 of albums/mixtapes released this year. The chemistry between Snoop and Wiz is amazing, and while plenty of MCs have done joint albums and some have even done movies together, none have ever done both. Honestly I was probably anticipating the album more than the movie and they did not disappoint. Of course the critics will bash Wiz for beating a dead horse with the weed, but as he says in the opening of “World Class,” “I keep saying ill do this ill do that but ya know might as well keep doin the same shit…. my fault.” This is easily one of the most creative projects of the year and in my opinion the best collaborative album.
Review by ViLLan for Defsounds.com