“April 1(st) 2005, I called him (Kurupt), and the rest was a done deal. We’re grown (men), and, plus, (the) West Coast needed it,” Dat N!@#$ Daz blurts out, explaining the little, to no, effort it took in reuniting him with his former partner in rhyme, and brotha-from-anotha-mutha, Kurupt Tha Kingpin. Follwing a bitter break-up, the duo, known worldwide as Tha Dogg Pound, are FINALLY back together, and, collectively, sounding better than ever.
With everything that transpired, back & forth lyrical jabs included, in the wake of the group disbanding, it seemed like it would take even more than an act of Congress for a DPG reunification. Oddly enough, that wasn’t even slightly the case. “Not really,” Daz answers almost immediately, when asked how difficult the whole transition of re-forming the group was. Reiterating, “It was time. That, (and) we needed (it) for growth and business.“
After making their much heralded, debut appearance(s), alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop (Doggy) Dogg, on arguably one of hip-hop’s greatest albums, The Chronic (1992), Dillinger and Young Gotti, as they are more recently known, became household names as they went on to aid in helping to re-define a whole new coastal movement in rap music. ‘G Funk,’ as it is widely referred to, had a strangle-hold on the entire industry all throughout the early to mid ’90s, and Tha Dogg Pound were one of the main reasons that Death Row Records, especially post Dre, continued to rule the airwaves, the charts, and strived & survived as the musical dynasty that it once was during the majority of that whole era.
Following, of course, the departure of the good Doctor, Snoop‘s murder trial and subsequent deflection from the label, 2Pac‘s untimely death, and the slew of legal problems that mounted for Death Row‘s CEO, Suge Knight, the empire came crashing down — Hard!! First Kurupt left to start a solo career, Daz stayed longer, but finally caved in and left too. Then Kurupt rejoined Tha Row as the company’s vice-president just a few short years later — The whole thing was and still seems to be a very confusing time, to say the least, for all parties involved. The most detrimental thing that occurred during the time that Daz and Kurupt were separated, by what they can now see clearly as a lot of unnecessary he say/she say bad mouthing (and even worse business decisions) was ultimately their several years-long friendship coming to an abrupt end — Tha Dogg Pound were no longer…
Their time spent apart, since that well-publicized break-up, the two have used quite wisely. Kurupt has established himself a revered lyricist, and has released a number of solo projects; Kuruption!, Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, & Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey, and Daz, through his independent imprints, DPG Recordz and Gangsta Advisory Music, has equally graced the streets with a slew of his own albums, both solo and for other DPGC cohorts (Soopafly, RBX, Lil’ C Style). In addition, both individuals have started their own families and even seemed to have gotten the business aspect of things right for this next phase in their still evolving musical careers.
“From day one, I flew into Cali, and I went to Snoop‘s studio,” Dillinger begins, recalling what it was like getting back in the lab for the first time again with his old best friend. “I got there around 1am, and Kurupt was the only person there. He was just hanging out. That’s when (producer) LT Hutton put a beat on, and we (instantly) wrote Push Bacc.’After that, we knocked out two albums!!” It was right then and there that Tha Dogg Pound gangstas discovered just how easy it would be to pick-up things right where they last left off.
The new disc, Dillinger & Young Gotti, Vol. 2: Tha Saga Continues, their first real album since its’ predecessor, Dillinger & Young Gotti (2001), is really like a pre-cursor to their upcoming ‘official’ Dogg Food (’95) follow-up. “It’s just something to season West Coast hip-hop (with),” Daz offers. Continuing with excitement, “Tha Dogg Pound album in March will (really) kick shit off!! I produced this one just to give (to) true DPG fans. (It’s still)100% Daz & Kurupt on this, but Snoop will be handling all production on the next album. I know (that) he know what he (is) doing, so I’m rolling with my cuzz’n.“
Earlier this year, Daz and Kurupt both released solo discs, Samplin’ to the Beat of the Drum & Against tha Grain, respectively. “(I’ve) been just putting records out, and keeping my masters,” Daz relays. “(I did it) just (as) something for young producers (to use) to sample drum riffs. It was needed for LBC West Coast thugg’n. I had a deal, and it requires one solo project a year.” In 2006, aside from the next Dogg Pound set, Daz has already lined up a few more things to bow in the coming months. Kurupt‘s, Young Gotti: Same Day, Different Shit and a CPT 2 LBC compilation should start the new year off with a bang!!. He has also been working feverishly with a new all-female group, whose members hail from both the Atlanta, Georgia, and Long Beach, California areas. And, finally, the over-due, and oft-delayed DVD title, DPG Eulogy, will see its’ release early next year as well.
If all of this isn’t enough, Daz‘s eagerly anticipated SoSo Def debut, So Gangsta, will arrive in February. “JD (Jermaine Dupri) moved from Arista Records,” he reasons on the project’s tardiness. “So, I got out that deal, and followed him (over) to Virgin.”
In closing, Daz Dillinger, whose other business ventures include; buying & selling real-estate, owning shopping centers and chicken & waffle establishments, had this message to leave our faithful readers with. “(I enjoy) making people feel good through my music. (But, it’s very important) being independent, (and) owning your own masters. (I plan on) running the (very) first internet digital distribution company, where artists will get a check once a week from all (the) downloads. (What’s important to me is) making sure my family is happy, and my kids can have a happy life — I do this for my kids.” Chhuuuuchhhh!!
[For more information on Daz Dillinger, and Tha Dogg Pound, go to : www.DPGRECORDZ.com, and/or www.DPGC.com]
PLAYING WORD ASSOCIATION W/DAZ
SUGE KNIGHT Evil
DEATH ROW Who??
DR. DRE Genius
LIL’ EAZY E Compton
SNOOP DOGG Chuuuuchhh!!
KURUPT DPGC 4 Life
ATLANTA, GA Crunk’d
DAT NIGGA DAZ Independent
WEST COAST HIP-HOP SUMMIT — Unity