Snoop Dogg has been pop culture's most cuddly gangsta rapper for so long that it's easy to forget that there's more to him than the guy who played Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch. Part of the problem has been that the smooth-drawling rapper has been sleepwalking though his last several albums as he drifted from the chilling intensity he brought to his early work with Dr. Dre.

The good news about Tha Blue Carpet Treatment is that Snoop has found his focus. Considering that it welcomes a guest list imposing even by brand-name hip-hop standards – R. Kelly, Ice Cube, Akon, Damian Marley, Raul Midon, Jamie Foxx (whose falsetto is well suited to the standout “Psst!”), George Clinton and the Game, among others – it's an impressively consistent effort.

Sure, pornographic fantasies like “Gangbangin' 101” and “A Bitch I Knew” get tiresome quick, and 21 tracks dedicated to Snoop's playa lifestyle is too many. But Snoop closes out with class, with “Imagine,” a nostalgic collaboration with Dre (and D'Angelo), that doesn't disappoint, and the thinking pimp's spiritual inquiry “Conversations,” which brings in Stevie Wonder for soul soothing.

Grade: B