With their feuds behind them, Kurupt and Daz of the Dogg Pound are back to make some music, some movies, and (if all goes to plan) hella, hella money. And by linking back up with Snoop - first for his Welcome To Tha Chuuuch LP out this week, and then full album collabs to come - they hope to make another West Coast classic to boot. Click more to read a FADER interview with Daz and Kurupt, where the duo talks about their new records, weed and wilding out in Canada, and life down south with Jermaine, Bow Wow, and...Chewbacca.
The new album came out pretty quickly, considering everything that’s been going on. How soon did you start working on it after the beef was squashed?
Daz: We started April 1st. That’s when it all started. When we hit the road we had M-Boxes and shit so we was working all that time. We did them songs just for us, you know, cause we knew we was working on Snoop Dogg’s album. So we did Dillinger and Gotti, we doin’ songs like this, and then when the money got up, we just started pressing it up. Cause its like, we had to something first with Kurupt, we had to get him…
Kurupt: Out of some contractual bullshit.
Daz: Now he independent, and bam! We moving, can’t nobody stop us. You know, once you know how to go get the money, ain’t nobody else can tell you shit.
Kurupt: You know, basically we made us a cool little thing for rolling and riding. Know what I’m saying? Posted up, smoking and chilling – relaxing, cause that’s how we were feeling man, feeling good. We made a prequel to our DPGC album, which is Snoop, Daz, Nate, myself, Soopafly, RBX, all of us together. Me and Daz’s next album…
Daz: You good. You really good man. [laughs] Focus!
Talk about the creative process behind the album, there’s a lot of different things going on there.
Daz: Going fast in the beginning and slowing down. You put the hard songs–you gotta try to sequence, like if you making a lot of songs and you like them songs that you like, you have to make an album to go into each song so it’ll start back up. You make it go hard in the beginning, you put the not hard songs in the middle, and then closing it out, you go out with a bang, some shit that’s just “RAH! RAH!” Just some sub in the speakers. It’s about producing. I just make a lot of beats. When I wake up in the morning, I make about 50 beats. I make about 12 beats out the same sounds, but different, you know, bam bam, and I just do it like that and then go erase it and do it again. It’s just about how I be, how I’m smoking in the morning.
Are you putting out a second Sampling To The Beat any time soon?
Daz: Yeah I got another one coming out, Sampling To The Beat Pt. 2. I got a lot of drummers that have been hittin’ me, and I test them and see what the drummer got, and just put it down. And that’s just for producers that want that live sound, different rhythms on the drums, you just sample. Cause you know, you used to buy the records back in the day with just the drums, and the drummer was just going off, and you was just sampling that shit, I did that shit when I was a kid. So I just said, “Fuck it, lemme put one of them out.” I just pressed up ten thousand of ‘em, and I sold ten thousand of ‘em. It’s about putting all these records out and owning them, cause that’s what they’re gonna pay you for, they’re gonna pay you for the catalog, they’re not gonna pay you for one album, or for two. They’re gonna pay you for what you got–how much money have you made off all these records. And that ain’t even counting DPG records. That’s Gangsta Advisory–I put out Who Ride Wit Us Vol. 1, Who Ride Wit Us Vol. 2, you know, Ride Wit Us 3, all those other ones. Raw, all of that. So it’s just like, I got two–actually I got three. I got Dogg Pound Gangstas, Inc. And I signed with Jermaine Dupri.
What’s happening with the So So Gangsta record?
Daz: Oh we still full-fledged, we got the single jumping off right now, “All That I Need”, you heard that yet?
Daz: You heard the remix?
Daz: You gotta go to DPG Records or D-P-G-C.com, and it’s on that–“Triple OG Mix.” It’s me, Kurupt, and Snoop on that. So that’s the one we’re finishing the video for. It’s on Virgin Records. But we got this jumping off too. We just got so many projects jumping off right now cause it’s independent shit. You got to the tell the motherfuckin’ company, cause they want you, you don’t want them, we already doing good. Nahmean, you tell them what they want, they gonna make that shit happen.
Do you think that anything like The Chronic can ever happen again, with all the big West Coast artists on one project?
Daz: Yeah we’ve been talking about that, everybody’s been talking about that.
Kurupt: Definitely, definitely.
Daz: You know, everybody on The Chronic is on this record right here [Snoop’s Welcome To Da Chuuch] too, except Dr. Dre. But everybody’s on their own labels now, ain’t nobody no fool. That’s gonna take like–where the money going? Dr. Dre, you know, he’s gonna break bread. There’s gonna be a lot of working the business out, but its gonna happen.
Do you think its harder today for the West Coast to go nationwide?
Daz: You gotta be a people’s people. A lot of people from California, who rapping, they just ain’t got a point. They haven’t even gone outside of California. We go outside, travel, and do all that type of shit, so we mingle with the people. You know, they play our records out here, but they don’t play some West Coast records, so its all about you going out there and traveling, letting people see your face. Cause I’m everywhere, man. We opening a store up in Canada, nahmean?
Yeah what’s going on with that and other stuff you guys have been doing up there?
Daz: We got a Canada tour that we did, DPG live in Canada, on DVD.
Kurupt: In Vancouver.
Daz: We gonna put that out as Dillinger and Young Gotti IV: The Concert.
Is that all just concert footage or is there a lot of tour bus stuff on there as well?
Daz: That’s just the whole trip in Canada. Meetin’ the kush man…
Kurupt: Havin’ a ball.
Daz: Motherfucker talking about 16 months for 500 pounds. “You did 16 months for 500 pounds?” You know…riding on a boat.
Kurupt: It’s a ferry.
Daz: Yeah, a ferry.
Kurupt: All the way to the island.
Daz: Whistler, going to the top of a mountain. All that shit. So it’s just like that whole experience, and then a concert with us back together.
Kurupt: And we shot a video.
Daz: And we shot a video.
Kurupt: We ain’t playing man.
Daz: This is all independent, you know? We’re thinking about–let’s make up some more shit. I’m into shooting movies. I shot a movie called My Summer Vacation. You know that Ice Cube song that he got on that Death Certificate album? Me and my homies, we did that for real. So, everybody from St. Louis, if you go to St. Louis right now, Brand and Pack Street, on the north side, all the north side, they straight LBC. They rep 20 Crip, 19 Gangsta Crip over there, and that’s all we rep in Long Beach, 19 Gangsta Crip, 20 Crip. And we sold dope out there. So all them little niggas that was young, right now they grew up. But they respect our Big Homie for going out there and making money with them, serving and doing all that shit, but now the Big Homie in jail for like 10 years behind that shit. He like a legend out there. That whole story–I did like a trailer just to show this is the type of movie I wanna do, and I took it up with Benny Boom, and I’m payin for it out of my pocket to go shoot the motherfucker. Cause I got the whole neighborhood and everybody gonna fuck with us. And I’m using the real people cause they good at acting, they do this shit for real. We shootin’ other little movies and documentaries and just showing that we can press up shit ourselves. Long as we get it to the people. And the internet is a good way to get it to the people.
Kurupt: We in the same place…
Kurupt: We on the internet, we in Tower, we in Best Buy, we in all these places. Independent.
Daz: Right next to Britney Spears, right next to Puffy. Our records is right there. And we pressing it up right in the back of the house.
So is there ever gonna be a Dillinger/Gotti biopic?
Kurupt: We got a book we writing.
Daz: We got a book we’re writing right now.
Kurupt: We gonna make a movie out of it because its about us.
Daz: After I put these next 50 albums out, I should be able to pay for the movie. So you know, me and Snoop we’ve been talking about it. I did some shooting over there by where we used to live at, Hollywood, that’s the first Dogg Pound, where we started The Chronic, I just go by there just to look at the building, to feel good. You know, like this is where we came from. This is where we came from, right here on this motherfuckin’ corner, walking down here, on the phone, looking at a Lexus, like “Damn, one day I might get one of them Lexuses.” Shit like that. Calling my homie, and we ain’t have no phone, we just had pagers. 911, 211, 187. That mean come to the house…
Daz: Bring us some dope, bring us some weed man. Two boxes of chicken and two bags of weed. And we was only smoking two bags of weed back then. Look what we got now! [holds up large, open plastic bag of weed]. That was two joints man, motherfucker if you did that, you’d lock yourself in the room! Snoop and whoever done locked themselves in the room, from smoking! It’s over. We in here like, “Ah, we fucking missed out.” Boom boom boom boom boom.
Kurupt: They ain’t goin nowhere near that door.
Daz: We came a long way. But then when we got evicted out of that motherfucker everybody had a fight in that motherfucker.
Kurupt: I remember that.
Daz: It was some good times.
Kurupt: That’s crazy.
What sort of new talent do you two see coming out of the West Coast? Daz, are you signing anyone soon?
Daz: Well you know, I moved from Cali, so I live in like Memphis where my moms at. I found a young group called Men-Nefer.
They’re on the album, right?
Daz: Put them out, they’re real good. Whoever got that, I’m gonna show them how to do it. You know, I’m not signing nobody, I want to distribute records. I’m not the label. I’ll show them how to be a label. How to market your shit, do this shit, so they know how to put it together. You gotta make money, and if you know how to do it by yourself, you don’t need nobody. Cause I learned mine from JT The Bigga Figga.
Daz: He showed me—some people can just look at it, but some people gonna take hold, gonna do it. Me, I take it. I got so much goddamn money I don’t know what to do with it, so I just put it to this right here. Now all the money I get, go back. If I make a hundred G’s, I might put 75 thousand back to a new project that I done did. I’m doing stuff with JD right now, and you know he works his shit. If Bow Wow can get rich…damn nigga!
Do you plan on staying in the South?
Daz: I live in Mississippi, my license is a Mississippi license. I be in Atlanta, I’m everywhere. If I like it here, I’m gonna buy me a house here, I’ll be living here, I’m gonna get me a New York ID. I ain’t got no ties in me, no bitch, no nothing. Can’t tell me nothing.
Kurupt: Bitch can’t tell me nothing.
Daz: Bitch can’t tell me nothing.
How is Memphis different for you than LA?
Daz: Motherfuckers out there in Memphis is doing it. One thing I know about like all the south, is they some hustlers. They’re selling everything, namean? Weed, yay, everything. They got some booty, they’re selling ass, everything. Out there its like money, motherfuckers rolling big ass rims, this big, chrome. And them motherfuckers ain’t cheap neither, riding candy-painted. Whole cars got about 7 to 8 thousand and it’s a ten thousand dollar car. They balling out there. Motherfucker, you go to the club right now, and everybody be looking like Chewbacca. Everybody got a mink on in that motherfucker.
Kurupt: Minked up.
Daz: But everybody out there, you know, they show me love. My moms, all my family, they’re from the south. I’m just happy to take care of my grandma, my mom. I got a house in Miami too.
What’s next for you two?
Daz: Taking over this motherfucker.
Kurupt: Making movies, fashion, the whole thing, the whole thing as a union. Go get this money. That’s all. Independent and with the majors.
Daz: We ain’t afraid to go nowhere, we done already been there. We done did streets to the suites.
Kurupt: Streets to the suites! Man, that’s the next one. Streets to the suites.
Daz: Hotel, all that shit. Motel 6, we used to sell dope in those little fuckin hotels. We just glad to be here.