Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN catch up with legendary rap duo Tha Dogg Pound, who share untold stories from their time at Death Row Records, as well as what they’re up to next. Making their debut on Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Tha Dogg Pound broke out as stars with their appearances on Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle album, paving the way for their own chart-topping debut, Dogg Food, in 1995. Parting ways to pursue solo careers during the late ‘90s, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger regrouped as a tandem during the early aughts and never looked back.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from Tha Dogg Pound episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. N.O.R.E. On Thinking Kurupt Dissed 2Pac On “New York, New York”
“LA, LA,” Capone-N-Noreaga and Mobb Deep’s retort to Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop Dogg’s 1995 single “New York, New York;” was a major moment in the war between the east and west coasts. However, unbeknownst to many, N.O.R.E. initially thought that Kurupt levied a subliminal diss in the late great 2Pac’s direction on the track. “You made ‘New York, New York.’ We made ‘LA, LA,’” the “Drink Champs” co-host said. “But, when we went to the studio, we listened to your s**t and at first, I thought you were dissing 2Pac. You know why? You said, ‘You got the juice? I’ll squeeze you juiceless.’”
2. Kurupt On Mending Their Relationship With Capone-N-Noreaga
After cooler heads prevailed, Capone-N-Noreaga and Tha Dogg Pound brokered an alliance with one another, and have remained friends to this day. Kurupt speaks on the evolution of their relationship. “We [were] young, we didn’t know we had that power,” he explained. “Some of us had to learn the hard way and didn’t make it, and that’s the key to the game ‘cause, right now, it’s so historical to see DPG/CNN all on one accord... We weren’t attacking each other, we were defending ourselves. We were defending ourselves and y’all were defending y’all selves.”
3. Kurupt On Meeting N.O.R.E. Through Foxy Brown
The link that enabled Tha Dogg Pound and Capone-N-Noreaga to bury the hatchet was Foxy Brown, who was engaged to Kurupt at the time. He recalls the Brooklyn MC introducing Kurupt to N.O.R.E. and the two hitting it off immediately. “Being around Inga, I was around you,” he said. “So, me and you finally seen each other and we chopped it [up] and found out we got a lot in common, bam, and it was over after that. S**t, me, you and Inga was running amuck! I think Capone was in jail.”
4. N.O.R.E. On Kurupt Refusing To Wear His Red New York Yankees Jacket
Unabashed members of the Crips, Tha Dogg was synonymous with the color blue. N.O.R.E. recalls a moment where one of the east coast’s brutal snowstorms tested Kurupt’s resolve, however, he makes it clear the Cali native passed with flying colors. “I pick him up, it’s wintertime,” N.O.R.E. said. “It’s freezing, he got an all-blue jumper on. I open my car, the only jacket I got on is a bright red Yankee [jacket] and I didn’t wanna offer him [it] ‘cause I don’t know the exact guidelines of if you can still wear red or whatever. So, I offered him [the jacket], he thought about it, he said, ‘Nah, Cuz, I think I’ma just freeze it out [laughs].”
5. Kurupt On His Anonymity After The Release Of The Chronic
Earning multiple guest spots on The Chronic, Kurupt’s voice may been familiar to the public, but the same can’t be said for his face. “I pull up in Inglewood, right there on Century and Van Ness,” he remembered. “The Chronic just dropped. I pull up there, I’m in the passenger seat, I ain’t even driving, and I hear some music that’s so familiar in the car next to us as we’re driving. We’re at the stoplight and I look over. I roll the window down and I’m just looking and the n**ga, he’s bouncing to it, and he look at me, like, ‘What you looking at, Blood?’ I’m like, ‘My bad.’ This n**ga’s banging ‘Bitches Ain’t S**t.’” I said, ‘Oh, my God, that’s me!’ He don’t even know.”
6. N.O.R.E. On Continuing To Sell Crack After The War Report Was Released
Capone-N-Noreaga’s debut album, The War Report, is praised as a masterpiece. However, it wasn’t an overwhelming commercial success, leaving N.O.R.E. to fend for himself as a crack dealer afterward. “I’ma tell you how hard it was when The War Report was out,” he explained. “I was still selling crack. I didn’t think The War Report was a success at all. I did not get the benefits of anything of that. I went right back to selling crack. And Akinyele, one day, had to say, ‘Yo, listen to every car.’ Every car drove by playing The War Report, but I’m like, ‘I’m selling crack, Ak, what the f**k? I don’t care, I think they’re f**king with me.’”
7. Daz Dillinger On Recording Music Over Unreleased Songs From R&B Legends
Back when he was known as Dat N**ga Daz, Daz Dillinger was an catalyst in helping shape the sound of early Death Row classics like The Chronic, Doggystyle, and 2Pac’s All Eyez on Me. During Tha Dogg Pound’s sit-down on “Drink Champs,” he recalls going to extreme measures to inject himself into the creative process. “That’s when I stole the drum machine,” he reveals while touching on Death Row Records’ humble beginnings. “We used to hangout with Dick Griffey, the one that owned Solar Records with The Whispers, Lakeside and all that. We used to go in there and take the elevator thing out, and hot-wire it, and go up to the third floor. Then, I started telling everybody, ‘Come on, I’m hot-wiring the third floor.’ Then, I started just taping over masters and everything — like The Whispers and all their tapes that they recorded on. I would go back there, grab one of their tapes, erase everything on there, and put our music on there.”
8. Kurupt On Working With Dr. Dre
Having worked with Dr. Dre during various points of his career, Kurupt speaks on those experiences and how the dynamics between the two has changed. “When I was young, it was just, I had a point to prove. So, my point was to prove it to Dr. Dre. So, Dr. Dre was my inspiration of just going ham. Nowadays, it is some pressure because Dr. Dre, he expects a certain thing from you. It’s a little bit of pressure now because satisfying Dr. Dre ain’t as easy when a n**gas was young...because he expects something out of you and we ain’t the same people we was when we was young. We got a different flavor, different style, different way we’re going about things.”
9. Kurupt On His Tumultuous Relationship With Foxy Brown
One rap romance that burned intensely during the ‘90s was Kurupt and Foxy Brown’s, which the rapper touches on during his conversation with the “Drink Champs.” “The thing that made me love her, I should say, was I never had a girl fight over me,” Kurupt said. “Inga beat up my fans. She beat up the little side chicks, everything. And she’d always find a n**ga, I don’t know how she did that.”