Snoop Dogg featuring The Dream, "Gangsta Luv"

65 Billboard Rating

At first listen, Snoop Dogg's "Gangsta Luv" appears to have all the necessary elements for a hit. Co-writer/co-producer the-Dream delivers a likable chorus, singing, "Everytime I come around, shawty love me down/Run off on me like click-clack/Throw it out like, 'Take that,' " atop keyboard licks that recall Kid Cudi's "Day N Nite." The track also continues the lady-loving theme of Snoop's 2003 hit "Beautiful," but six years later, it's the Doggfather's own lyrics that seem to fall short. While he hasn't been as lyrically inventive for some time now, the rapper sounds almost indolent on "Gangsta Luv," coasting with lines like, "I bowled up a winner, and put it up in the air/Got that lil dress on, you coming up outta there." Let's hope fans can overlook those lackluster rhymes and focus on the song's stronger, radio-friendly elements. -Mariel Concepcion