Likely thanks to the immense success of “Straight Outta Compton” in 2015, a number of other hip-hop group biopics were reported to be in the works, whether at the studio level, or independently-produced.
Among those announced to be in development was a Death Row Records film, with talent agency APA said to be shopping the project around at the time, which was to be titled “Welcome to Death Row,” and would focus on the years after N.W.A formed, and all the acts that came after them, forging their own solo careers – rappers like Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Tha Dogg Pound and others.
Also announced as in development was a Dogg Pound biopic, a group formed in 1992, made up of West Coast rappers Daz Dillinger and Kurupt, signed to Death Row Records, appearing on albums by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s debut album “Doggystyle,” before their own debut album “Dogg Food” was released in 1995.
It’s been announced today that Snoop Dogg and Daz Dillinger are shopping a drama series based on Tha Dogg Pound story which will be executive produced by Kenya Ware and Damien Zellous; Ware produced and Zellous directed a 2005 feature documentary on Tha Dogg Pound titled “DPG Eulogy,” which chronicles the ups and downs experienced by the rap group, with the stated aim being to set the record straight, tracing the evolution of the duo’s beefs, reunions, and lasting relationships over the years.
“Snoop and I are always being asked to assist others with their Death Row projects because we were there from the beginning, until the demise,” Dillinger said. “We saw Dre leave, Pac murdered, and we were forced to run the company when Suge Knight went back to prison. Our perspective is honest and unique. There are countless stories that the world has never heard about those early days.”
No word of any networks that might be interested in the potential series. But if it does get picked up, a premium cable TV network, or an SVOD service like Netflix, would probably be ideal given the mature content.
As for the previously-announced “Welcome to Death Row,” which was being shopped as a sequel to “Straight Outta Compton,” 2 years ago, it was to be based on the book and documentary of the same name by S. Leigh Savidge, who also co-executive produced “Straight Outta Compton.”
It’s actually a surprise that the massive success of “Straight Outta Compton” didn’t immediately lead to a rush of several other hip-hop group biopics put on the so-called fast-track, given studio mentality. But the Dogg Pound series is another on a growing list of potential projects, including a Gang Starr film which DJ Premier has said he’s working on; and also Chuck D suggested that he would entertain the idea of a Public Enemy bio; and the long-in-development Tupac Shakur project in finally heading to theaters this summer; also Master P. has teamed up with Queen Latifah and her Flavor Unit production company to produce a film on his life.
There are (or will be) others. Strike while the iron is hot, as the saying goes.