Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Soopafly Talks Work On The New "Detox,” Hits With Dre & Tha Dogg Pound

Exclusive: The west coast's best kept secret discusses being fired by Dr. Dre, recently rehired for Detox, and using social media to talk to onetime collaborator Nate Dogg.
Even the most ardent fan of Hip Hop from the land of palm trees and gang signs is likely to incorrectly reply “Warren G,” “Daz” or “Battlecat” when asked who produced certified left coast classics like Warren G’s “Somethin’ To Bounce To,” Tha Dogg Pound’s “Thrown Up Da C,” Daz Dillinger’s “In California” or Snoop Dogg’s “Loosen’ Control.” Unknown to too many for too long is that the musical mind behind some of the finest G-Funk selections ever created was actually Priest “Soopafly” Brooks.  

Now with his aptly-titled third solo album, Best Kept Secret, the onetime protégé of Dr. Dre (whose first gig was playing keys for Dre and Ice Cube’s “Natural Born Killaz” as an unknown 19-year-old) is looking to finally let the world know who got some gangsta, gangsta shit by strategically keeping the best of his most recent G-certified creations all for himself.  

Last Monday (August 22nd) the producer/rapper spoke to HipHopDX about the just-released follow-up to his slept-on sophomore album, 2007’s Bangin West Coast, and its past-meets-present sonic direction. The unofficial third member of Tha Dogg Pound also discussed his past and present working alongside Dr. Dre, being compared to legendary music makers like Dre and DJ Quik, and communicating with a recently passed legend via Twitter. 

DX: Let’s switch gears to another one of your classic creations, the song that is the definitive L.A. anthem, Kurupt’s “Welcome Home.” Do you realize how often grown men turn into giddy little schoolgirls when discussing their fondness for that song? [Laughs]

Soopafly: [Laughs] Are you serious? I didn’t even know they liked that song. Is that right? Well, yeah, we did that at Sound Castle [Studios] years ago when Kurupt was working on his album, [Tha Streetz Iz A Mutha]. … We was working on his record, and I just told him I had a beat for him. He liked it, and he pretty much – anything I got he pretty much wit’ it anyway, so he got on it, jumped on it. I finished it up at the studio, had Toiya [Williams] come in and sing on it, [and] mixed it right there.          

DX: I don’t know if the general Hip Hop community is aware of all the classics you’ve created. Do you personally feel like you should be considered in the same company of Westside music makers like DJ Quik and Dr. Dre? Do you see yourself in that upper echelon? 

Soopafly: Do I see myself in that upper echelon? Uh … I’ve done a lot of work. I don’t see myself in that upper echelon as far as credits, because [a lot of them haven’t] been seen. But as far as getting the work done, yeah, I’m a worker; I just ain’t got as much credit as the Quik and Dr. Dre’s. Which is fine by me, but the real ones who read the credits and know how much I did, they know what it is.

Soopafly Talks Working On Dr. Dre's Detox

DX: Well, Dr. Dre obviously thinks highly of you. You recently revealed that you were “in studio working with Dr. Dre again. Making sure this Detox sound got my imprint on it too.” Is this a new version of Detox y’all are working on? Is Dre starting completely from scratch? 

Soopafly: Uh … nah, not from scratch. We just coming in, as far as Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, and making sure it got that finishing touch on it.      

DX: Was that an invite directly from Dre to you?

Soopafly: Yeah, it was. When the man call we tally up. It’s like the Super Friends.               

DX: [Laughs] Can you give your peoples at HipHopDX any insight into what the stuff you worked on for Detox sounds like?

Soopafly: No. [Laughs] How ‘bout that? It sounds good. I haven’t even personally worked on anything yet. Dre’s a perfectionist, so he takes his time. But, I listened to a lot of stuff [and] it sounds good. That’s all I’ma say.

DX: I was hoping you had given Dre something on par with “Crazy” from Bangin West Coast. That would’ve raised the anticipation level for Detox I think.

Soopafly: Oh yeah, I was thinking about Dre when I made the beat – just that sound, that type of sound.

DX: You mentioned on “That Way” from your last album that you previously “made beats with Dre.” Can you reveal what songs those beats became?

Soopafly: Uh … “Natural Born Killaz.” Uh … “[Keep Their Heads] Ringin’.” [Laughs] A lot of [the] Above The Rim [soundtrack]: “Big Pimpin’.” During that time, the Murder Was The Case Soundtrack, things like that. “Who Got Some Gangsta Shit?” I would have to admit that when we did the song it had my drums to it. Dre changed the drums, made ‘em his drums that he liked. At the time I was like, “Ah, I want my drums.” But then I listened back and I’m glad he changed it, because his ears is and was much, much more polished than mine.

DX: So during that era – like, ’94, ’95 – were you just playing keyboards, sort of as a session player? Or were you coming up with riffs and then taking ‘em to Dr. Dre, taking ‘em to Daz and saying, “Listen to this?”

Soopafly: It was before I met Daz. I was with Dre. With Dre, I was a keyboard player. He’d bring me to the studio, he’d play a beat, if he had a idea about how he wanted it [added on to I’d play that], or maybe [he’d have me] listen to a sample [and tell me to] “Do this over,” or [we’d] just come up with something hard and just see what we can do. We just created. So it was an even collaboration. I might do a bassline [and] he might [be like], “Well, change that note.” And he might [play] on there and I might change a note. It was just creativity.

Soopafly Recalls Getting Down With Tha Dogg Pound

DX: And then Daz came in and stole you away? [Laughs]

Soopafly: Dr. Dre fired me, matter of fact. Really, he didn’t fire me, he was not doing music. So it was really nothing for me to do. So, I met Kurupt first. And then we did a song together. And then he introduced me to Daz. And when I met [back up with] Daz the next morning, we went in the studio and we did [Tha Dogg Pound's] “What Would You Do.” So, we kinda knew we was a match. And we became best friends – me, him and Kurupt.

DX: One last Dre-related question: Has he heard “Sumthin Better” from Best Kept Secret yet? ‘Cause if not, he’s gonna be mad as hell when he finds out you kept that heatrock for yourself.

Soopafly: What I did for this album – A lot through my little career, I feel like I gave my best ones away. I don’t regret that at all, but I just wanted this album to save everything for me this time. And [I just wanted] to come with an album that I think is pretty much complete – not to think that, Man, I shoulda put this on here ….

DX: I don’t know how to describe the sound … but I wrote down [it was] sorta futuristic Soopafly. Like, [with the song] “All This Game.” You agree with that assessment?

Soopafly: Uh … yeah, future and the past, kind of keeping ‘em together at the same time, but still [a] G-Funk feel to it. As sounds evolve, you gotta evolve too. Anything that catches a ear that I can make catch somebody’s ear, I’ma use it.

DX: I know producers especially don’t like comparisons, but I felt the same vibe listening to your album that I did listening to DJ Quik’s Book of David album that he put out earlier this year.

Soopafly: That’s a good comparison, ‘cause Quik is a great guy to be compared to. I know he puts nothing out but perfection.

DX: You got a nice string of perfection on

Soopafly: I’m trying to hang up there with the big boys. It’s hard sometimes, but then again it’s easy.

Source -


  1. I'm looking forward hearing tha Dogg Pound on Detox!

    Hopefully Dre will release a collectors edition of Detox with a dvd with behind the scenes film and in depth interviews with Dre and the crew (like the one with remastered Chronic album but much longer). A book would also be cool with pics and interviews. Maybe even put the detox beats headphones in the same package, would be expensive but cool...D

    I really wanna hear the stories of the making of Detox and Dre's opinions. But I'm not sure Dre wanna tell all the drama and shit that has happened behind the scenes.

  2. Fuck a book or reliving all this frustration, all of this behind-the-scenes shit wouldn't be interesting, it would be agonizing as hell. This is a man who has started over god knows how many times because he wasn't feeling it when all was said and done, and spending an embarrassing amount of time doing shit that just wasn't working when all the pressure is on him to nail it perfect. Dre isn't perfect but at least he's doing it; he took it to the next level TWICE, developed the best hip-hop talent, and works like a horse in the studio when he has more than enough money to quite literally not give a fuck about anything for the rest of his natural born life. He doesn't owe anyone anything and he doesn't need Detox.

    You want a synopsis? He worked with this nigga, didn't work out, he fucks with this nigga, shit doesn't work out either, and it goes on and on with him sitting on his ass in the studio tweaking sounds your ears can't even contemplate for ten goddamn years with a laundry list of producers and artists until Dre finds the formula for what finally became Detox. The end.

    This is a great article for the fans to read, Soopafly is mad underrated for WC hip-hop and having his imprint with his guys at least in the room where Detox is being put together is a great sign. This is the shit Detox and Dre fans should be jumping up and down for because these are the guys you want on the record. Maybe Dre finally gets it and wants to make the last classic WC hip-hop album with all the guys that built G-funk together and Detox will be the final chapter from that era while taking it to that other level. One can hope but if Dre is truly surrounding himself with people like DOC, Snoop, Soopafly, Warren, Dogg Pound, Quik, all those guys, then I can trust whatever he's doing, he's doing it right.

  3. Hopefully we get to hear a similar dark beat like Natural born killaz which Soopafly helped with!! I love that record!

    This is my guess of the features on the album:

    50 cent
    Busta rhymes
    Kendrick lamar
    Slim the mobster
    Tha dogg pound
    Stat quo

    Featured on the hooks:
    Marsha ambrosius
    Nikki grier
    Elly jackson
    Mary j blige

    Ice Cube
    Jay rock
    J cole
    Swizz beatz
    Tito lopez

    If these artists are featured on the album I'm gonna be very happy!!! Dre's got an awesome team right now, good rappers, good producers and good artists who can sing!! This looks much better right now than a few years ago!

  4. If Dre is going to bring these guys back it would be nice to if he could bring back Rage and RBX. These are the two most underrated voices from the Chronic and Doggystyle years. R.B.X had a very powerful and fearful voice. It would also be nice if he could get a hold of some unreleased Nate Dogg vocals to use in maybe a tribute song. Plus include Cube and Ren if this is the direction he is headed. I would like to see both the East and West Coast influence on this album. And also include a newer futuristic sound that we haven't really heard yet close to what Under Pressur was like, but not yet finished. It would be nice to see the old and upcoming talent that Dre has been involved with through the years.

    Uzee maybe you could throw out a featured wishlist for us fans since a few have already left their suggestions just like you did for Dre's favorite. I guarantee it will get alot of hits. Thanks