The landscape of hip-hop looked vastly different in the 1990s than how it does today. When we’re looking at hip-hop of the decade, we’re looking (for the most part) at two feuding record labels, Death Row Records on the West Coast and Badboy Entertainment on the East Coast. Both companies had their own stars, with Tupac Shakur signed to Death Row, and The Notorious B.I.G signed to Bad Boy.
However, as the home of 2pac and the volatile Suge Knight, Death Row was the true epicentre of the East Coast VS West Coast feud as it was 2pac (real name Tupac Amaru Shakur) who was doing the antagonising while Bad Boy remained silent.
Although there was a lot of angst coming out of the Death Row label, it was also supplying the highest quality music. Not only did the company’s roster include Shakur, but it also boasted Snoop Dogg among a plethora of upcoming stars.
As part of Death Row Records, Snoop Dogg first became mainstream when he was featured on Dr Dre’s 1992 track ‘Deep Cover’. His first and second albums would lay the foundation for a career that would accelerate at lightning speed leading the rapper to work with the likes of Ice Cube, Jay-Z and more.
Snoop’s early years began during the 1990s G-Funk era, alongside artists such as Dr Dre, Nate Dogg, and Warren G. However, one of his closest affiliates while on Death Row Records was Shakur. All under the Death Row umbrella, great music was made by the label during the early and mid-90s, but the feud’s gruesome end led to a fairly quick dissipation of the label’s roster. However, in 1993, the year that Doggystyle was released, Snoop, Dr Dre, Nate Dogg and Tha Dog Pound all took part in an impromptu cypher at the studio.
You can see the rare, unplanned cypher in the video below.