Calvin Broadus has been rapping professionally for about as long as Julio Franco swung the bat, but he's now known for doing things like guest-starring on Monk and coaching his kid’s Pop Warner football team. Which means there's no reason why he should remain one of hip-hop’s most dependable singles artists — but here he is with “Gangsta Luv,” the first track off December’s Malice in Wonderland, his tenth studio album. Last month we got all hopped up over an unearthed Snoop track from the early nineties, where he gets his grisly gun talk on, but we probably enjoy late-era, laid-back, lover-man Snoop even better: This time out, with The-Dream putting in the usual yeoman’s chorus work, Snoop goes in over a restrained bounce of a beat, laying down his effortless combo of machismo and solid yuks (“Baby like the way I wake her up / cause I’m a gangsta, I grab her by the butt”). Fellow elder statesman LL Cool J could learn a few things.
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