I don’t often review singles on this blog but I heard something recently off an album that I won’t be reviewing in it’s entirety so I thought I would give it a shot. I was flipping channels over the weekend (and enjoying the Houston Rockets winning 22 in a row!) and I came across Snoop Dogg discussing his new release “Ego Tripping.” During the snippet I heard the interview-bot mention that there was a country song on the new release.” “Yeah I love Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.” Snoop’s well known enjoyment of the chronic helped me to make sense of the Willie appreciation…but Cash?! Really?
Now admittedly I don’t know much about rap music (I relay on C-Dog as my source for that) but I’ve always believed that rap muisc, just like folk, punk and country music is, at it’s core, working class music telling the stories from the common person’s view. Whether for fun or for commiseration it’s all for the folks.
Sure when the labels, managers and marketing department gets done with it it sure doesn’t seem like it but there is a common thread to be found running through Minor Threat, Public Enemy as well as Hank Williams.
That said the story that Snoops song “My Medicine” is defiantly more in the fun column and is about, shocking I know, getting stoned. The laconic shuffle (with guitar provided by Whitey Ford AKA Everlast, no stranger to the rap/country world) brings Snoop to start out with respect with a shout out to “My Main Man Johny Cash. A real American gangster” and then moves into spoken delivery stretched over Whiteys bottle neck guitar. “My Medicine”‘s feeling and take on the healing effect of the occasional mood elevator reminds me of Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney’s excellent front porch jam “Worry B Gone.” As Snoop says “The more dedicated, the more medicated.”
With all the carpetbaggers storming Nashville for easy money and demographic diversification I can’t imagine Snoop thought that his rep really needed him to do a country tinged song on his latest release. I respect him for doing it with the spirit many of those others will never reach.
My Medicine (mp3)