After more than a decade of delays and a few million blunts, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, and Warren G have re-formed what was -- before the three MCs found individual fame in the early '90s -- their original, Long Beach-based trio, 213. Nate Dogg and Warren G haven't been relevant since 1994's "Regulate," which means Snoop is forced to shoulder the weight. Snoop steals every scene, but only the Kanye West-produced "Another Summer" offers something new: a funky Eddie Kendricks sample providing a smooth backdrop for Snoop's more-laid-back-than-a-Barcalounger patter. "Mary Jane" is a half-baked retread of the Rick James classic, introduced by Dave Chappelle's already played-out parody.
That's 213's biggest drawback: It's stuck in the past. The Hard Way's narrow range of topics includes the usual gangsta eye-rollers: weed, booze, ice, and felonies. This 70-minute patience tester would've benefited from premature evacuation. -- Geoff Harkness