2011 was a very huge year for Hip-Hop, chock full of important releases littered through out the year. Watch the Throne and Hell:The Sequel were both heavily awaited collaboration albums, with Kanye and Jay-Z on the former, and Eminem with Royce da 5’9″ on the latter. Drake’s second album Take Care came out as well, immediately making a large impact on the charts (and award shows) with songs like “Headlines” and “Take Care ft. Rihanna”. J. Cole and Big Sean also dropped majorly successful debut albums, cementing their status at the top of the Hip-Hop game. Among all of these fantastic albums – and others along the way – one project stuck out to me more than any other, and still does. Mac and Devin Go To High School is a surprisingly well-made and complete piece of work, featuring an inspired Wiz Khalifa and a revitalized Snoop Dogg.
Ronzo’s Word: The most entertaining aspect of the project is how well Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg fit stylistically. Snoop’s groovy old-school flows fit perfectly over the hard-hitting radio tracks that are usually associated with Wiz. Songs like “Smokin On ft. Juicy J” and “Young Wild and Free ft. Bruno Mars”, both offer a new “Old School-New School Fusion” version of Snoop Dogg that really hasn’t been heard much in the past.
As for the second member of the collaboration, Wiz Khalifa’s laid-back atittude, rhythms, and melodics all offer a flavor that blends in just as perfectly on tracks more accustomed for Snoop Dogg’s classic style. Songs such as “Let’s Get Lifted” and “That Good” are both smoke jams that fit perfectly with Snoop.
One could even argue that both are similar, and that Wiz Khalifa was heavily influenced by Snoop Dogg. Old-School and New-School styles are very noticeable when compared, though, which is what makes the blended sound that much better. This fantastic balance adds a lot to the feeling of an album, making it more complete and perfected.
Also, you really can’t lose when Snoop Dogg is making choruses. That guy really has a gift.
The album has topics about partying, smoking weed, and various High School-themed activities. Songs like “Talent Show”, “Lets Go Study”, and “World Class” all add to the storyline, which is mainly about the adventures of two High School stoners. Devin (Wiz Khalifa) is a graduating senior, and a hope to be the valedictorian of his Los Angeles high school. Along the way, he is joined by Mac (Snoop Dogg), a struggling 15-year senior. They help each other achieve their goals, and become friends along the way.
“Young Wild and Free ft. Bruno Mars”, a catchy tune produced by the Smeezingtons, ended up becoming a major radio hit, but you guys probably remember that. Other songs like “OG ft. Currensy” and “It Could Be Easy” both sound like party hits as well, but did not quite make it as far up the charts.
Many people may look at this album as being “too poppy” or “straying away from the true essence of Hip-Hop music”. Or even say that neither rapper really did anything memorable musically from this album. They would be mistaken though, as this is truly a hidden gem.
Snoop Dogg’s revitalized sound, and Wiz Khalifa’s new-age style really make this one memorable.