Of the relatively few notable historians within Hip Hop’s life span to date, few have retained relevance and fandom in 2012. Amongst California’s leading torchbearers of the ’90s, Daz Dillinger and Kurupt played a significant role in Death Row’s tumultuous coastal clash with Bad Boy Records that extended to conflict with the likes of Queens generals Mobb Deep and Capone & Noreaga. Two decades after their formal arrival on Dr. Dre’s seminal debut The Chronic, Tha Dogg Pound’s latest release DPGC’ology is a testament to the group’s prolific tenacity.
As is the case with most veterans seeking a large platform for furtherance of their careers, Tha Dogg Pound has come to face the quagmire of reaching today’s generation while simultaneously pleasing already established subscribers. This gives reasonable explanation towards the departure from their once trademark cohesive sound, as they collaborate with the presently ubiquitous 2 Chainz on “Where I Know You Like” and Southern vet 8Ball on “I’m Ready To Smoke.” Furthermore, the group utilizes the instrumentals of Tyga’s “Rack City,” Meek Mill’s “I’m A Boss” and other recently popular backdrops, indicative of a possible identity crisis and arrival at a creative crossroads.
Setting aside Tha Dogg Pound’s ill-advised drawbacks of adjusting their sound to fit today’s mold, DPGC’ology manages to make intermittent concessions to long familiar listeners. Daz & Kurupt’s motley crew including Snoop Dogg & Kokane make appearances throughout the tape and songs such as “Day 2 Die,” “We Ain’t Feelin That,” “Let It Be Known,” and “No Love” remain mindful of their Gangsta Rap roots and the element that originally built their legacy from the ground up. Never recording for the faint of heart, Daz and Kurupt’s odes to crass promiscuity, marijuana consumption, and looming violence on DPGC’ology are suitable for the experience of left coast Hip Hop enthusiasts. Despite the DPG’s stagnant musical growth and standard tunnel vision, it stands as a solid enough release to know that modernized compromise backed by lyrical consistency still promote longevity.
DX Consensus: “EP-worthy”