John Cale and Snoop Dogg are two people who you’d seldom expect to find in a sentence together. However, it has come to light that the Welsh maestro is unexpectedly in awe of the West Coast legend.
While the fact that a man in his 70s from the Valleys is obsessed with Snoop Dogg does seem like a strange fit, Cale is an artist you can’t shoehorn into a box. He is a musician who has taken a left-turn at every step across his career. The Velvet Underground’s impact on rock music planted a foundation during the 1960s, inadvertently inspiring others and eventually becoming one of the most influential rock bands of all time.
However, since the end of the band, Cale has continued to surprise and passionately push forward with his creative output. The Welshmen immediately became one of the most sought-after producers in music, working with bands such as The Stooges and taking flight on an illustrious solo career. Of course, his individual adventures are still going strong today, and, unlike many artists of his age, Cale is now experimenting more than ever before.
The 79-year-old released his last album in 2016, MFANS, a reworking of his 1982 album, Music For A New Society, as he embraced change once more to deliver an experimental effort that heavily drew from modern electronic music. The album is the story of Cale’s life; he is never comfortable driving in one lane for too long, glaring at the future producers in music and imparting his wisdom in the process.
The similarities between hip-hop from a production standpoint are striking, and when speaking to Pitchfork, Cale revealed that Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot is one of the most pivotal records in his life. “This thing has no genealogy,” he commented. “I have no idea where this came from. It just landed here. Unbelievable.
“So original. Did Pharrell do it? His stuff is very different. And Snoop has this linguistic style about him, ‘Sh-shi-shizzle?’ It’s very branded; I don’t what it is, but it’s his. I love rap, though I could do without the misogyny,” Cale wholesomely said.
Later, when speaking to Loud In Quiet, Cale further detailed his love for everybody’s favourite rapping canine. “I don’t know, I think a lot of the people I’m already fascinated with are already doing it [by themselves]. I mean Eminem is really outrageous, he’s so strong, and Snoop, I always get a giggle out of Snoop,” Cale stated.
The former Velvet Underground man then showed his super-fan credential, adding: “There’s this other guy who works with Snoop called Kokane, and he’s outrageous – he’s got this voice, it’s very much like Sly Stone; it can be very deep and soulful one minute and then very high and beautiful and romantic the next.”
The reason why John Cale is revered so highly is that he refuses to sit still creatively. Cale stays on his toes by listening to sounds of all genres by people from all walks of life. The impact of modern music on Cale is clear to anybody who has listened to his recent work. He refuses to settle, vehemently the boundaries of sonic experimentation with a prolific accuracy.