[Editor's Note: SCRATCH magazine's column, "Omar's Mixtape Massacre," will now appear daily Monday through Friday on XXLmag.com, presented by MixUnit.com. DJs, beware.]

DJ Drama & Snoop Dogg: The City is in Good Hands

I would hope that L.A. would be in good hands. What with Game crying about his non-place in hip-hop, Ice Cube and Mac 10’s connection now nothing more than sausage links, and Suge Knight getting laid out by a flamboyant barber. (SMH). But Snoop’s always been consistent with his gangsta lean, yet when he dropped that “Sensual” bullsh*t I was done with him. Leave it up to my man DJ Drama to help the self proclaimed "Super Crip" redeem himself.Taking it to the mixtape is a good sign that he hasn’t completely replaced his block hugging fan base with his Super Sweet 16 fan base. Spitting lines like “And now I’m fillin’ up with L’s / gotta keep a lawyer in case you niggas tell / Polly squeal. Nigga prolly will / Polly wanna cracker, nigga Polly wanna tell… I got homies that live on the Hill side and got killas that kill that live on the real side,” on “Look Around” is a good reminder that Snoop hasn’t completely been brain bleached by the mainstream.

But this joint ain’t all about Snoops resurgence to that gangsta sh*t. La The Darkman and Willie Da Kid got it in with they flows on the block banger “I Sit Back.” These brothers got some skills, it’s just a shame that they names sound a tad bit lame. Remember kids, a name can make or break ya.

On “ATL Theme Song” which was done by the DPGC (Huh?!) we’re treated to some good old early '90s West Coast nostalgia. Snoop, Kurupt and Daz spit over a laid back funky beat that had that Dr. Dre feel to it.

And on “Ridaman” Snoop took another page out of Slick Rick’s book and painted a funny/educational picture over a cartoonish track. It was something new for him and very well executed.

But it wasn’t all piff and Sour-D. Aside from a few questionable beat selections (“After All,” sounded like a fake Neptunes beat. More like a Pluto production) and at times spit rhymes that were so simple it truly does make Lil Zane (not Wayne) seem like one of the greatest MC’s to ever hold a mic, a big problem laid in the quality of the sound. A lot of it sounded similar to my old DJ Clue mixtapes. Literally, the tapes themselves. Musted up and dull. I don’t know if that’s what Drama and Snoop intended, but it was as annoying as the racist undercurrent in Hancock.

Though my complaints are minor, I can’t completely fall to my knees and praise Snoop like a groupie who’d have no problem writing a book about the rappers she’s brained and dedicating it to her seed. Yes, the flow was as good as it’s ever been in the latter part of his career and he can definitely still deliver the rhymes, but let’s keep it 100—Snoop has admitted to letting other people write his rhymes for him. So while I’m loving this mixtape, a nagging question kept poppin' into my head whenever he said something clever: I wonder if he wrote that? If he didn’t, Kam (L.A. Kam, not “Killa” Cam), you get the props. So until Bishop Lamont, Omar Cruz or Glasses Malone take the L.A reigns, hip-hop will happily rely on Snoop and Dre to keep the city of angels afloat.

Rating: HOOD