Tha Dogg Pound – Dogg Food
Murder Was The Case and Above the Rim soundtracks were 2 of the best and the 3rd and 4th release on Death Row Records. The 5th release from Death Row and Tha Dogg Pound’s debut Dogg Food, was released on 10/31/95. Daz and Kurupt are one of the mightiest duos hip hop has ever seen and that was evident on their songs on those soundtracks. Take a listen to “What Would You Do” if you don’t believe me. The production from Daz and Dr. Dre, helped turn this into an instant classic. Surprisingly, the album wasn’t filled with samples, instead the use of live instruments were heard which gives this album a fresh and original sound. Not an easy feat for a hip hop album. Then there is Kurupt who is one of the most underrated emcee’s ever. Let’s revisit this album and see if it sounds as revolutionary as it did 21 years ago.
Daz & Kurupt “Tha Dogg Pound”
”Dogg Pound Gangstaz” serves as in introduction to the Dogg Pound . The contagious “Respect” follows and is a foreshadow of the entire album. The maestro Dr Dre adds his vocal to the start, before a menacing keyboard, Daz and Kurupt’s impeccable chemistry and an evil Jamaican take over. “Smooth” is yet another standout on this album; a velvety smooth West Coast banger that features one of Kurupt’s most complex bars. He tapped back into his East Coast roots to completely shreds the mic device and shows he is an extremely gifted lyricist.
You can guarantee the temperature decrease degrees
Frozen stiff, ’cause what I’m holdin’ lifts the soul
This mental automatic weapon keeps me in control
Never fold, I scald like water in order
To let these MCs know I slaughter so time’s gettin’ shorter
It sort of limits ya, but to me the sky’s the limit
No, I diminish ya to dust takes sinister
Bust one rhyme, it’s like a voodoo hex
Connect complex styles, my vast high tech flex
After his razor sharp bars, we are treated to some vocals and old school record scratching. Then the outro begins and hilarity ensues. Callers were reaching out to W-Ballz radio station showing their love. There was even a faux Barry White calling in to the station voicing his approval.
Tha Dogg Pound – Smooth
Who can forget the iconic “New York, New York”, a song that arguable spearheaded the entire hip hop civil war. The actual lyrics just showcased Kurupt’s rhyme prowess.
Telepathic addiction to this homicidal recital
Dangerous and vital to all my rivals
Suicidal, brainwaves conveys
To the average motherfuckers minds these days
I’m all ready to put work in
Take ten steps and turn to shoot the first nigga smirkin’
Give a fuck; what’s your name? What you claim?
Or why you came? Motherfucker, don’t explain
The video and the Snoops hook were perceived disses and well….thats another story.
Tha Dogg Pound – New York New York
Snoop jumps on the sexually charged ballads, “Some Bomb Azz” and “If We All ____”
Their highest charting single was “Lets Play House”. The vibe that Daz was able to cook up payed homage to the soul jams of the 70’s. Something to enjoy while at your family reunion while eyeing a chick you hope isn’t your cousin. Mi’Chele’s and Nate Dogg’s vocals accentuated the music. The irony of this feel good song was the sexually explicit lyrics spit by our hosts.
I know you know this girl by the name of Danielle
Body of a goddess face from hell
But oh shhh…this wasn’t the average trick
(She got the bomb) and she like gobblin’ and swallowin’
Tha Dogg Pound – Let’s Play House
Nate Dogg decided to stick around as he jumped on the hook of “I Don’t Like To Dream About Getting Paid”, another stand out. The title is a nod to the god Rakim’s line on the classic “Paid In Full”. Daz discusses the struggles between working a 9-5 and selling drugs. This wasn’t your standard drug tale though. Even though he succumbed to the devil on his shoulder by slangin dope; Daz spent too much money and didn’t handle his business correctly. He soon found himself just as broke when he was working a lame job.
Daz brilliantly sampled Lionel Richie’s “Love Will Find A Way” and was the perfect backdrop to his tale.
Tha Dogg Pound – I Don’t Like To Dream About Getting Paid
The Lady of Rage dropped a lethal verse on “Do What I Feel”. Mr. Malik, formerly of Illegal joins the show on “Cyco-Lic-No”. Daz again creates a banging track on the bouncy, “Ridin, Slippin and Slidin”.
The album ends on “Soo Much Style”, my personal favorite Dogg Pound song and has been on repeat for over 20 years. This gem sounds eerily similar to something the eclectic Q-Tip would produce. The instrumental is the real winner here. Over a basic drum pattern, the mesmerizing keyboard trills and random vocals on the hook sound quite heavenly as Daz and Kurupt trade rhymes. Kurupt once again flexes his rhyme skills with
So enter in my zone, I refuse to be dethroned
I got a microphone I had to kill and murder to own
From the bottom to the top and when you stare in my eyes
Emotionless shit registers in my mind when I get high
The darkest secrets, keep it untold
When it’s revealed the Amityville mirage will unfold
Tha Dogg Pound – Sooo Much Style
Unfortuantely Daz and Kurupt never became the icons that Dre and Snoop did, but “Dogg Food” is one of the greatest debuts in history. The deadly combination of Kurupts lyrical wizardry, live instruments and Daz’s production ranks them at the top of any top hip hop duo list. At least they should. They blazingly repped their city & their crew in the mighty year of 1995. This album sounds as crisp as it did 21 years ago.
REP the West with the Fresh “West Side Til I Die” Tee