Soundtrack includes best of rappers

Murder Was The Case

Various Artists

Death Row Records

Just as the "Above the Rim" soundtrack made Long Beach rapper Warren G a star, the newly released Murder Was The Case soundtrack is destined to put Tha Dogg Pound on every rap fan's most wanted list.

Tha Pound's track "What Would U Do?" which is buried on the tripped-out, Trent Reznor-produced Natural Born Killers soundtrack (it is track no. 27 on a 27-track disc), appears in a re-mixed version on Murder that mixes an intensely high-powered bassline with the lazy yet vicious Long Beach drawl of rappers Kurupt and That Nigga Daz. The result is a simply awesome rap song that should land Tha Pound on MTV.

In addition, Murder contains two other tracks by Tha Pound "Who Got Some Gangsta Shit?" (with Snoop Doggy Dogg, Lil' Style and Young Swoop) and "Come Up To My Room" (with Jodeci) which unfortunately don't possess the same unique style because they are confined to complementing another artist's styles rather than concentrating on their own.

Although Tha Pound's delivery is intense and remarkable, their lyrics are only moderately original. A sample from "What Would U Do?" courtesy of Tha Pound's That Nigga Dazz: "Now if a nigga had a prayer before a nigga died/Would the nigga be dead or would he stay alive?/And if I was in your shoes would I survive?/Probably not, you'd probably let your Glock go pop/Now drop to your knees and picture That Nigga Daz flowin' in the breeze."

Another soon-to-be legendary cut, titled "Natural Born Killaz," pairs Ice Cube with Dr. Dre in their first joint appearance on a full-length album since NWA's "Straight Outta Compton." "Killaz" is a masterpiece, combining lyrics about controversial pop culture icons (including Nirvana, O.J. Simpson and a reference to Terminator's Sarah Connor character as "your nigga Sarah Connor") with a piercing bassline. It definitely gets the hard core fan longing for an NWA reunion album (minus Eazy-E).

The album also includes songs by Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tray Deee, Nate Dogg, Jewell, Danny Boy (not the Danny Boy of House of Pain), Sam Sneed (featuring Dr. Dre, D.J. Quik, Slip Capone and CPO, B-Rezell, Young Soldierz and a re-mixed version of Snoop Doggy Dogg's "Murder Was The Case," which originally appeared on his debut album Doggystyle. However, Murder's selling points are definitely Tha Dogg Pound's tracks and the Cube-Dre collaboration.

Murder Was The Case is worth the $15, but for best results, program your disc player to skip over the songs by Jewell and Danny Boy.

Murder, incidentally, is the soundtrack to an 18-minute film directed by Dr. Dre that stars Snoop Doggy Dogg. It is not yet known how the movie will be marketed, although pay-per-view has been suggested. Thoden K. Janes

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