Artist: Tha Dogg PoundTitle: Cali Iz ActiveRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: ambers mom
West Coast Hip-Hop aint dead. Snoop? Chuuch. Daz? Chuuch. Kurupt? Chuuch. Nate Dogg? Lady of Rage? RBX? Chuuch. Chuuch. Chuuch. Ten years after their multi-platinum selling debut, Dogg Food, solidified their reps, Tha Dogg Pound is back with their latest disc, Cali Iz Active (Doggy Style/Koch).
Kicking off this highly anticipated comeback is the upbeat, C-walk inspiring title track. With Bigg Snoop singin' on the bridge and Daz and Kurupt following through respectively, the energy on this song is nostalgic G-funk Hip-Hop and feels like an official DPG reunion. It's songs like this one and "Thrown Up Da C" that takes you down the Cali-esque Gangsta memory lane that Snoop and DPG brought to Hip-Hop a decade ago.
With Uncle Snoop respectively at the helm, the other members put in work, giving some credit to their lyrical credibility here too. Kurupt shines on the laid back "Kushn N' Pushn", over a head noddin' horn driven track by L.T. Moe and the Philly native stands out. Daz flows tight and sets it off on "Heavyweights" and The Lady of Rage shuts it completely down on "Keepin It Gangsta", just in case anyone was sleeping.
Top production by super producers like Swizz Beatz on the club-friendly "Sittin on 23z" and Jazze Pha's bouncy "She Likes Dat" keeps the sound current and will be appreciated by any new listeners while East meets West in the Diddy and Dogg Pound collabo, "It's Craccin All Night".
One thing that's true is that from Daz and Kurupt to Lady of Rage, Snoop isnt the only one with skills. It's been 10 years of good and bad solo efforts, beefs and make-ups, but each member of Tha Dogg Pound crew has held their own, it just works better when they're together. The reunion was necessary, as the album suggests, Cali Iz Active and as was previously mentioned, West Coast Hip-Hop is alive and well.