After speaking with HipHopDX recently about his time and Death Row Records and appearance on Tupac’s multi-platinum All Eyez On Me album, CPO Boss Hogg was asked about slept-on albums. After all, the onetime MC Ren protege went from a major label contract (with group, also known as CPO (a/k/a Capital Punishment Organization) to high-profile appearances along side Tha Eastsidaz, ‘Pac and Murder Was The Case and Above The Rim soundtracks. Asked about his Top 5 Slept-On West Coast Hip Hop Albums, the Compton, California native had some interesting insights.
CPO Boss Hogg first selected an album from his onetime Capitol Records label-mate and fellow Hub City native. “King T put an album out that I would say. That cat’s super-tight, and just slept-on, for real.” Referring to Thy Kingdom Come, CPO was describing the album Tipsy recorded between 1996 and 1999 under the tutelage of Dr. Dre at Aftermath Entertainment. When the veteran emcee and Likwit Crew pioneer left the label, he would release Thy Kingdom Come controversially three years later, in 2002, on Greedy Green Entertainment/Mo Beatz. Despite not charting, the album still boasted appearances from Kool G Rap, Too Short and Kid Frost. Additionally, Thy Kingdom Come featured seven Dre-produced tracks, as well as board-work by DJ Quik, Ant Banks and Mike Dean. “I can’t believe you asked me this question,” laughed CPO, who also put down his own 1990 sole effort, which debuted on the Top 200. “I can certainly tell you which one I wouldn’t pick: I wouldn’t put my album [To Hell And Black] in there.”
Moving from non-charting albums to platinum releases, the Boss Hogg pointed, “[Snoop Doggy Dogg’s] Tha Doggfather. That got slept-on.” The late 1996 sophomore (and #1) album from the Long Beach, California superstar was Snoop’s final studio album released at Death Row Records, as well as his final with the “Doggy” moniker.
While Tha Doggfather‘s intro famously played at Dr. Dre’s lack of involvement with onetime protege Snoop, CPO next highlighted an album executive produced by Dre—which like, Thy Kingdom Come, was not released by Aftermath. “A lot of people would probably disagree, but I think that Xzibit’s Restless was slept-on.” The late 2000 album was released on Loud Records, and Xzibit’s first effort to achieve an RIAA plaque.
Next, CPO picked an album that was the first not to receive a plaque for an artist. “I also think Warren G’s [Return Of The Regulator] and 213’s [The Hard Way] were slept-on,” said Boss Hogg, both albums Warren G projects in the early 2000s. “Warren G made an amazing album,” he said of the 2001 Top 100 Universal Republic LP extensively featuring Mista Grimm, Butch Cassidy and CPO, who appeared on “They Lovin’ Me Now” and “It Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With You.” “[Universal Records] didn’t do shit with that album. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ That was an an incredible album; it was better [than Regulate…G-Funk Era], it just didn’t have the pub,” said CPO, comparing Warren’s fourth album to his multi-platinum 1994 debut for Def Jam Records. “It’s all about pub.”
Elaborating on picking 213’s lone 2004 album, CPO added, “A chick stole my fuckin’ CD!” Of the group of Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg, he said, “I always knew when those guys came together to make the record, it’d be incredible. But it was like, ‘We’ll do one just to do one.’ It was like a fire-cracker that didn’t pop.” The TVT Records effort failed to receive a plaque. Additionally, Warren G refrained from production, while a burgeoning Kanye West joined Hi-Tek, Missy Elliot and Nottz on the boards. Continuing his fireworks analogy, CPO said, “It was [musically] explosive though. It should have popped. It just didn’t. It should have…just why?” “The was kind of a let-down.”
The group whose demo tape led to Snoop Dogg’s discovery by Dr. Dre in 1991 never released another album. Nate Dogg died in March of 2011.
CPO Boss Hogg’s sophomore album, iBoss, is expected to release later this year.