Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, the west coast duo known as Tha Dogg Pound, have come full circle. In the ‘90s, they were a staple on Death Row Records, having a number-one platinum-selling album and playing an integral role in the “east coast-west coast” rivalry with the single “New York, New York”. Though generally perceived as a Snoop Dogg side-project, both artists are known in the hip-hop world for their contributions on the mic and as producers. Fast-forward to 2024, they’re reunited with both Snoop and Death Row with the release of “W.A.W.G. (We All We Got)”. Starting with its laid-back intro filled with Snoop’s ad-libs over a psychedelic jazz beat courtesy of Mike & Keys, the album is unabashedly west coast Crip-blue hip-hop. With the first single, the April-released “Smoke Up”, Tha DPG dispel rumors of their disbandment with an assist from Snoop over Rick Rock’s deep bass groove and hand-clap snares:



“W.A.W.G.” is primarily produced by Mike & Keys, and the Los Angeles based duo helm literally half of the album’s tracks. The title-track and the accompanying video is the definition of “get loud in the parking lot”: Cars, girls, riders and locs. Jelly Roll laced the track and Tha Eastsidaz (Big Tray Deee and Goldie Loc) provide the guest appearance. The Battlecat-produced “Imma Dogg” combines synths and g-funk for DPG to spit their braggadocious rhymes over. “Need Some Space” features Blxst on the hook over the mellow production as DPG spray lyrical “bitch-be-gone” on uncouth females. “Favorite Color Blue” featuring Stresmatic is an ode to all things Azure:



Mike & Keys are behind the boards for the next three tracks: “Inside of Her” features Butch Cassidy and has an 808 rhythm to it that’s tailor-made for the radio. “House Party” is just as celebratory as the title indicates, taking it back to the Long Beach house parties of the ‘90s with Snoop as the master of ceremonies. Kurupt and Daz are no strangers to posse cuts either with the head-nodding groove of “After Hours”, which features Snoop, Butch Cassidy, and DaBaby. Over Rick Rock’s sunny bounce on “LA Kind of Love”, Tha DPG provides another potential radio-friendly single.

“Grown Up” shows the growth and development of Snoop, Daz, and Kurupt as they’ve all shed the youthful brashness that defined their debuts from decades back. At this point in the album, it’s abundantly clear that “W.A.W.G.” was made for the summer and “The Weekend” epitomizes it. With Jane Handcock on the hook and October London providing a half-sung/half-rapped verse, it has a ride-at-night feel to it. The elegiac “Always on My Mind” is Mike & Keys’ final track before transitioning into the DJ Premier-produced closer “Who Da Hardest”. A curator of the sound of east coast hip-hop, Premier’s beat works in setting the stage for DPG, Lady of Rage, RBX, and Snoop to answer the song’s question. Tha Dogg Pound’s “W.A.W.G.” not only provides a certain respite from deep-thought rap, but also shows listeners that longevity in this rap game is a matter of both adaptation and evolution.


Tha Dogg Pound :: W.A.W.G. (We All We Got)
7.5Overall Score