Tha Dogg Pound - Tha Saga Continuez   
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written by James Johnson   
Throughout the past 13 years, Daz & Kurupt have become legends of the west coast. They played an intricate part in the popularity of both Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle in the early '90s, and were two of the biggest figures signed to the then-thriving Death Row Records. Together as the Dogg Pound, along with the assistance of Snoop, they pounded the ears of fans with hit after hit. Fans grew to love them for their chemistry and hardcore wordplay on tracks like “Let’s Play House,” “New York, New York,” and “What Would You Do,” just to name a few. Their futures appeared to be brighter than ever. That is, until everything began to unravel.

First, their main producer, Dr. Dre, detached himself from the label; then, Tupac was later gunned down in Las Vegas. The coming years would not be very embracing to them. Snoop Dogg later left the label in pursuit of a better deal, leaving The Dogg Pound as the only sure-shot act on the label. Many other factors would lead Daz & Kurupt into limbo with the label. They fought their way off of Death Row, though Kurupt would later return, gaining a top executive position and hopes of regaining some of the shine he had in his earlier days. This, of course, drove a wedge between he and many of his supporters -- most notably Daz.

After many diss tracks back and forth, no one really expected the two to come together again down the line, but the unthinkable has happened: Daz and Kurupt have indeed reunited, and their first gift to the world is Dillinger & Young Gotti II: The Saga Continuez. With this release, they are hoping to recapture their core audience that followed them around their first release and many collaborations, while gaining a few new listeners along the way.

While there is no question that they still have much of the same chemistry that made them an immediate success among rap fans, there does seem to be a bit of dust on their swagger as a unit. On many occasions, Kurupt seems to lag behind in his delivery, while Daz is on top of his game throughout much of the LP. Production-wise, Daz does his absolute best at trying to differentiate the sound throughout the LP while not steering to far from the main formula; however, the album still tends to sound a bit monotonous at times. It may have been nice to venture out with a few other producers, just to spice things up a bit. Also, one couldn't help but wonder where Snoop was during the recording process. Being that he was such a part of their coming into the industry, one would expect him to appear, even if only on a few tracks. Be that as is may, they did the best with their circumstances, and they still come out close to the top.

Again, you still can’t deny the fact that, as a duo, these brothers are stars at their craft. Tracks like their lead single, “Push Bacc,” as well as “DPGC Muzic,” “Hittin Donutz In tha Streetz,” “What U Gone Do,” and “Ride & Creep,” take you back to their classic formula. For those tracks alone, The Saga Continuez is definitely worth checking out.

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