In a recent Beats 1 interview, Snoop Dogg said that his new record, Bible of Love, “is all about love from start to finish. That’s the way you change the world, by putting love in it.” Snoop teased the idea of a gospel album last year, but has left it off until now because of all the “gangsta” things going on in his life the last couple of years. Nonetheless, the legendary MC and weed connoisseur gave the people what he promised; an album about devotion and religion.
His last effort, “Neva Left,” was supposed to be a return to the sleek and smooth Snoop that many of us became acquainted with back in the 90s when he was collaborating with the legendary Dr. Dre. However, Snoop left us with more questions than answers on the 2017 release, especially with songs that didn’t represent his initial style from his early days.
With good intentions, Snoop creates a bloated and over-ambitious two hour and fourteen minute saga on Bible of Love. The official track length on this project is 32 songs. The baffling part about this record is Snoop rarely features on many of these tracks vocally. And when he does, like on the soulful, “Always Got Something to Say,” his lyrics are nothing groundbreaking.
Most of the time he’s just rapping about his realization of how much God and religion influences his daily life. Bible of Love is definitely more for himself rather than his fans, and it shows throughout. This album is a complete abandonment of what made Snoop so infectious in the first place.
There is not a memorable bone in this body of work. If Snoop would have cut 20 songs from this playlist, this experience could have been that much more enjoyable. More than half of the tracks have the same horn arrangements and vocal finales.
Snoop does manage to acquire multiple talented singers, especially Charlie Wilson and Uncle Chucc, but at the expense of his own appearances. Other than securing a multitude of different gospel singers, I wonder how much of a roll Snoop really played in creating this record. It’s one thing to speak about your morals and beliefs, it’s another to have other people talk about it for you.
Personally, I would have loved to hear more about Snoop’s perspective, because in all honesty, there isn’t a single piece of music on this project that hasn’t already been explored in the past. The notion that “God is great” can only be said so many times before it gets stale. Sadly, Bible of Love suffers from that concept.
After the first five or so tracks, it starts to become a matter of wash, rinse and repeat. When Snoop does rap, he makes little to no effort in painting any type of picture of where he’s at in life, other than speaking on his love for God.
There’s certainly an audience for this type of album, and the music itself is definitely passable. Even though each song is lost in the fire because of the lack of a tightly constructed theme, there are moments that are stunning, specifically on the flamboyant 19th track, “Changed.” Again though, it’s Isaac Carree and Jazze Pha that steal the show, not Snoop.
I’ll also give credit to Snoop (or whoever) for making a project that doesn’t try to force people to become full-on Christians. He merely is trying to tell a story about his own thoughts and experiences. There’s inklings of the old Snoop, especially on “Blessing Me Again, where he raps about his grandmother’s impact on his life growing up in California. This is a side I wanted to see more of on Bible of Love.
However, instead of creating a Gospel album that is more compact and concise, Snoop instead elects to bore the hell out of me with a 32-song epic that is so uniform, and so pompous, that it’s hard to even dissect much of anything from it. While the message is a powerful one, the music fails to touch me emotionally.