Dubb Union (actually Westurn Union but THE STREETS KNOW THEIR REAL NAME right) dropped a great fukkin album this year. The group is Soopafly, Damani and Bad Lucc. Record is real solid — the dudes can all rap, charismatic, good times sunny day LA party CD. Although its been getting a lot of attention, the DPG gangsta grillz cd wasnt really all that hot to me, or was only intermittently interesting — this is an underrated banger from this year btw, and a classic Quik verse, “Ponytail on my neck, who do i think I am??” — but the dubb union album definitely does a better job picking up where Cali is Active left off. Damani and Bad Lucc play off each other like a Daz n Kurupt tribute group (or the Dogg Pound’s Dogg Pound), while Soopafly brings that more Quik/Snoop style enunciated flow, great chemistry and really just seem like they’re having a ball throughout. Bad Lucc & Damani are like those dudes who have a few medium-profile cameos and you never expected to hear from them again, sorta like Rick Ross on Thug Holiday (for ex. Damani was on one track on Kurupt’s Space Boogie joint). But the obvious joy they have making a rap record with their idols makes up for any sorta sideman vibes you get, and its obvious they love rapping and know how this shit is done.
Soopafly does a bunch of the beats on this, the best of which has gotta be the bangin “Dippin Thru!!“
Helpfully the best tracks on this record have exclamation points after them so u know what to skip to your first time through the record, like this copy of Edwin Starr’s Clean I copped the other day where some DJ had written little DJ hints after the best tracks, things like “DISCO,” “BOP SUPER BAD” and “DISCO SUPER BAD” and several XXX’s to indicate a track’s level of BAD-ness. They got other producers too; in this interview DJ Quik talks about how all the old west coast folks are getting together and working together on projects across the board, mentions doing the mixing for the Snoop and Murs albums earlier this year, working with Teddy Riley on the Snoop album. There’s no Quik on this record but Riley turns up for a track, Kurupt has a verse, Snoop is here presenting the whole project. Basically like Quik said about the West Coast right now; this album doesnt just give Cali iz Active vibes but genuine California-is-active vibes.
And all these beats are solid as fuck; Soopafly of course is a long-time West Coast producer who’s been underrated for a long-ass time. I love his tradermark — sample short, brassy horn lines and sorta filter them so they sound like a modern-sounding orchestra hit, wrapped around some real hard-hitting drums, almost like a filter disco house producer — for ex check Crazy off his (dope) comp Bangin West Coast from a year or 2 back. Hes also got a real solid sense of swing with his drum programming on joints like “Dippin Thru!!” — check out the stuttering kick drums. Love that shit!! I dont have the production credits cuz I copped this through Amazon’s mp3 site but I’m guessing “Tear it Off” is Soopafly too — a tight short fauxriental sample looped and then attached to thundering drums with that loose Soopafly swing, a delayed snare that makes you snap your neck at the last second on the beat.
Basically, the Dubb Union record is one of the most fun rap records I’ve heard all year, and not “fun” like people tell you the Cool Kids are supposed to be, but actually fun and banging, great beats (I didn’t even talk about “Don’t Like You Girl” or the Soopafly’d rock/funk sample on “Dub You!”) and rappers doing what rappers are supposed to be doing.