Just before Tha Last Meal hit the streets, Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg's rather infamous former label, Death Row, dramatically leapt back into the hiphop world by releasing Dead Man Walking, an album recorded five years ago when Snoop was still a thug. Knight countered the legal battle to stop the release of the record by saying Snoop had become "an imposter and a fake of his former self."
Maybe he had a point. Tha Last Meal polishes Snoop's high-gloss playa image to a brilliant sheen. Risks are not part of the program. Dre, Timbaland and others provide the pop beats while Snoop and a dozen guests slur through their rhymes. You'd expect this from a big-money thug operation like No Limit, but Snoop isn't fooling anyone by pretending he's still street. There is nothing ghetto or gangsta about sampling Kid 'N Play.