I2G kicked it once again with Kurupt as he prepares his promo tour for his new album, Streetlights, dropping on 4/20. We talk about the new album and the process he went through in making it, take a trip down memory lane to talk about some of his favorite joints from his solo albums and much more so check it out.
Illuminati 2G is here with Kurupt how's it going?
Man you know what I do, you dig what I am talking about. Lacing up, getting ready for this 4/20 release of my fourth solo album ya know.
That leads right into my first question. You have the new album, Streetlights dropping appropriately on 4/20. Tell me about how the album came together for you.
Well you know I think it was long overdue for a real Kurupt solo album. Alot of people were getting my underground albums and mistaking them for my solo albums. There as also been alot of bogus Kurupt solo albums like Against The Grain and Down & Dirty. Basically I sat with my boy Terrance Martin and he was the first person I linked up with when I first got back with Snoop.
I decided to stick with the grain and go with him. Terrance deserves it, he is a great producer and he is definitely one of the best that is out there right now. We put our heads together and he asked me what kind of record do I want to make and I said you know I am chillin right now and I want to make a album that I can smoke to and everyone else can smoke to as well and have a good time, relax your mind and not going too much on the gangsta page.
Something real cool and I want to throw these lyrics at them so we put Streetlights together. I got me a Pete Rock record, a Lil Jon record and we just put it together man.
You have been a long time collaborator with Daz. I mean when you say Daz & Kurupt it is the equivalent of saying Guru and Premier of Gangstarr.
And you do know that.
What was it like going in working with Terrance Martin and some differences in working with him that you did not see with say a Daz or Fred Wreck?
Everyone has they own vibe and twist on how they do things so it was different working with Terrance. We were more in close with what we were doing, instead of being in a big boy studio, we did it all at Terrance's house. It was a relaxed feel to it and we were more comfortable and relaxed in the spot to do it.
The only difference is really the style of music. Terrance's style is different then Daz and Daz's style is different then Fred Wreck. But it at the same time was all the same thing, alot of hard work, alot of concentration, making records instead of just making rap songs, because I do that with Fred, Daz, Terrance and anyone I work with production wise.
I like to concentrate on making songs and not rap records. The vibe was not too much different, but just a different pace of music.
Is there any details that you can give about the album? Guests, did Terrance produce a bulk of the album? Do you have any videos set to drop other than I'm Burnt with Problem?
Yeah starting next week I am going to be filming about 7 different videos from the album, and about 3 of them for my mixtape to get ready to splash on this internet and hit the game with. I should have them done by the end of the week because we have been filming already so we just have not launched them out yet.
Guest appearances I got Suga Free on there, DJ Quik on there, I got Snoopy on there of course. J Black, Uncle Chuck, young lady by the name of Tone, she is one of the new generations coming out. Who else do we have SPLASHED up on the gig and you do know that!
We also have my sister Virginia Slimm is one there, my lil homie Tri and we all got together and made it happen. I really kept it in house.
What's next as far as from you solowise after Streetlights? I know last time I spoke with you, you had talked about working with everyone from Dj Muggs to Bink to Pete Rock.
I don't know man, because I have had so many killers that it really depends on my vibe and how I am feeling. I think I am going to go to the club on my next album and clap off in the club. Get to having a good time and making music where people can groove, this would not be a record that people just roll to. Definitely going to be fucking with Bink on it, also going to be working with my man Dame Grease.
He just sent me some SPLASHERS! Continue to work with Pete Rock, I think you will definitely hear more Soopafly production on my next album, Maestro from Atlanta, he has so many winners. But as far as who will oversee the bulk of it, I don't know yet. I am still going to do my DJ Muggs album, these are going to come in due time.
It just feels good to have producers do a entire album on me like that. Best believe you can look forward to a Pete Rock produced album, Muggs produced album, Bink produced album, and a Dame Grease produced album as well as my boy Track Addict. I like it when it is one producer concentrating on your whole project instead of one beat and that's it. I like to marinate with a person, that is how we get our best music that way.
What is next for your label, Penagon Records? Anyone set to drop from the label in 2010?
I got 2 main groups that I am working with, G Hood Fellas and Y.A., so I think the next thing that I am going to drop from the label is G Hood Fellas or I am going to drop another solo album. It all depends, I don't know, right now we are all concentrating on Street Lights so who knows what the future holds.
We have a great team with Fontana/Universal so it is a big thing. We just want to play it by ear.
I just wanted to take a trip to the past with you and get your opinion on what are your favorite solo tracks from your albums. First one is the double album, Kuruption. Do you have any favorite memories or a favorite track from that album?
Oh man, that album was filled with so many favorites of mine, so many different and new places I went on that joint. Me and Daz did the song called Fresh, me and Battlecat did Play My Cards, We Can Freak It of course.
I got one I did with Studio Tone out in Oakland that was a real favorite of mine, This Ones For U. Devante gave me a classic that I really love, Put That On Something. And then there is C-Walk, so those are the ones that got the most play.
I love from that album, Game from the east disc. You lyrically slayed that.
Oh man that one was off the chain too right?
I love that one too, that Game record man. D-Moet produced that one. There were some classics on there.
Definitely. Next one is Streetz Iz A Mutha.
My favorite off of there is the title track. Me and Daz did that one. Also the song Trilogy, and the song Tequila that Organized Noize produced was also another favorite. The one Soopafly did, I Ain't Shit Without My Homeboys (sings the chorus). That was one of my ultimate favorites. It Ain't About You also. Then of course the one I did with KRS-One where we were freestyling.
Also the first track on the album, I Call Shots.
Yeah that was a crazy joint. I love Welcome Home too off of that album.
Yeah different levels but that one was up there as well.
Next album is Space Boogie.
The title track off that is one of my favorites too. "Fuck A Bitch, and fuck you too!" (laughs)
That was one of my favorites off there. The one I did with Fred Durst and Nate Dogg, Lay It On Back, that was a great one for me. Kuruption with Everlast, that was a classic. Can't Go Wrong with DJ Quik and Butch Cassidy, that was outrageous. Sunshine with Jon B. Oh and Hardest Muthafuckas with Nate Dogg, Xzibit and MC Ren!
Oh man that was my joint off there too.
You said there is alot of bogus albums out there, but any good memories or a track that sticks out to you when you were making Against The Grain?
Not at all. I was very upset at life and the world to tell you the truth. I was going through alot and that is why I shut down on that album. I was like you know what, let me cut this bullshit out man and get back with my homeboys man. Time to get back to living, I had not seen my nieces and nephews in so long, none of the homies kids, Snoop's and Daz's.
I missed them and I missed my homeboys too. Snoopy and Daz and Soopafly, making that album I shut it down, that is why there are alot of albums on there that are not complete, they just patched them up and put them out there. They still threw it out anyway, I guess they just love Kurupt huh?
Right (laughs). Next is Same Day Different Shit.
That was my underground record right there, I had a ball making that with Daz. We basically made that album out in Atlanta. That was a album to get the people ready for a new Kurupt solo album as well as getting me back in the stride of things with Daz musically. For us to catch our rhythm again and we had a ball, we had a great time.
I would say my joints off that would be Gangstas Part 2 you completely blacked the fuck out on that track lyrically.
That muthafucka was banging!
That and Nina Breeda. Accessories.
Accessories, My God man you taking me back man! Those were my underground records and you can tell that it was not a official Kurupt solo because I used the name Young Gotti on there. That was definitely one of my classic underground records though.
What is your favorite track off of the new album Streetlights?
My favorite gig to tell you the truth is one record that I have titled on there called Streetlights. I love it so much because I am on a real note there, I am spitting some real good game there. Then there is also Face Down, it is off the chain! Of course Yessir that Pete Rock did, one of my golden ones on there for me is the intro record that I do.
I got a chance to just spray the mic and really just scretch out lyrically. Like I told them on the joint, born and bred/I stay bredded/let it be/spinning on the needles/injected/intervenously infect them like Lennon and the Beatles.
And you do know that! Fo Sho Fo Sho(laughs)
Definitely looking forward to that album.
Oh man you are gonna love it.
What is your favorite guest appearance on someone elses album that you have done?
Man I have done so many but You Know My Steez remix that me and Rage did with Gangstarr. Ain't No Fun of course, Doggy Dogg World that was my ultimate. I really got to spread these lyrics on that joint. That is definitely my number one favorite guest appearance record. Bitches Ain't Shit off of The Chronic, I had a great time with all of them and got a chance to do alot of new things and go to new places with those records.
I got a chance to spread my wings and be a part of something classic. Of course the one with Pete Rock and Inspectah Deck, Tru Master.
I would have to say for a posse cut, Initated was crazy, Blueberry as well but my favorite would have to be Stranded On Death Row from the Chronic.
Oh yeah, that was actually the first one that I did on Dr. Dre's album. That is so classic because I got a opportunity to be on that album and that song was the first he asked for me to be on. There is also Got My Mind Made Up with Daz, 2pac, Method Man and Redman on Pac's album. That was originally made in 1994 for the Dogg Food album, the first Dogg Pound album.
We did not put it on there because as soon as Pac got out of jail we loaded him up with music and that song was one of his favorites.
It's funny you mentioned that track because that was going to be my other song I was going to mention. I dig your verse on there the most. Whether I comes through with 2 packs/of the bomb prophylaxes/for protection/so my fucking sac won't collaspe.
God damn we can't have my shit collasping now can we? (laughs)
Also that Check Out Time, we and Pac had a BALL making that song. Me, Pac and Syke man.
I know you said on the Doggystyle album that Rakim is your idol. Did you ever get a chance to work with Rakim?
Never got the chance to work with him but I have met him a couple of times and each time was just like the first time. When you meet someone that you have looked up to for so long, I mean Rakim basically shaped me as a MC and that is why I call him my idol because that was the guy that I idolized.
He was just a different caliber of MC, not a rapper. When I met him, it was like meeting the person that you grew up with all your life and patterned yourself after. It is like playing basketball and you meet Michael Jordan.
What is your thoughts right now on what seems like rising tension with OG rappers on the west and up and coming artists. I mean it is not tension on the level of the whole east/west beef and that was just on some trumped up media bullshit.
You are right.
I mean that was really between 2 rappers for the most part. But what is your thoughts on the west right now?
I really don't have any, people are going to be people. Everybody has a opinion, it is like assholes. I really don't get mixed up in it because beef used to be my speciality, so I am a little bit different when it comes to beef because I have been so embedded in that my whole career. Going on the internet, I really do not go on there too much because it exploits the problems.
Instead of bringing things to the table. I am not mad at anybody. Because media's job is to shoot out there the information to the people and their job is to also sell the product. Papers, themselves, magazines, and the world loves sex, drugs and guns. The world likes to hear about fights and beefs and it is sort of like their job. They have to keep they gig and it takes a person who is beyond the sales and money and pressure to have the guts to put that out there.
So I really pay it no attention, it is going to come and go. I just hope no one gets hurt out of it because beefs are real and the thing about the west coast is it is really different then alot of other places when beef starts. It goes to the streets for real and they really cannot see each other without it going down because it is serious.
It is not for play and in most cases the beef is real out here. You hope that people do not get too involved in it that they get touched. I just let it go, there ain't too much that I can get involved into.
Now you and Daz also have a new Dogg Pound album that is dropping on 4/20 correct?
Nah we are dropping the Dogg Pound album this summer. It is called 100 Wayz. Me, Snoop, Daz and Soopafly, DPG and it is our best record to date.
Because I seen something on Amazon about a album dropping on 4/20 (sidenote, new Dogg Pound album, Keep On Ridin, is dropping May 25th on Amazon and other retail outlets)
We got a mixtape coming that we are going to be dropping soon to prepare them for 100 Wayz. That way we are feeding the fans and giving them something to listen to and roll to, because we did record alot of material during the original making of the album.
What is the status on 100 Wayz?
Actually we are mastering right now, and we do not have a release date yet, we are talking to a couple companies right now, who we will keep under wraps. But we are talking to them about the distribution of the project so it is looking real bright for me and Daz right now.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tour dates?
Oh definitely. We are going to hit this radio run for Streetlights starting in the next 2 weeks. Touring with Snoop, my album is done, mixed and mastered and it is ready to go, we are going to start our campaign HEAVILY starting the first week in April. In the meantime, I am going to be touring with Snoop, promoting this album, which Snoop is supporting me on this and allowing me to get my shine when I hit the road with him and push my product.
I got a mixtape out right now, 4/20 the prequel to Streetlights, hosted by the L.A. Leakers. It is a incredible mixtape and perfect for 4/20. Something you can roll to, smoke to and have a ball. Have a shot of patron and get it on, you know what I am talking about nephew?
Or Grey Goose, I drink geese. We hit up Cancun a week ago then we hitting up South By Southwest tour in Austin on the weekend and then we will be hitting Dallas on a show with Ice Cube and then we come home because I have to shoot the official video from the album. It is all about Streetlights, Malice In Wonderland and More Malice and 100 Wayz DPG.
What is your website information?
Alright well that is all the questions I have for you, appreciate you getting down for the interview. Always good to talk with you, I have been a fan of yours since Niggaz Don't Give A Fuck on the Poetic Justice soundtrack.
You know that, that was my shit too!
I have always said if the east and the west coast could make one blueprint mc, it would be you because you have the best of both coasts.
Well thank you very much, I got more coming for you nephew. I just started again.
Is there any last words before I let you go?
4/20, get that Kurupt album man. Go cop it for the national smoke day mayne. Get to the house or to your car and roll out and listen to it good. Don't smoke and drive! (laughs)
Get to some place where you can relax with your folks, homies, or your woman and throw that Streetlights on man. Smoke something good and just relax man, 4/20, Streetlights you gonna love it.