Looking at the tracklist for this album, one thing is for certain: Tha Dogg Pound never broke up. Not Tha Dogg Pound that most people think of as Kurupt and Daz, but the ORIGINAL crew that was Snoop's family under Dr. Dre's wing. This album glorifies the bygone days of The Chronic's heyday, and all the family is here: RBX, Nate Dogg, Snoop, Daz, and Kurupt - all back together again with Warren G, the one-time Snoop DJ and close family relation of Andre "Dr. Dre" Young.
Until Chronic 2001 finally hits the store shelves, this album will give you your fix of that old style Long Beach G-Funk - and in many ways may be more true to that sound. While Dre constantly professes he has moved beyond gangsta rap and spends most of his time blowing up the career of hip-hop's weirdest (albiet dopest) whiteboy, Warren still holds down the sound that made his "G-Funk Era" album a classic despite Warren's own laughable amount of mic skills.
In that respect at least, nothing has changed - except that Warren G may sound a little more confident in his flow than before and doesn't make any of the obvious blunders he did the first time around. By keeping a strong guest roster of star rappers from Tha Dogg Pound family and other hip-hop big names such as Jermaine Dupri, Memphis Bleek, Slick Rick and others, his mic time is kept blissfully short. Warren G is at his best behind the boards, letting other talent shine. This is so evidently clear on Slick Rick's song "If We Give You a Chance" that you actually wonder where he went wrong when he remixed Slick's "Behind Bars" while he was incarcerated. THIS is funky-ass shit.
Don't expect any moving social commentary or deep provocative introspection except for "My Momma (Ola Mae)". This is an album of partying, making love, riding and smokin a little somethin while you get your drank on. That perhaps is the biggest downside to this album coming out now -- it would have been a perfect drop top rider in June, but in October it's hard to melt the bitter cold in the air with these summertime raps. If people haven't forgotten this album by March 2000, it may still be a Jeep anthem in your town.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: October 21, 1999