When fans heard Snoop Dogg would join Kurupt and Daz
in The Dogg Pound Gangsta Clik,
immediate excitement emerged. With that, expectations flew through the roof.
The Los Angeles
vets were to solidify their careers with a long overdue album worthy of praise.
Could the DPGC live up
to the hype?
The crew, which gained much of its fame and notoriety in the early and mid
90’s, embark on Cali Iz Active
with a host of big name producers and guests. Aside from Snoop, the album boasts a guest
roster that includes Diddy, Ice Cube,
Paul Wall, David Banner, Lady of Rage, RBX and Nate Dogg. Behind the boards, the
album contains instrumentation from Battlecat,
Swizz Beats, Rick Rock and Jazze Pha. So, where did they go wrong?
In any genre, artists are meant to evolve. While the emcees made their careers
out of West coast gang bangin’ and misogynistic lines, one would hope to see
some growth from what some consider West coast legends. And if not growth
topically, then at least stylistically. And if not growth at all, at least
keeping the old formula sounding fresh. You get none of that, just tired
subject matter delivered in a tired fashion.
“The centrifugal forces change. But I won’t
change sh*t,” Kurupt
says proudly on “Kushn N’ Pushn.“ He’s right, and the
album doesn’t show any maturity since his earlier days. The album is actually
quite redundant because of this. Whether they are talking about rims, money,
weed, or slappin’ a bitch, the crew severely lacks originality. This is made
evident by the monotonous women bashing done on “Faknass Hoes,”
on a Hoe,” and “Make Dat Pussy Talk,” among others. The
misogyny wouldn’t be so terrible if the rhymes were ill. Sadly, the lyrical
styles of the trio follow the redundancy of the content. On “She
Likes Dat,” Kurupt,
who was once known as a lyrically complex emcee, decides to get lazy as he
“2 A.M., throw a party on that pussy/ Do it
all again and throw a party on the pussy/ Do you like the pussy? I recycle
pussy/ All types of pussy. I had some biker pussy.”
Sadly, that isn’t the only time he lackadaisically rhymes a word with itself
for more than 2 bars. His homie Daz
doesn’t do anything to help the cause, either. To be frank, the whole album’s
lyrical content disappoints. We weren’t exactly expecting a lyrical
masterpiece, but the expectations for a West coast banger were not met. Sure,
you may be able to throw a couple tracks into the ride and bump. “Sittin’ on
23’z“ and “It’s Craccin’ All Night” are examples
of this – that’s if you don’t mind weak rhymes.
The Dogg Pound’s
had a nice run and they certainly aren’t done. But, after listening to an album
that has been so long overdue, it doesn’t look as though the group is willing
to grow in the years it has left. That’s definitely not going to fair well in the
legacy of these West coast artists. This album, instead of solidifying the
crew, is simply going to go down as one with filler after filler. So, to answer
the question…No, the group didn’t live up to the hype.