Tha Dogg Pound - 2002

In light of recent events in America there's something inherently wrong about listening to Gangsta rap. But then again why should we have to listen to the bands / acts that MTV deem inoffensive - if Travis, Dido et all float your boat then fine but for those who want something a bit tougher / a bit rougher then you need look no further than Death Row. Quite where Death Row is heading is anyone's guess but "2002" is a document of everything's that good and everything's that's bad about hip hop in the 21st century.

Snoop Dogg, 2 Pac, Xzibit and Kurupt all make guest appearances but none are more essential that Nate Dogg. "Just Doggin" a prime slice of hip hop which in a just world would have set the charts alight. With a few notable essential tracks ("Feels Good", "Gangsta Rap" and "Your Girlfriend 2") much of "2002" just goes through the motions. Stylized and made to order hip hop has become as cliched as the latest boy band / girl group pap. With Redman and Dead Prez over in the States and Adam F here in the UK making some life changing tracks why do we need the production line style of hip hop.

Quite where hip hop (and for that case the whole entertainment industry) will go after the tragic events in America is anyone's guess but one thing is for sure - the people deserve more and if Death Row won't give it them they'll look somewhere else. We've been hearing nothing but gang banging, ho's and bitches for the past 10 years so maybe its time for the people to get real!!!

Alex McCann