Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Various Artists 

The Very Best of Death Row (The Row)

No gangsta rap label is more infamous than Death Row: Federal criminal probes, coastal beefs, strong-arm violence, unsolved murders and shady business practices exemplified Suge Knight's Los Angeles-based conglomerate, whose artists, known as "inmates," represented a '27 Yankees-caliber pool of rap talent, including 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Now known as Tha Row, the label hasn't had a new hit in a while, but as The Very Best of Death Row shows, beyond all the drama, during its glory years it defined and perfected West Coast G-funk.

Eight years since its initial release, 'Pac's "Against All Odds" shines in a new light, easily standing up to anything by 50 Cent or the Game. And for moments of pure pop-culture brilliance, try Nate Dogg interpolating "London Bridge" on the Dogg Pound's "Let's Play House," Roger Troutman's electrofunky vocoder on "California Love," Snoop's catchy sing-along It's like this and like that and a on "Nuthin' But a G Thang," or Warren G jacking Michael McDonald for the infectious hook to "Regulate." While sadly misogynistic (with the exception of the Lady of Rage's "Afro Puffs"), Death Row's prolific output has proved as influential and timeless as the P-Funk melodies Dr. Dre sampled to make 'em that way.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Eric K. Arnold

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 13, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation