When Biz Markie and Snoop Dogg rapped about "the vapors," it was about how people change for the worse. Without a doubt, it was something you didn't want your friends to do. But a new group called the Vapors, made up of Tha Liks and Tha Dogg Pound, hopes every rap fan will want to be a part of its musical movement.
The combination of longtime friends and occasional collaborators Tha Liks (J-Ro, E-Swift and Tash), known for their rowdy, party-starting hip-hop, and Tha Dogg Pound (Kurupt and Daz), known for their lyrically inclined gangster parables, marks the first time West Coast crews with different sonic agendas have teamed up to form a single group.
The West Coast rap heroes will also feature up-and-coming rhyme friends Merciless Styles (a member of J-Ro's Wolfpack Family) and Roscoe (Kurupt's younger brother) prominently on their debut album, due next year. Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, King T, Defari and others are also likely to make appearances on the album.
"We're about to take over," J-Ro said. "We're taking the most lyrical, livest, gangster element of the West Coast and combining it with the most lyrical, livest, hip-hop element of the West Coast."
The Vapors album will be released on their own DNA label, which stands for either "Dogg Pound 'n' Alkaholiks" or "Drugs 'n' Alcohol," depending on your mood. It also has another meaning for Kurupt. "DNA is the makeup of the body, and we're the makeup of the West Coast," said Kurupt, who appeared on "Promote Violins," a cut from Tha Liks' X.O. Experience (2001).
Although the Vapors have yet to secure distribution for their album, that hasn't kept the crew from recording several songs. While on the Snoop Dogg-headlined Puff, Puff, Pass tour, E-Swift traveled with a portable studio, much as DJ Clue did on 1999's "Hard Knock Life" tour.
This preplanning is intended to show the world that the Vapors are serious. "See, we're a business," Kurupt said. "Before we even go to talk to people about our situation, we're going to make the album, have the album ready, have everything in preparation from merchandising to marketing plans everything we want. DNA is very real. It's a combination of what we consider to be the greatest to come from the West."