If they haven’t reached the legendary status of some of their L.A. brethren, Kurupt and Daz have carved out quite solid Hip-Hop careers, both as solo artists and of course as members of the underrated Dogg Pound. Evidently hoping to bring back memories of the glory days, the duo is back with the album Keep on Ridin’. Diehards of 90’s West Coast will appreciate the effort, but the album’s dated feel doesn’t speak well to the O.G.’s future as influencers of Los Angeles’ rap scene.
Billed as a “compilation” album, Keep on Ridin’ has the feel of a mixtape upgraded to album status, and many of the tracks no doubt have been on diehards libraries for some time. The project features plenty of guest appearances including more than one showcase from the Top Dogg himself, Mr. S-N double O P. Snoop’s presence is a blessing and a curse—he instantly lifts the quality and credibility of the tracks he graces. But the inability of the rest of Daz and Kurrupt’s rotating posse of fringe DPG’ers to carry the torch makes you wish Snoop could have found more time to run with his old gang. Still the best tracks, such as the immaculate “Bang That” ooze with stoned out funk and dope n-dirty lyrics we expect from this crew.
Unfortunately, Daz’s production fails to keep the party going all night. While the G-Funk formula still works when executed, failures lend themselves easily to a dreaded dated sound. The crooning of Uncle Reo on “Stay’d Out All Nite Long” brings to mind a failed lounge act. Worse is the trite “Leave a Message,” a true brain cell killer that relies on redundant W Ballz riffs that should have been retired two decades ago.
Lyrically, Daz and Kurupt seem comfortable remaining in a hedonistic, sophomoric zone, with a little less gangsta and a little more booty rhyming than in their youthful days. “She shake it like a baby rattle/And I’m about to spank baby ass like a paddle” grunts Kurupt on “Huh What.” 16 years after Dogg Food, Young Gotti and Dillinger are still throwing parties. Who knows if anyone’s still coming.
Ultimately Keep on Ridin’ won’t lead the revival West Coast fans are looking for, but never fear: they’re releasing another album this year.