Cali is most certainly active. Tha Dogg Pound has returned with a new album and DPG’s own Daz is readying the release of his latest solo record, as well. This time around the west coast legend is working with a whole new set of artists now that he’s on SoSo Def, which is one of the reasons why he sat down with us to discuss what direction fans can expect his music to go in. We also touched on the lost album he had completed with 2Pac, some of the lessons he’s learned over his 17 years in the industry and rapping with farm animals.
Adam Bernard: Talk to me about the move to SoSo Def, what made you want to link up with Jermaine Dupri?
Daz: Me and Jermaine Dupri have been good friends. He’s an expert in the game and he’s got big things so why not go somewhere where I can get love?
“I’m really smart into my business as far as being independent and hustling everything that I do.”
AB: This is definitely a move in a new direction for you, what are you hoping to get out of it?
Daz: Double platinum, triple platinum, quadruple platinum, you know. Sellin some records, man, you know what I mean. Mo’ business, I’m really smart into my business as far as being independent and hustling everything that I do.
AB: With the business aspect have you already seen being on SoSo Def open up some more doors or maybe you’ve worked with a couple artists that you haven’t worked with before?
Daz: Yeah I’m working with some artists that I haven’t worked with before, whoever they might be, but I’m really into shooting movies and stuff like that, documentaries, workin that camera.
AB: So this time around are your videos going to be a little more lush and big?
Daz: Yeah they’re gonna be big videos and I’m gonna be looking in the back really looking at them, seeing what they’re doing, learning from Juwan Lee, he’s the director of my video.
AB: Musically what will be different this time around?
Daz: A lotta more bass. Everybody get their amps together.
“It’s so hard to trust people in this business. I’ve been involved since I was 16 and I’m 33.”
AB: Is this all a result of your becoming more open or is this you finally getting to express the real Daz?
Daz: Me getting to express the real me and getting to be open, all of the above, just more freedom in what I’m doing. It’s so hard to trust people in this business. I’ve been involved since I was 16 and I’m 33.
AB: Has it taken those 17 years to get to trust some people?
Daz: When you own your own stuff and you make your own way and don’t ask nobody for anything you really make your own way.
AB: What other aspects of yourself are you still looking to explore?
Daz: Just good living, man. I’m not tripping, I have a big house, I’m chillin, family taken care of. I’m having a ball, man. Just keep the bud coming!
“I hooked up [..] ‘Realest Killers’ and without them vocals there wouldn’t have been no ‘Realest Killers.’ Daz put that together.”
AB: I heard you had an album with 2Pac ready to be released, what happened to that album?
DAz: You know, the mother, she sued me so there were a lot of things going on with that situation with Death Row. I was suing Death Row. It was a real struggle for me. I got my percentage of my publishing, that’s all that counts, you know what I mean? When they come out I’ll get paid, (but) the only song you’re gonna hear from them is the song that I hooked up with 50 Cent was that “Realest Killers” and without them vocals there wouldn’t have been no “Realest Killers.” Daz put that together.
AB: After all your time in the music industry what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Daz: Own your own shit, and say no. Just say no.
AB: What have you said no to?
Daz: I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do that, stupid shit. Is it gonna make me some money?
“Yeah, it’s like come over here and perform with this donkey. EEH AWW, that’s their first single.”
AB: A lot of artists jump on seemingly ever song they can lay their vocals on, are you saying they should start being more selective in who they work with?
Daz: Yeah, it’s like come over here and perform with this donkey. EEH AWW, that’s their first single. They’re like, you’re gonna rap with the Donkey or the Chicken, which one?
AB: Outside of rap music, what do you do to keep body and soul together?
Daz: Smoke weed and I pray every day, gotta give it up to the Lord. That just keeps me striving for better things, for my kids.
AB: What’s important to Daz?
Daz: Family is a priority.
AB: Finally, if you could smack some sense into any one rapper who would it be and why?
Daz: Shit, any rapper who wants some.