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Doggy Style Records
 

Soopafly
Biography
Like the infamous 1972 blaxploitation icon from whom he takes his nickname, Soopafly has been deep in his own hustle for a minute, hooking up beats for the DPG family, and one soundtrack album after another, waiting for that big score that will catapult his bubbling talent to national recognition like so many producer/rappers before him. Like his cinematic namesake who yearned to leave behind a life of pushers and pimps, and the strangle-hold it had on his ambition for a better life, Priest "Soopafly" Brooks is on a mission to leave behind old record company politics that kept his full potential from being celebrated on a world stage.

Now signed to Snoop Dogg's Doggy Style Records, Soopafly looks to his new label home as a fresh start after his previous solo project on Death Row was stalled. The saucy "Like It Or Not," the track that was to be his debut solo album's first single, ended up a single off the album "Suge Knight Represents: Chronic 2000." Two years later, with the full support of Snoop and his new Doggy Style family, Fly is looking toward a solo future filled with multi-platinum hits and unlimited possibilities. He's putting the finishing touches on "Dogghouse Allstars," a forthcoming compilation album designed to give fans a preview of the kind of heat available from the label's talented roster. "It's also to hold us over until our solo things get done, and keep some hot shit out there for the whole summer," says Soopafly of the compilation that features Doggy Style artists Mr. Kane, LaToya, Johnny Chronic, Lady of Rage, E White and others.

The oldest of three kids, Soopafly was born and raised in Long Beach. He can remember first being touched by music while watching the gospel musicians play during church. His father, who would later oppose his son's musical pursuits, gave his young boy a keyboard to emulate the piano player he's watch in church. "I just started learning on my own," says Fly. "I got a little older and a lot better at it." Ironically, the better he became, the more his father looked upon his son's dreams with a furrowed brow. "I don't think my dad believed in me. He didn't believe in that music stuff. He wanted me to get a job and do something. I had a couple of jobs here and there, but music was always #1, whether the money was there or not." Things turned around for young Fly when he met up with Snoop as a teenager. "He was in his Death Row thing, and he liked what I was doing as far as playing keys. Then I hooked up with Dr. Dre, and that was really like my first project, playing as his keyboardist on Death Row before I was really even making my own beats."

His talent for creating beats would be revealed in 1994 when Fly gave his first produced track to Snoop for a listen. The slow-noddin', closed-eyed thump of Fly's beat became the song, "Who Got Some Gangsta Shit?" off the 1994 soundtrack, "Murder Was The Case." "I started making more and more music," says Fly about his sudden flood of production work. Then when I hooked up with Daz, that was really it. We started being a team and making our own beats." Once the DPG camp knew he was tight, Fly began churning out beats throughout the mid-nineties and into 2000 for Snoop, Daz and Kurrupt of the Dogg Pound, The Twinz, Dru Down, Mack 10, the Whoridas, Nate Dogg, and even reggae artist Barrington Levy. He also contributed to several soundtracks including "Thin Line Between Love and Hate." "Nothin To Lose," "I Got the Hookup," "Rush Hour," "Caught Up," "Gridlock'd" and "Gang Related."

Soopafly says the creative seeds for these beats come from various sources of inspiration. "I could be driving down the street, that's when I hear a lot of things, when I'm in the car by myself playing different CDs. Usually I can come up with a whole rap while I'm driving. Some of the days I just have those beats on the back burner. They might help in projects I have. I just pull em on up, finish em up and get em done.

In the midst of this production flurry, Soopafly signed a one record deal with Daz's Death Row subsidiary, DPG Records in 1996. But his album, "Like It Or Not," was pulled and shelved by Death Row at the eleventh hour. In 2000, Daz and Soopafly left and began contributing songs to other labels, such as "Your Gyrlfriend 2" with Mac Shawn, and songs for Tha Eastsidaz, Xzibit and Silkk that Shocker albums. Throughout all of the drama, Soopafly's dedication to his craft remained steadfast. With paperwork now secure on Dogghouse, Soopafly can focus 100 on taking his career to the next level with an album in the pipeline, his young r&b dynamo LaToya waiting in the wings, and a decade full of pent-up musical energy now free to be unleashed. "I'm coming hard, and it's gonna be terrible," he says. "It ain't gonna be nothin' soft."