Tha Dogg Pound’s First Death Row Release Was Poetic And Hard AF (Audio)

On Halloween of 1995, Tha Dogg Pound opened up their can of Dogg Food. Kurupt and Daz Dillinger were the third artists with an album released by Death Row Records. Following their mentors, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, this Long Beach—rooted duo was much rougher than its teammates. Like the verses heard on The Chronic and Doggystyle, Dat Ni**a Daz and Kurupt The Kingpin could not care less about the mainstream. Instead, they were foul-mouthed gang-bang aficionados. Whereas Dat Ni**a Daz was quietly soaking up game from D-R-E behind the boards, Kurupt was a frantic lyricist arguably sharing more in common with Buckshot or Prodigy than some of his West Coast neighbors. This was lyrical G-Funk in a completely different chamber than others.

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Despite their disregard for the mainstream, Dogg Food debuted at #1. Dr. Dre produced two songs, not including the intro on the LP. Like The Lady Of Rage and Jewell, Death Row’s then-president helped pilot Tha Pound. In June of 1993, five months ahead of Doggystyle, Death Row gave Daz and Kurupt their first standalone shot. “Ni**as Don’t Give A F*ck” was very telling of Tha Dogg Pound’s attitude. The young go-hards of Tha Row weren’t concerned about stepping on toes, feelings, or checking peers. The Row irreverence was alive on the song, featuring a fiery beat from Dr. Dre in elite sonic shape.

The song would not get a music video but remains a poetic treat to a soundtrack that still gets burn. While Rage, Nate, RBX, Jewell, Michel’le and others clamored for a Death Row album date, moments like this pushed D.P.G. to the top.

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Tupac, who would work with Tha Dogg Pound in 1995 and 1996, also appeared on the soundtrack. Warren G and Nate Dogg would make a profound impression too, care of Mista Grimm’s “Indo Smoke” video single.

Ahead of Dogg Food, Daz and Kurupt also assisted future label-mate MC Hammer on 1994’s “Sleepin’ On A Master Plan” track.