Tha Dogg Pound – Cali Iz Active Review

Link: Official DPG MySpace Page

The Inside Pulse:
OK”¦at this point, it doesn’t make much sense to recap the long saga of Daz, Kurupt and Snoop Dogg. After a stretch of estrangement and acrimony earlier this decade, the trio has reformed for Cali Iz Active. For those counting at home, this is the DPG’s third reunion album in the last several months, preceded by the mediocre Saga Continuez joint and the much more, uh, mediocre-er Welcome to the Chuuch compilation album. Truth be told, they’ve stretched their repetitive “gangstas n’ hoes” subject matter long past the point of anything, but a paycheck. Still, with slept-on solo albums like Streetz Iz A Mutha, DPGC”¦ and Top Dogg in their respective catalogs, maybe the third reunion is a charm.

The title track opens things up with a Battlecat beat and a familiar West Coast vibe that feels like 1995, again. With Sittin’ on 23’s, Swizz Beats comes with a drum-clap foundation for Daz and Kurupt to build a superficial, but fun give-and-take that addresses the obligatory “song about my rims”. It’s Craccin All Night is the best track on here, featuring the aggressive chemistry of the DPG and, shockingly, a decent, if simplistic, guest verse from (P.) Diddy. The production throughout the album is a huge step forward over the low bar that was set from the last few Dogg Pound efforts.

Seriously, it’s time to stop digging up the remains of various Death Row Records alumni whenever these guys get together. The only things, at this point, more self-parodic than the guest spots by Lady of Rage and RBX are the titles and content of the tracks they appear on: Keep It Gangsta and Hard on a Ho, respectively, in case you’re wondering. Paul Wall shows up and finds a way to drag down Make Dat P*ssy Pop, even though it was insipid enough without him. Most disappointing is the advertised Nate Dogg guest spots. On both cuts, he’s just moaning in the background. Was he too busy filming awkward, out-of-place interludes for Head of State 2?

Let’s call this one, Dogg Food mixed with the ravages of time.

Reason to Buy:
Since only the last eleven loyal DPG fans will be buying this one, there’s really no reason for the rest of you to pick it up. Gangsta posturing and dated misogyny only appeal to so many people, y’know. Still, the chemistry is there and the production is good/very good and each CD comes with a 30-day free Crip membership.

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