One of the criminally underrated records at the heart of the Death Row-Bad Boy feud was snatched from behind enemy lines. The beat that became "New York, New York" by Daz Dillinger, Kurupt and Uncle Snoop was conceived as a jingle for Biggie's St. Ides commercial that never came to be. The uncropped beat somehow ended up in the hands of Death Row, who at the time was collectively right in the throes of a power struggle with New York hip-hop radio, represented by Biggie, Diddy, and company. Biggie's non-compliance with the "St. Ides" beat had consequences he could have never foreseen.
The DJ Pooh record was then used in the creation of "New York, New York," a record Tha Dogg Pound included on their classic debut Dogg Food, an album which showcased the label's undercard, in view of Snoop Dogg's close ties in Long Beach, California. Uncle Snoop featured prominently on the album, six times to be exact, as did Nate Dogg and the group's DJ impersonating a lovestruck Barry White.
With Suge's signal, the Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg included assembled and made "New York, New York" their call to arms against Bad Boy Records. In the music video, Snoop Dogg can be seen towering over New York City's skyline, like a Godzilla-like threat rendered silly with dated video editing. Kidding aside, the message of Death Row's ungodly takeover of New York City was readily felt, with N.O.R.E, Mobb Deep and a consortium of other rappers filing their response with "LA, LA," and thus the mythology of an East-West feud was born out of thin air.
Kurupt contends to this day, that "New York, New York" was never intended as a diss record, but I find that quite impossible to believe, given the imagery, and the climate surrounding its release. What say you?
New York New York big city of dreams
And everything in New York ain't always what it seems
You might get fooled if you come from out of town
But I'm down by law, and I'm from the Dogg Pound.