Delmar Drew Arnaud (born May 25, 1973), better known by his stage name Daz Dillinger (formerly Dat Nigga Daz), is an American rapper and record producer from Long Beach, California. Dillinger is best known for his membership of the hip hop duo Tha Dogg Pound, alongside Kurupt, as well as his work with Death Row.
The Chronic, Tha Dogg Pound and Dogg Food (1992-1995)
Daz began his career on Death Row Records as a producer for co-founder Suge Knight's Paradise. He was signed to the label and subsequently began working with Dr. Dre on the breakthrough west coast album, The Chronic; during its recording, he met and grew close to Kurupt, with whom he would soon work professionally. The two formed Tha Dogg Pound for Doggystyle, the debut album of his cousin, up-and-coming star Snoop Dogg. The critically acclaimed album, as well as their later single "What Would You Do?", saw Tha Dogg Pound partake in the rivalry between Dr. Dre and former N.W.A groupmate Eazy-E, by dissing artists on Eazy's Ruthless Records.
Daz Dillinger was more heavily involved in Doggystyle than Kurupt; while it was produced and mixed by Dre, Daz was featured on one track and received co-production credit on two ("Serial Killa" and "For All My Niggaz & Bitches") he also produced tracks for Above The Rim and Murder Was the Case soundtracks. Subsequently, Daz and Kurupt put out their debut group album, Dogg Food, to rave reviews and platinum sales. While the duo dissed Ruthless acts BG Knocc Out & Dresta and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the album, Dogg Food also saw the duo engage in yet another conflict, this time the beef Suge and new signee 2Pac initiated against Bad Boy Entertainment's Puff Daddy and Notorious B.I.G.; Daz and Kurupt released their Snoop Dogg-assisted single "New York, New York", which slighted the East Coast hip hop scene. The single initiated a response called "L.A., L.A." by East Coast rappers Capone-N-Noreaga, Tragedy Khadafi and Mobb Deep in a collaboration effort.
Head producer, All Eyez on Me and Retaliation, Revenge and Get Back
As the East Coast-West Coast rivalry escalated in early 1996, and Suge Knight's increasingly intense strong-arm tactics entered the studio, head producer Dr. Dre steadily grew resentful of the label's dangerous atmosphere. Beginning with Dogg Food, which Daz produced, Dre no longer produced whole Death Row albums; in his latter days as in-house producer, he worked only with 2Pac, producing three tracks (California Love, which was originally supposed to appear on the Aftermath compilation album, California Love Remix, and Can't C Me) for the rapper's definitive album All Eyez on Me. Even before Dre left the label to found his own Aftermath Entertainment, Daz went to produce the hit songs "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted", "Ambitionz Az A Ridah", and "I Ain't Mad At Cha" among other tracks which solidified his status as a talented and successful producer. Arnaud effectively took over as head producer, crafting 5 tracks on the double-album's first disc and providing some beats for Snoop Dogg's sophomore effort, Tha Doggfather, from which Dre's production was absent. His status as head producer was made official once Dre left, and continued on even after 2Pac's murder and the artist-exodus it initiated. During his tenure heading the label's sound, Daz contributed production to the Gridlock'd soundtrack, Lady of Rage's Necessary Roughness, and Nate Dogg's G-Funk Classics, Vol. 1. His production would also pop up on the unauthorized Snoop Dogg release Dead Man Walkin' put out by Suge in 2001, after Daz himself had left the label.
Dillinger went on to put out his own solo album, Retaliation, Revenge and Get Back on Death Row in 1998; Nate Dogg, Kurupt and Snoop had already left the label, followed shortly thereafter by Daz himself. During this time a short-lived feud sparked between Daz and Snoop, regarding the latter's words against Suge Knight and the former's status at the label and disses inherent in the album, which Snoop Dogg later dropped out of respect for his cousin.
Solo career and feud with Kurupt
After ending his tenure at Death Row, Arnaud would go on to produce for acts like Kurupt, Soopafly, and B-Legit; he put out the album R.A.W. in 2000, the flagship release for his own D.P.G. Recordz, which would for some time function as a vehicle for releasing solo albums. He and Kurupt united in 2001 for a second album, Dillinger & Young Gotti, which received mixed reviews, under the name D.P.G. (as Suge still owned rights to the name 'Tha Dogg Pound' at the time). The group unity was short-lived, as Kurupt would subsequently re-sign with Death Row, prompting his former groupmate to diss him several times in song and interviews. Daz dissed Death Row with "Catch U In The Club", "U Ain't Shit" and a skit called "A Message to Ricardo Brown". Kurupt respond with "No Vaseline Part 2." The feud carried on from 2002 to 2005, while Dillinger released several solo efforts, including a 'DPGC' album with Snoop Dogg, Soopafly and Bad Azz and Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP on his own.
Reconciliation and upcoming projects
In 2005, Daz and Kurupt reconciled their differences at a West Coast unity event hosted by Snoop Dogg; Kurupt proceeded to leave Death Row a second time, procuring rights to the name of Tha Dogg Pound and re-forming the duo with his former partner, who on his part ended his brief tenure at Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Recordings. The duo immediately commenced to releasing albums, including Dillinger & Young Gotti II: Tha Saga Continuez..., the Let'z Ryde Tonite EP and Cali iz Active with Snoop Dogg as the DPG. Their next proper album came in the form of 2007's Dogg Chit, and then in 2009 with "That Was Then, This is Now". In the works for Daz are two Dogg Pound releases, one entitled 100 Wayz—formerly Westcoast Aftershocc, through Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle Records, and one produced in conjunction with Pete Rock. August 1, 2008, Daz Dillinger offered the new owners of Death Row Records to record videos for Dogg Food; he also plans to repackage and release unreleased material.
- Retaliation, Revenge and Get Back (1998)
- R.A.W. (2000)
- This Is the Life I Lead (2002)
- DPGC: U Know What I'm Throwin' Up (2003)
- I Got Love in These Streetz (2004)
- Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP (2005)
- Gangsta Crunk (2005)
- So So Gangsta (2006)
- Gangsta Party (2007)
- Only on the Left Side (2008)
- Public Enemiez (2009)
- Matter of Dayz (2010)
- D.A.Z. (2011)
- Witit Witit (2012)
- Weed Money (2014)
- Long Beach 2 Fillmoe (with JT the Bigga Figga) (2001)
- Game for Sale (with JT the Bigga Figga) (2001)
- Southwest (with Nuwine) (2003)
- Get That Paper (with Fratthouse) (2009)
- West Coast Gangsta Shit (with WC) (2013)
- Cuzznz (with Snoop Dogg) (2016)
- Nominated in 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (with Kurupt): "What Would You Do"