Artist: Daz DillingerTitle: Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LPRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Bill “Low-Key” Heinzelman
Even gangstas need love and Daz Dillinger is no different. While he has constructed some of the West Coast’s biggest records over the years, Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP (Gangsta Advisory) finds Daz moving in a different direction. Surprisingly, the album is geared towards the ladies, with its softer sounds. Production wise, Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP is Daz’s finest work in recent memory. However, the album’s benign vibe ultimately taints Daz’s beat making improvements.
There is a thin line between making suitable commercial music for the ladies and trying too hard to fit the standard mold. Most of the womanizing tales Daz presents on ths album fall into the second category of sounding forced and uncharacteristic. “Everybody Givin’ It Up” is a prime example, as the track’s lusterless R&B hook and playful keys are too cute for a Daz Dillinger album. On “Come Close” featuring Nate Dogg, Daz gets even more sentimental, as he yearns to capture the affections of that perfect female. Emotions continue to rise with the internet love of “Rocc Wit Daz” and “Do You Think About”, which utilizes the same Zapp & Roger Troutman sample of 2pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up”.
Fortunately, for Daz fans, only half of Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP is filled with such efforts. The other half is strictly for the g’s, as Daz rekindles that vintage Dogg Pound vibe perfectly. The funky Cali sounds of “That’s The Way We Ride” finds Daz transporting himself back to his glory days, letting everyone know he has not fallen off. The George Clinton collaboration of “Nothin’ Can Stop Us Now” is another Funkadelic trip down memory lane, as is “F### Tha Police 2005”. On “F### Dreamin’ The Same Dream”, Daz sends out a heartfelt tribute to those lost in the struggle. Over Fredwreck’s soothing piano loop, Daz delves into his inner self and examines the world around him. “My Mama Said” is another sincere effort, as the haunting yet serene track finds Daz overcoming all the struggles and obstacles he has faced in his life.
While Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP‘s softer sounds may turn many away, the album still features some vintage material that is head and tails above what Daz has displayed on his last couple of albums. Production wise the album also remains strong, as Daz provides more depth and creativity with his beat making. Tha DPG LP may not be the trip to Cali’s mean streets that fans have come to expect from Daz, but is still proof he can provide quality music after all these years.