Classic Debut Albums :: Tha Dogg Pound :: Dogg Food (1995)

03-14-2012 § 1 Comment

March 9th, Classic freshman album discussion with @nobullwarrior

March 9th, a discussion with my boy @nobullwarrior on classic freshmen debut albums (you can see the screengrab above) got me thinking; which ones were left off? My first thought was Dead Prez Lets Get Free (Spotify), but the more I thought about it most people leave this album off their lists as well; Dogg Food (Spotify).

Spotify even has the artist listed “Snoop Dogg,” but too often I feel Tha Dogg Pound gets no love when it comes to them being a part of Death Row’s upbringing into the most prolific hip hop label during the 90’s, and a blueprint for all labels since in my mind – unless you count the stars leaving, murder, jail time, bankruptcy & re-launch by a third party company of course.

The Dogg Pound’s debut was highly anticipated, and sold over two million records. There were only two singles, and no production from Dr. Dre – but Kurupt’s lyrical assault & Daz Dillinger’s G-Funk production held their own on other projects, and came together beautifully on this album.

Eminem even gave props to Kurupt’s lyricism on ‘Till I Collapse’ (Spotify)
“I got a list here’s the order of my list that it’s in
It goes Reggie, Jay-Z, Tupac and Biggie
Andre from OutKast, Jada, Kurupt, Nas and then me.”
That’s pretty good company, and aside from a hodge-podge of mixed-reviewed albums, the dude brings it on most verses – outshining damn near everyone for instance, on Tupac’s ‘Mind Made Up’ (Spotify) with Redman & Method Man (& Inspectah Deck never made the cut! That’s for another post though …)

The first lyrics you hear as a listener, are Kurupt’s flame-induced introductory lines on “Dogg Pound Gangstaz;”

“Now my rhymes, are as potent as pipebombs
It takes time to concoct rhymes like mines
Like land mines, all set to explode
Microphones, all set to unload
Zone watch, that means watch the zone
I’m in the temple with a million dead MC microphones”

Wouldn’t be a Death Row release without a diss reference, Kurupt soon reminds us he “Ain’t got no love for no hoes-n-harmony…”

New York, New York ignited a sort-of East / West rivalry, prior to Tupac even signing with Suge’s label – Capone-N-Noreaga made LA, LA as a form of retaliation, and everyone’s heard Jay Z’s line on Money, Cash, Hoes “It’s like New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings.” That line prompted Mobb Deep & Jay Z’s beef records. Kurupt has two verses, and he goes in;

“Tonight’s the night for me to rip microphones into bits and pieces,
lyrical telekinesis, gets me into verbally vindictive
Violent vocabulary bobs to existence
Catch me in the pitch black path
I sit and let the sick thoughts pass through my mental
till I hear an instrumental”

Check out the basslines on Respect, or Ridin, Slippin and Slidin’ – Daz is on point and this album shows off some of his best work. Death Row would’ve ran out of releases if they had to resort waiting on Dr. Dre to finish all these albums – we may have never heard half the material released. We all know how Detox has turned out …

You can’t tell Death Row’s story without Tha Dogg Pound, and to me – this record solidifies them as more than contributors on other artist projects, and soundtracks. Maybe it’s not one of the ten best debut albums of all-time (what is our obsession as hip hop fans with top ten lists?), but in the discussion of dope debuts it certainly belongs.


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