Snoop Dogg is a brilliant lyricist and businessman who understands the advantages of thoughtful collaborations and opportunistic branding. He is the king of an empire, and his latest effort Bible of Love is a continuation of his ever-ambitious state of mind. The album — while full of heart and goodwill — should, however, come with a disclaimer: Snoop is rarely featured, and a majority of the music is handled by others. It is a gospel album in the truest sense of the word, but it’s one full of common platitudes; a showing that makes it more of a social gathering than a genuine spiritual conversion.

The musical backdrop melds traditional gospel with all the bells and whistles of modern day rap and R&B. There are even moments where trap-style beats are embraced, which matches the all-inclusive theme that’s being embraced. It’s engaging in that it proved that gospel music doesn’t always have to be so bland and predictable. Bible of Love is another notch in the belt of a future Hall of Famer, but outside of that context it’ll be forgotten as a project that only scratched the surface of what it could have been.

Thank You Lord (Intro)

Pastor Snoop reaches his pulpit, and asks his congregation if they’re ready to love. Not the superficial kind, but genuine love that is without prejudice. It’s a brief intro, and when you’re as popular as Snoop is there’s no need to overdo anything. He leaves that task to Chris Bolton who begins with words of thanks and praise: [LISTEN]

Love for God

Another interlude-like effort where Snoop is nowhere to be seen. He leaves the heavy lifting to Uncle Chucc, The Zion Messengers & K-Ci whose harmonies inject a heavenly presence into the landscape. They’re proclaiming their love for the almighty, and how its presence brings them a ray of hope during dark days. They’re overcome with the spirit, and are opening their hearts to receive the lord: [LISTEN]

Always Got Something to Say

With a clear purpose in mind, Snoop offers words of wisdom for all those lost in the game. And by game, not the rap game, but the game of life where tragedy awaits us all. The beat is smooth and mellow, and suits Uncle Snoop’s aging legs. With the weight lifted from his shoulders, he explains how his grandmother’s words of wisdom have stayed with him and provided insight during distressing times: [LISTEN]

Defeated

The sun has risen and a new day is upon him. Once again Snoop Dogg takes a backseat, letting his comrade in Christ John P. Kee testify to his transformation. Before he was a heathen, and now that he’s given himself to the lord he’s reborn. His perspective has shifted 180 degrees; what once was dark and full of despair is now majestic and holy. The sound of man triumphing over the devil: [LISTEN]

In the Name of Jesus

October London makes his way to the stage, and offers words of wisdom to the broken and disenfranchised. For him hope is something that begins with offering up thanks and praise, and only then can a person see god’s handiwork. He’s taking the slow and low approach, and taking his time with his sermon. He wants the message to sink in, so that it can be internalized and taken to heart: [LISTEN]

Going Home

Uncle Chucc taps a traditional gospel sound to announce his departure. The leaky organ and blues-infused guitar lick, creates a smokey vibe that reminds listeners that the gospel can be found anywhere. He’s tired and weary, and with the help of the Zion Messengers he’s making his way back home to old JC. In his arms, Uncle Chucc is invincible; able to conquer fear and hate with ease: [LISTEN]

 ‘Saved

With Faith Evans up to bat, the congregation rises to its feet. The hands are feverishly clapping and the organ is wailing, and Evans is belting out the many ways in which the lord has saved her. Her heart is swollen with the holy spirit, and she hopes that sharing her story will help bring others to the light as well. Love and compassion is the answer, and the lord is waiting with open arms: [LISTEN]

Sunshine Feel Good

Snoop returns and with the help of Kim Burrell, explains how he was once lost in darkness but has since been saved. The spark he saw in the corner of his eye was the lord, and he remembers it like it were yesterday. He’s not forthcoming with any details, but one can assume that it’s the lifestyle that comes with being a rap superstar. It’s a rated “G” effort, and safe for Sunday service: [LISTEN]

Sunrise

It was a long time coming for Snoop, but he finally found his way back to the almighty. It was miracle that he made it alive, and while he’s ready to start anew he’s not naive to the fact that his past can creep up at any time. Life is full of challenges, and each day is a chance to turn it around. Snoop of all people knows what that means, and he’s encouraging those around him to find their way: [LISTEN]

Pure Gold

The Clark Sisters take center stage, and preach about how a little bit of adversity can be a good thing. It’s baptism by fire, and their passionate testimony is emphasizing it as a rite of passage that everyone must endure. Some fall, but they assure the masses that if you rely on the almighty everything will be alright. Forgiveness is key and if you persevere the reward will be eternal: [LISTEN]

Pain

Even megastars like Snoop Dogg feel the pain, and he’s letting everyone know that he understands what they’re going through. B. Slade, takes it from there and chronicles his own trials and tribulations, trying to let all those who are also suffering in silence know that someone is there waiting with open arms. God is his light, and with its help he can conquer anything, even pain: [LISTEN]

New Wave

Mali Music takes an indirect approach to worship, penning ideas that are universal and can be applied to any situation where love for another person is involved. The emotions are sweeping over him, and transforming him from sinner to saint. He’s basking in the glory of the almighty and sharing his jubilation the only way he knows how, by proclaiming his devotion to any and everyone who’ll listen: [LISTEN]

 ‘On Time

A spastic beat simulates the dreaded rat race. It’s enough to drive a person mad, but B. Slade is assuring the people that they are not alone in their frustration. When you’re stuck in it, there’s no way out, but what Slade is advocating for is patience and faith. With those two characteristics in hand, the lord will provide. The almighty may not come when you call, but its always on time: [LISTEN]

You

No frills expression made up of pure joy and praise. Tribbett leads the charge, and is not shy about proclaiming his undying devotion. The beat is modern in its approach, encouraging the congregation to get up and dance their way to the lord. Each person has a testimonial, and Tribbett is looking to use that as a common bond. It starts with two people, and next thing you know you have a movement: [LISTEN]

One More Day

The lord has taken Charlie Wilson into his arms, and is cradling him like a newborn. Wilson is touching upon the idea that a meaningful relationship is a grind, and that it’s best to take things one day at a time. He’s addressing burnout, and that yes it can happen with religion as well. When he’s about to reach his breaking point, Wilson makes sure to check back in and recharge his battery: [LISTEN]

Bible of Love (Interlude)

Depending on the preacher you can have two different versions of the Bible: one that projects fire and brimstone and one that promotes love and forgiveness. In arguably one of the longest interludes in the history of gospel, Lonny Bereal pledges his allegiance to the latter. With compassion at the center of his sermons, he encourages those to never fear the lord; that it will always forgive: [LISTEN]

Come as You Are

Marvin Sapp snatches the pulpit to remind the people that the lord does not discriminate. It will accept you with open arms, and welcome you as a friend would. Sapp is ensuring those who are uncertain that the almighty is all about forgiveness, and so long as you come with an open heart it will forgive you too. Acceptance is the main idea, an all inclusive sermon with love to spare: [LISTEN]

Talk to God

The foundation of any good relationship is open and honest communication, and the same universal truth can be applied to a person’s relationship with god. Mali Music and Kim Burrell each take turns proclaiming their commitment to the word, and by the end they are rejuvenated by the holy spirit. They are electrified with joy, and looking to share their passion with all those who’ll listen: [LISTEN]

Changed

Another attempt at modernizing music of praise. It’s got all the ingredients, but instead of gaudy lyrics and unearned bombast it’s filled with honest reflection and conversion. Both Isaac Carree and Jazze Pha were living wrong, on the path to destruction. But then they heard the call, and knew that a change had to be made. Now that they’ve seen the light, everything is falling into place: [LISTEN]

Praise Him

A meaty dose of auto-tune helps Soopafly bring his praise of god into the modern era. He’s acknowledging that he doesn’t talk to the lord all that much, but when he does he’s giving his all; falling to his knees in worship. He’s explaining that the lord will forgive all, and no matter where you’re at in the relationship it’ll be there for you and see you through to the very end: [LISTEN]

Blessing Me Again

Snoop makes his way back to the stage and with the help of Rance Allen explains how the lord has blessed him with perspective. Snoop is as public a figure as you can get, and all the fast living almost buried him alive. He was on a collision course, but the lord intervened and saved him from himself. There’s not many details, but it’s easy to see the genuineness in his raps. Grateful and humbled: [LISTEN]

Blessed & Highly Favored (Remix)

An awkward remix that doesn’t necessarily do The Clark Sisters justice. The beat grinds against their angelic harmonies, and derails what is otherwise a spirited performance. It’s easy to forget how much you have, and The Clark Sisters are reminding themselves that they are blessed in numerous ways. The shift in perspective is essential for them, a way to stay optimistic and radiant: [LISTEN]

Unbelievable

The Stevie Wonder-like harmonica marks a moment of deep contemplation. Ev3 is astounded by the lord’s patience and love, and is honoring the commitment with her heart and soul. The pessimist in her wonders why god didn’t leave her behind, but instead of dwelling on the matter she’s acknowledging the forgiveness she’s earned. She’s genuinely humbled and honored by god’s devotion to her: [LISTEN]

No One

Light acoustics has K-Ci reminiscing over his past. Much like Snoop, K-Ci is a legend in his respective field, and he’s traveled the world several times over. Along the way he’s met people who have claimed to be his friend, but they didn’t always have his best interests in mind. Of all the relationships he’s been in, business or personal, the only one that’s ever mattered is the one with god: [LISTEN]

Chizzle

The world is wicked and temptation is everywhere. It’s in such abundance that it’s hard for people to distinguish right from wrong anymore. To bring that conflict to light, Snoop commissions Sly Jordan and Daz Dillinger who provide a thunder and lightening point of view on the matter. Both have experienced the sweet wine-like freedom of temptation, but both also saw the need to reform: [LISTEN]

My God

Snoop partners with James Wright to pay respects to not only god but grandma who advocated for faith from the very beginning. The seed she planted in them was important because during the most difficult times in their lives they thought of it and nurtured it into a source of inspiration and hope. It is an oral tradition that is as equally important to the church as a spirited sermon would be: [LISTEN]

When It’s All Over

Patti LaBelle rears back and swings for the fences. She’s taking a broad approach to proclaiming the word, explaining how when she passes she will be met at the gates of heaven by the lord. Its presence will bring her peace and solace in a time of transition, and with it on her side she’ll be crowned a queen. She doesn’t go too in-depth, but her angelic crooning captures all that needs to be said: [LISTEN]

Crown

No crown is earned without having to cross through the fire. It’s a rite of passage that every king and queen must endure in their life, and no one is immune. To walk through it with integrity is key, and in order to do that Uncle Snoop and company is explaining that the presence of the lord is imperative. They are promoting god as the ultimate guide, a force who will never let you down: [LISTEN]

Call Him

When times get tough, there’s only one person to call upon: Jesus. Fred Hammond is proclaiming that Christ is the only person he needs when it comes to adversity, and with him at the helm anything is possible. There is nothing more important than Jesus’ love, and with his help he can conquer all of life’s problems. It’s not an easy relationship to maintain, but one he’s always got time for: [LISTEN]

Change the World

Over a g-funk beat, Snoop unleashes his action plan for reform. It’s a simple plan, but one that has plenty of heart. He wants to eradicate disease and bring peace to the streets, and knows that in order to do that he’s going to need some divine intervention. Kindness of that magnitude doesn’t fly in a world where suffering is so profitable, but Snoop believes that god can solve all things: [LISTEN]

Voices of Praise

Pastor Snoop reminds the congregation that the race to heaven is a long one, and that in order to make it through to the end one needs to be disciplined. It starts with confession and making sure you are honest with yourself; that way you aren’t the cause of your own fall. He then goes on to explain that vanity and ego will distort the truth, and if you trust in the lord all will be taken care of: [LISTEN]

Words Are Few

Uncle Snoop stretches his legs and professes his struggles with faith. It’s been a long road, and he hasn’t exactly been a saint throughout it. Deep down inside, however, he’s always heard the call and when his words fail he knows that the lord is trying to tell him something. The commitment god has had towards him is humbling, and all he’s looking to do is return the favor: [LISTEN]