Funk is Not a Fad: Snoop Dogg, Daz & Dam-Funk Float On

The LBC legends continue.
By    November 2, 2015

Art by Eric Steuer

Max Bell learned the talkbox from Leonard Troutman, the younger brother of Roger. 

Rap doesn’t allow covers or standards. Like the imagists of the early 20th century, the genre’s focus has always been on the new. This is one of the chief reasons that it remains a young man’s game. Unlike jazz, blues, or pop, no one is going to pay hard earned ducats to hear an aging rapper cover someone else’s hits, let alone re-rap their own. The act of aging gracefully has eluded most that haven’t become moguls. Even then, no one’s brand is perfect (e.g. your favorite sports manager, your Burning Man parasol plug, and that guy who sold your dad headphones).

Enter Snoop and Daz. The legacy of the two Long Beach bred cousins would’ve remained indelible had they thrown in their paisley patterned blue rags with the demise of Death Row and the dawn of the millennium, but they didn’t. Snoop is a walking revenue stream, his slender pinky finger touching film, weed, YouTube, and more whenever he’s not recording. The latter is an ever-welcome presence at all Snoop shows, has recorded four solo albums in the last five years, and probably (read: hopefully) continues to collect checks for his vocal, written, and production contributions on everything from The Chronic and Doggystyle, to Dogg Food and All Eyez on Me.

Last week, Daz dropped “So You Right”, another of the innumerable Snoop assisted songs currently extant. With production from Dam-Funk and hook vocals from Shon Lawon, it sounds like it was possibly recorded during the same 7 Days of Funk session that birthed “N My System” (below the jump).

Best suited for a coastline cruise, the percussion is culled from Dam’s seemingly infinite supply of crisp kicks, claps, hi-hats, and snares. The warm bass and shimmering keys befit someone who was raised in the Pasadena sun. Snoop uses his inimitably smooth voice to croon loving couplets between Shon Lawon’s Troutman-esque warbles. Daz remains incapable of rapping poorly. In complimenting the object of his affection (and probable advances), he does so with more sincerity than your favorite dancing meme ever could. Despite occasionally insipid lyrics, his delivery and confidence never wane.

“Sho You Right” doesn’t reinvent the Dayton spoke or G-Funk “love” song (e.g. “Let’s Play House”), but, for two men in their early 40s who’ve rapped for over two decades, this is better than it has any right to be.

For those looking to purchase “Sho You Right”, the song appears on Cuzznz, the Daz and Snoop project that is, according to Daz, “out in a hood near you.” However, Daz has yet to specify which hoods are holding. I suspect you might be able to find it at World Famous VIP Records, a weed dispensary that carries Snoop Dogg rolling papers and G-Pens, the trunk of an Impala owned by a man who owns an inordinate amount of blue flannel, select swap meets, or inside the truck of your block’s ice cream man.

In glancing at the track list, it’s clear that very little on Cuzznz is actually new material. Most, if not all, has appeared elsewhere (i.e. 7 Days of Funk and various volumes of Snoop’s mixtape series That’s My Work that you probably didn’t sift through for the gems). Really, this is Daz’s way of showing his age without admitting it. Apart from continuing to record and perform with Snoop, the only other viable option is writing a tell-all book about the Death Row days. But Daz will never snitch, and he doesn’t like to dream about getting paid.

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