Photos by Khammy Phanthavong
Words by Ryan Reyes
Nowadays Tha Dogg Pound duo Daz Dillinger and Kurupt are much more likely to figuratively rat-a-tat-tat some raps on that ass than blast Gats. Kushtal Records had the opportunity to book Tha Dogg Pound for a show in Winnipeg. This was great news for rap fans. Especially for us older heads who grew up in the heyday of Gangsta Rap and the subsequent prominence of the popular West Coast rap movement that brought us N.W.A., Ice-T, Too Short, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Tupac.
We followed a couple ladies with legs-for-days (or should we say mini-mini-skirts?) into Stereo Nightclub. As we settled in we caught energetic sets from local rap crew Unity Sound Crew and Van City wordsmith Dilemma. Daz and Kurupt’s first few tracks paid homage to one-time Deathrow labelmate and D.P.G. affiliate Nate Dogg.
“Nobody Does It Better” and “Regulate” set the tone for the night. The crowd was already eagerly reciting lyrics word for word as G-Funk dripped from the speakers and the energy only heightened as popular tracks “Cali Iz Active” and “Let’s Play House” got a spin. These two are Tha Dogg Pound’s highest charting singles; #4 & #5 respectively, on the Billboard Rap Charts. Halfway through the set DJ Salam abruptly stopped the music for a memorable crowd-response question asked by Daz: “Do y’all smoke weed in Winnipeg?! We do in Cali every day!” The crowd roared in agreement, then Kurupt c-walked quite effortlessly to everyone’s amusement. Then “Ain’t No Fun” came on and once again West Coast rap karaoke was in session.
At one point Kurupt stopped the music to educate everyone about Daz’s underappreciated production prowess. He was responsible for production on several tracks off of Tupac’s acclaimed album All Eyez On Me: “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” and “I Ain’t Mad at Cha,” to name a couple. Let’s not forget that Kurupt was considered one of the most lyrical emcees from the West Coast. Their set concluded with snippets from the many tracks that they’ve been individually featured on, like “Got My Mind Made Up” by Tupac featuring Daz and “Housewife” by Dr. Dre featuring Kurupt. All in all, Tha Dogg Pound put on a solid rap show filled with familiarity and funk and explosive energy. Appropriately, they ended the night with a bang… “Xxplosive.”
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