Monday, July 13, 2009

Artwork, Liner Notes, and Thank Yous: A Look Back At Tha Dogg Pound's "Dogg Food"

November 17th, 1995 - Entertainment Weekly, p.79: "...a dictionary entry for `Long Beach rap.'....anchored by familiar, rib-shuddering Jeep beats and eerily dazed synths, buckshot rapping spices up the album's predominantly loping gait, and soulful R&B swing, touches of dancehall, and old-school vocals look beyond So-Cal..." - Rating: A.

I'll try to reconstruct this memory as best as possible. When I was eight years old I got a hold of Snoop Doggy Dogg's Doggystyle cassette tape which had just been released and featured an elaborate fold out comic strip smothered with profane artwork and language. A few listens later coupled with the edited replays on local radio stations some lyrics were not making sense. Sure I figured out "dat" meant that, "tha" meant the, and "niggaz" meant preferred acquaintances, but when it came to the line in Lodi Dodi, "Cause you took your dope away from me", I honestly had no idea what that meant. Snoop would never bring some moronic friend (a dope) to spoil a rowdy party and even if he did why would that person be missed when taken away? I was eight, my sister was just as clueless, and I didn't have any older brothers so that meant I went to mom for some clarity. Soon after the tape was gone, destroyed, ripped apart and thrown in the garbage can. The worst part is I didn't learn my lesson since it was three years later when I was again confused by Howard Stern's use of the word douche bag and once more sought parental insight.

That memory got me thinking about albums, past and present, that I'd heard but didn't bother really looking into the liner notes or booklets. Earlier today I was going through my CDs and found Tha Dogg Pound's Dogg Food and decided it was time for some deconstruction. Instead of reviewing the music (After all, Entertainment Weekly giving it an A pretty much somes things up, right?) I'll instead take a look back into the artwork, liner notes, thank yous, and gratuitous vulgarity that gets funnier each time I read it.

Above is the fifth page of the album's booklet which features a touching thank you from Kurupt to his beloved mother. It reads: My Momma (who always got my motherfuccin' bacc, no matter what the fucc happens. "I LUV U!"). In fifteen words Kurupt has summed up the feelings for his momma that echo the sentiments we have towards our own mothers. In contrary to all this love, the second to last line on the page showcases a stern warning from Daz to his enemies. It reads: Fuc all you bitches with 500 dollars worth of shit on your heads. Since four hundred dollars worth of shit on your head wasn't enough he had to throw in ANOTHER hundred just to teach you a lesson. Daz really doesn't appreciate your hating.

Page three pictured above. Unfortunately for us Sam Sneed and Danny Boy were only given the opportunity to release an EP and not an LP. We're still waiting. Speaking of waiting, Michel'le made us wait nine years to follow up her self-titled debut with the sophomore release of Hung Jury that had favorites like "Hang Tyme" and "Can I Get A Witness". And I won't get into the history of Club 662 but Wikipedia says it's now called Club Seven which I cannot find any information on. Somebody help me out before my next Vegas trip.

Tha Lass Supper? Da Lazt Supp'r? Thanks for not putting the name of the painting in the notes fellas. I really am curious to find out if Da or Tha was used to title this painting and what rules apply in figuring that out. Hopefully there's a clever way to remember the rule. Da before Tha except after... - Whatever the title is, I'm still trying to name everyone in it. I'm assuming the ones I can't name are the ones who were never famous, like Sam Sneed and Danny Boy. Also, The Lady of Rage looks like Princess Leia.

Here's where I need your help. If you own the CD please remove it from your shelf and open the booklet to pages two and three. See Daz chilling in the car in the upper right looking like he just passed out? Good. Now take a good hard look at his attire. Sleak black jacket and slacks, check. Golden bracelet, questionable but appropriate. Newsboy cap, otherwise lame and douchey but permissible since it's Tha Dogg Pound and not you. Now, look at the tie Daz is wearing. Look really hard. That's right mothafucca, Daz is wearing a tie with a reindeer on it. Antlers, red nose, frolicking. Daz is sporting Rudolf running around in the woods on his tie. Here is the best scanned zoom I can get:


That about does it for deconstructing Dogg Food. I hope you've all seen the value of album artwork, booklets, liner notes, thank yous, and vulgarity. I'm working on the next album artwork deconstruction so until then try not to be a hater or you'll be swimming in five hundred dollars worth of shit.


Fernando said...

This album was suppose to have "Can't C Us" the original version of 2pac's "Can't C Me" and possibly the original "Got My Mind Made Up" with Method Man, Redman, Inspectah Deck and Lady of Rage.

danny said...

first of all fuck you because "newsboy caps" (scally caps) are great, and cyco lic no is the dope joint on that muthafucka