Either the two biggest stoners in the rapper world or the two biggest rappers in the stoner world, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa have joined forces to make a movie and album centering around their one true love: marijuana. Mac & Devin Go to High School is the soundtrack for the yet-to-be-released film of the same name. The movie centers around Snoop’s character Mac, the big man on campus with ample street smarts, and Wiz’s character Devin who is the very academically-focused valedictorian. Needless to say, the two influence each other to break out of their shells and gain respective academic and street skills. In the album, the two rappers are still in character, often referring to each other as “Mac” and “Devin.”
The best and biggest track on this album is easily “Young, Wild and Free” which, after being released as the album’s single this October, hit the #10 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. Bruno Mars adds some smooth vocals to this track, making it more pop-friendly and his Smeezingtons outfit also produced the track. With an upbeat and catchy chorus, this track is easily becoming a youth anthem: “So what we get drunk / So what we smoke weed / We’re just having fun / We don’t care who sees / So what we go out / That’s how it’s supposed to be / Living young and wild and free.”
Album opener “Smokin On” features the newest Taylor Gang member, Juicy J, and the track is made by Snoop’s rhyme-spitting verses. “You Can Put it in a Zag, Imma Put it in a Blunt” continues on with the straightforward pot theme and is, appropriately, a very relaxed and low key track in which Mac and Devin discuss their preferred smoking method.
“Talent Show” starts off with a clip presumably from the movie, talking about an alternative fuel and showcasing Devin’s intelligence contrasted with Snoop’s simple “marijuana, motherfucker” statement before the track kicks off. This is one of the better tracks on the album, nicely utilizing smooth-jam background instrumentals.
Slow jam “Let’s Go Study” plays off students who use “studying” as an excuse to get closer to a classmate, while playing off the term “let’s go steady.” This track is similar to the laid back funk of “World Class” and the smooth horns of “OG” with a Curren$y guest spot. Another slow jam, “I Get Lifted” employs some female vocal complements and is very relaxed, benefiting from the Warren G production.
Mike Posner brings life to “French Inhale” that is nicely complemented by smooth guitar and calm percussion. “It Could Be Easy” impressively makes it nearly 50 seconds without mentioning smoking, and has beautifully insightful lyrics such as putting a “ho on a leash.”
Album closer “That Good” brings it all full circle and is reminiscent of older Khalifa mixtapes, brought back to life with Snoop Dogg’s verses. In this track, the obvious comparison is made: “Snoop and Wiz, the new Cheech and Chong.” Truly, the two are a modern-day Cheech and Chong, and perhaps even bigger stoners than Harold and Kumar.
Snoop, 40, and Wiz, 24, make an interesting pair to say the least, and they somehow manage to make an entire album about marijuana without seeming repetitious or stale. With piano, drum, and guitar lines, the album delightfully strays from the cookie-cutter mold of modern hip-hop; they do not rap over already-famous songs, nor do they use solely electronic beats as their background instrumentals. With guest artists and a fresh take with an old school feel, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa perfectly combine their strengths to make an album that accomplishes much more than just a soundtrack. This is certainly no fine piece of artwork, but it will undoubtedly be embraced by stoners and youths alike.