Tha Dogg Pound
Cali Iz Active
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," "Hard 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 rhymes:
"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.