One of the most important members of the Death Row family in the early '90s, Daz Dillinger lent his production skills to 2Pac's 'All Eyez on Me' and Snoop Dogg's 'Tha Doggfather,' among others. But when the Death Row empire began to dissolve in the late '90s, Dillinger went the indie route.

Since then, he has been a prolific artist/producer, producing 'My Life' for T.I., for example. Still, without the push of major labels, Dillinger's considerable output has flown mostly under the radar.

No longer. Dillinger returns to the limelight Sept. 12 with 'So So Gangsta,' his first release for Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label. "He told me his dream, believing in that dream, and it's been happening," Dillinger tells AOL Music. "And I've been putting a lot of work in independently so it can pay off. It's just like the Lotto."

Proving he hasn't lost his pull, Dillinger attracted a slew of guests for the album, including his cousin Snoop, as well as Soopafly, Ice Cube and Kurupt, among others. "I was just looking for realness as far as people who were helping me out, my friends," he says. Current chart-topper Rick Ross also shows up on 'On Some Real S**t.' Dillinger says he enjoys working with the young guns: "They look up to us, as far as saying we're legends in the rap game. They grew up to the music."