August 03, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B

With its tangled allegiances, the hip-hop world often seems like a soap opera. The melodrama really lathers up this month, with three releases from the extended Dogg Pound family. Doggfather Snoop presents his latest proteges, Tha Eastsidaz, on a well-produced, surprisingly delicate and diverse ode to the Long Beach Crips that invites along rivals and outsidaz like Hi-Tek, the Alchemist, Mobb Deep, Swizz Beatz, and Lil’ Mo. On his second solo album, former Snoop student Kurupt heals wounds he helped create, shouting out to former nemesis Jay-Z and offering street cred to guests Everlast and Fred Durst. On 2002, Death Row CEO Suge Knight confuses alliances with a set of never-released tracks spanning his label’s history: Snoop raps on some cuts but is called a snitch on another. 2Pac brags about being a ”Bad Boy killer” and rehashes the ugliness that Snoop and Kurupt seem intent on moving beyond. ”Eastsidaz” Grade: B+; ”Kurupt” Grade: B; ”Tha Dogg Pound” Grade: C-

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