Club Nokia is about to put the “wild” in Wild, Wild West, as Nov. 26 sees West Coast Feast III goes down with performances from Too $hort, DJ Quik, Warren G and Tha Dogg Pound. Don’t mistake this for another nostalgia event, as all four of the artists scheduled to perform are just as active now as they were in their prime, staying relevant and pleasing fans.
Here’s a quick rundown of what they’ve been up to since the West was won:
Tha Dogg Pound
After wowing us with verses on The Chronic and Doggystyle, the duo of Daz Dillinger and Kurupt made their addition to the Death Row classics list with their debut album, Dogg Food. Both have recently made great solo projects as well, namely Kurupt’s 2009 album with DJ Quik and Daz’s 2013 album with the woefully underrated Cali vet WC. This year Daz put out a new album, Weed Money, which features a diverse list of guests including Snoop, Texas’ Trae tha Truth, Z-Ro and Devin the Dude. Kurupt’s supergroup The HRSMN, also featuring Ras Kass, Canibus and Killah Priest, also put out a new EP this year.
Everyone with a working set of ears knows Warren G’s masterpiece “Regulate” by heart. This year, “Regulate” turns 20, and has even been turned into a children’s book. Warren has continued putting out music, all while hitting the reality TV circuit, appearing in Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Rap Superstar. He also was the recipient of a unique honor when Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill declared August 1-6, 2005 to be “Warren G Week” for his contributions to the city. Most recently, he’s become a spokesman for a wine company and, along with performing at various festivals, had made an effort to use his notoriety to spotlight up-and-coming talent.
The cyclical nature of the record business has seen many artists returning from the corporate hellscape of major labels to focus on putting their destiny back in their own hands. This is nothing new for Too $hort, who was the pioneer of the hip-hop indie hustle. $hortdog has had quite a prolific few years, appearing on Comedy Central’s Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time and collaborating with Lady Gaga on Artpop. He’s also put out two albums titled History with E-40 and opened his own digital production studio, the Magic Gate. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Short’s album Cocktails, so you can be the first on your block to get to the commemoration early. Also, by all accounts, “bitch” is still his favorite word.
There are very few rappers who’ve hit the two decade mark and maintained a top level of quality without a blemish in their catalog. There’s Scarface. There’s E-40. And now, there’s DJ Quik. His new album The Midnight Life is funky, smooth and eccentric, everything that’s made Quik’s music great over the past 20 years, with the boundary-pushing production innovations he’s known for. The man’s never had that “big comeback” because he never went away. With great release after great release, including the aforementioned Blaqkout album with Kurupt, Quik’s mastery is as sharp as ever.