Could you improve these 90s hits by adding a verse from Snoop Dogg?

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Because 'featuring Snoop Dogg' are three of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Today, we will examine five popular songs from the 1990s, and determine whether or not they could be improved by adding in a guest verse from the American rapper Snoop Dogg.

It is often said by many experts that the three most beautiful words in the English language are “featuring Snoop Dogg”, and Snoop is our MC of choice for this article because his contributions to the art of the Guest Verse are unparalleled in music.

Simply, his verses have shaped the direction of hip hop in a way that no other artist can lay claim to. His guest verse on Dre’s ‘Nuthin' But A G Thang’ established him as a star in 1993, and he’s since guested on tracks by everyone from 2Pac to Ice Cube to Limp Bizkit to Jessica Mauboy.

It’s this combination of both Snoop’s deft skill and the outright volume of his guest appearances that makes him the perfect candidate for this experiment.

The songs we will target were 90s hits in their own right, however, it is important to be constantly striving for perfection in all circumstances. It is equally important to do so by constantly asking whether adding a guest verse from Snoop Dogg would make your circumstances better, or much worse.

Third Eye Blind – ‘Semi Charmed Life’

What Does It Sound Like Currently?

Like this:

 

The ‘doo-doo-doo’s make it a song with one of the most identifiable vocal rock hooks of the 90s, and the Up Up Up Down melodic phrasing in the first line of the (memorable) chorus is nothing short of delicious.

Not many people know this, but it’s mainly a song about drug use: singer Stephan Jenkins discusses using crystal methamphetamine as a coping mechanism, although he yearns for Something Else to get him though this semi-charmed kind of life, baby, baby.

What Would It Sound Like With A Guest Verse From Snoop Dogg?

Arguably, the first good rap-rock song of the 1990s.

In our revised edition of this song, Snoop takes on Verse Two, which is the most replaceable verse, and raps up until the pre-chorus part that goes: ‘How do i get back there to the place where i fell asleep inside you’ (ew).

Snoop has rapped a lot about drugs and alcohol over the course of his career, making him an ideal fit as a guest rapper on this song. His drug of choice is (mostly) weed, as you can hear in songs like ‘Smokin Smokin Weed’ and the ‘Smoke Weed Everyday’ song.

His contribution to ‘Semi-Charmed Life (ft. Snoop Dogg)’ is to lend a subtle variation to the song’s overall theme of doing meth: the “ah-ha!” moment for the listener would come when they realise that in addition to doing meth, it is also possible to do weed.

Have we improved this song?

Yes.

Frenzal Rhomb – ‘Never Had So Much Fun’

What Does It Sound Like Currently?

 

This is one of the best and most iconic Australian punk songs of all time. You might think it’s about never having so much fun, but the clever thing about this song is that it’s actually about not having very much fun at all.

The main lyric is ‘I can't remember having so much fun’, which is quite misleading, because the rest of the lyrics are about things like genocide, hatred, and how bad the air is in Los Angeles.

What Would It Sound Like With A Guest Verse From Snoop Dogg?

For this to work, we are going to require two things.

Firstly: a place for Snoop Dogg to rap in the song, which is only two minutes in length.

Secondly, a working knowledge of how good Snoop is at lyrical subterfuge.

The first thing is easy enough: he’s probably going to have to rap over the bit where the guitar solos are.

The second thing is where we run into some trouble, because Snoop succeeds in his straightforwardness.

Consider: this, from the first verse of 1993’s ‘Ladi Dadi’:

La Di Da Di, we likes to party
We don't cause trouble, we don't bother nobody
We're, just some n***as who're on the mic
And when we rock up on the mic we rock the mic right

In this passage, Snoop is using phrases like “we likes to party” in order to assert his enjoyment for the party lifestyle, and “we rock the mic” to demonstrate his capacity for rocking a microphone.

This is almost the opposite of what is happening in ‘Never Had So Much Fun’, because Jay from Frenzal is using the lyric ‘I can't remember having so much fun’ to suggest that he is, in fact, not having fun. It’s a complex situation without a clear resolution.

Have we improved this song?

We have not.

Queen Latifah – 'U.N.I.T.Y.'

What Does It Sound Like Currently?

Like this: 

 

To start with, it’s a rap song, unlike any of the others on this list. It might be Queen Latifah’s most recognisable song, built around a sample from the Crusaders song called ‘Messages From The Inner City.’ It’s a about the way women are treated disrespectfully in society, covering topics like sexual harassment, domestic violence, and hip hop culture.

What Would It Sound Like With A Guest Verse From Snoop Dogg?

Frankly, nah, let’s not do this. Snoop’s lyrics from the 90s are rife with misogyny. He’s spoken about it in the past couple of years, offering a non-apology to Sky News that can be condensed to: “my opinion has changed, but #noregrets”. It’s important to recognise this one as an important song for its own merit. We’ll leave it here.

Have we improved this song?

No. A thousand times, no.

Los del Rio – ‘Macarena’

What Does It Sound Like Currently?

Like this:

 

As long as you live, nobody will sufficiently be able to explain to you why this song is as popular as it is. However, it has been accepted and imbued into our cultural fabric as important.

The song is about a woman named Macarena, and the first line of the chorus loosely translates to ‘give your body happiness, Macarena.’

What Would It Sound Like With A Guest Verse From Snoop Dogg?

I want you to strip away all the ridiculous and unnecessary English-language vocal dubs that exist in the time period between ‘hEEEEEy MaCrrenan *clap*’, and the next chorus. The verses are the worst part of this song.

Instead, enter Snoop. More accurately: enter Snoop over that infectious beat, the song’s main redeeming quality.

We have taken the worst part of this song, and replaced it with the greatest guest rapper in the history of hip hop. I pretty much do not care what he raps about (so long as he veers away from territory charted above). This is already a much better song.

Have we improved this song?

Definitively yes.

Tool – ‘Sober’

What Does It Sound Like Currently?

Like this: 

 

It’s one of the hardest rock tracks of the 1990s, and the song that introduced Tool to the wider world. Musically, the main things to pay attention to are probably the stabby bassline, and the overall murdersome spatiality – whether that’s in the way that they stack instruments on top of each other, or take them all away.

It’s also dark – so much so that I suspect that this song plays during most robberies.

Lyrically it’s a narrative track about a dude who can only be creative when he’s high. There are heavy lines like ‘I am just a worthless liar, I am just an imbecile’, that point toward strained interpersonal relationships, too.

What Would It Sound Like With A Guest Verse From Snoop Dogg?

Snoop’s history of narrative rapping is extensive and he is skilled at it, as you can hear in a song like ‘Murder Was The Case’ from his 1993 debut, Doggystyle.

He doesn’t often play a character in his raps, or offer the perspective of another person. The reason for this is pretty simple: he’s Snoop Dogg and he doesn’t need to.

It’s also fair to wager he knows a thing or two about creativity and intoxication, which makes him an interesting counterpoint for this track.

While we’re here, I’ll throw in that he’s an expert at spatiality: there isn’t a better example than ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’, which succeeds on the production strength of clicks, clacks and mouth noises alone.

Imagine a scenario where Snoop takes the Bridge of ‘Sober’ (which has all the same lyrics as verse two anyway) and takes it all the way in the opposite direction.

Let’s start with Chorus of ‘Sober’, and then superimpose a verse from ‘Drop It…’ as an example:

[Chorus - Tool]
Why can't we not be sober?
I just want to start this over
Why can't we drink forever?
I just want to start things over

[Bridge – Tool ft Snoop Dogg]

I can't fake it, just break it, and when I take it
See, I specialize in makin' all the girls get naked
So bring your friends, all of y'all come inside
We got a world premiere right here, now get live!
So don't change the dizzle, turn it up a little
I got a livin' room full of fine dime brizzles
Waitin' on the Pizzle, the Dizzle and the Chizzle
G's to the bizzack—now, ladies, here we gizzo!

[Chorus - Tool]
Why can't we not be sober?
I just want to start this over
Why can't we drink forever?
I just want to start things over

Have we improved this song?

I am deeply unsettled.

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