Kurupt, Cali is Active

As one half of Dogg Pound, Kurupt has etched out his own lane in the as an artist and businessman. While he’s had his ups and downs over the years, the Philly-born MC will always be DPG for life.

Heading up his own Pentagon Records, Kurupt put out his latest opus, Streetlights, this past Tuesday. XXLMag.com caught up with the lyrical beast to about the state of the West Coast, working with Maroon 5 and reuniting with his doggs for a hostile takeover of the game.

XXLMag.com: For those that haven’t heard it yet, what makes Streetlights different than your previous work?

Kurupt: Each one of my albums reflects my state of mind at the time. There’s a difference in the music I put on there. So [the album] is a little more jazzy. A little bit more in-depth with my life… This album is really about what I’m going through in my life. So I got fun records on here and all types of stuff. This is more so a record you can roll to, smoke to, kick it—just telling you my mindset and where I am.

XXLMag.com: Before the album, you dropped Tha 4/20 Mixtape: Prequel to Streetlights, which originally featured a record with Maroon 5. What happened?

Kurupt: The Maroon 5 record? We had to take that off the mixtape and reissued everything. We took it off there because they kinda wanted to do a little something else with that record, so I had to take it off. But they’re down to do a remix, and they were loving it and all.

XXLMag.com: How did that record come about in the first place?

Kurupt: I actually found it on the Internet and it was just so bangin’. I said, “It’s already out there to the people; I got to put it on my thing because it’s a classic session with Maroon 5…” That record there, it’s totally a classic, a lot of people love that record right there.

XXLMag.com: Although you’re originally from Philly, you rep the West Coast. Ice Cube recently ruffled a few feathers with talk of the new artist from the west not being the same caliber. What do you think about that?

Kurupt: Let’s wrap it up all in one; I like the state of West Coast hip-hop right now. I think that their generation is doing an excellent job of taking it. I don’t think anybody needs to pass them the torch. I think they created their own torch. I’m loving their hustle. I’m loving how they stay relevant, regardless of where they’re from.

XXLMag.com: Anybody in particular you’re feeling right now from the new west?

Kurupt: I’m lovin’ Jay Rock. I’m lovin’ Nipsey. I’m lovin’ this youngster named K Dot. I love Glasses and what he’s doing out there with Cash Money. Back in the days nobody really cared about their pen, it was about being real. And nowadays, it’s about being real, but they care about their pen. I think I had a lot to do with that with the entire Death Row era. I’m lovin’ the way it is because a lot of artists are really trying to be MCs in the west, rather than just be rappers.

XXLMag.com: What about Cube’s comments? New cats like Jay Rock seemed to take offense to it.

Kurupt: As far as what Cube said and what Jay Rock said, I really pay neither of it any attention. ’Cause Cube’s an original, and you know I look at Ice Cube as an elder. And one thing you do is you respect your elders, and you respect their opinions. I respect Cube and I respect his opinion. I think a lot of people have been taking shots to irritate Cube, which made Cube respond the way he did. As far as Jay Rock, I feel the same way about Jay Rock; I feel that Jay Rock feels he needs to respond for the young generation and represent for them, and this is what it is. But the one thing I don’t agree with is the west-on-west situation. We got enough trouble in the West Coast. We don’t need the originals and the youngsters getting into it. Though Jay Rock’s a grown man; we call them “youngsters” ’cause he’s new in the game. But he’s grown.

XXLMag.com: What do you think can be done to squash any brewing west-on-west tension?

Kurupt: To tell you the truth, from both angles, we really need to get more close. I think we all know that. On the West Coast, as well as the rest of the game. I think we’ve developed a lot. There’s not as much violence in the West Coast. You can bring a West Coast artist in and he knows how to articulate, and push himself properly as a professional. And I think all of the West Coast’s new artists have stepped up so high. And that stuff between Cube and Jay Rock will pass over.

XXLMag.com: What’s the status of a new Dogg Pound project?

Kurupt: Oh, we’re working right now. We got an album with me, Snoop, Daz and Supa Fly. We’re basically 95-percent done with it. We just got a little bit of mixing and mastering to do to it, but we’ve done all the records. We got about 90-percent of all the records mixed and ready. We got a little bit more fine-tuning. It’ll be coming out after the Streetlights album, and it will be going through Snoop. Wherever he decides to take it, whether it be Doggystyle/Priority, Doggystyle/DPG, or wherever it shall be.

XXLMag.com: Anything else fans should be on the look out for?

Kurupt: We got a Dogg Pound movie that’s being made. Snoop’s putting together a DPG movie that he wants to direct and write himself. We’re staying active right now. But right now it’s all about Snoop’s album, my solo album, and the Dogg Pound album. We’re putting them all together as one and just hitting it back to back to back. And then we going to hit this road. Then, Detox is going to clap in and then we going to hit the road with Dr. Dre. It’s gonna be one of the most phenomenal shows you’ll ever see. We’re staying active right now. Musically, family wise, and businesswise. —Maya Francis

  • TBD Has Spoken

    Interviewer should have also ask him about THE “4Horsemen” project with Ras Kass, illah Priest & Canibus

    • http://xxlmag jayruck

      word. Kurupt also was in a group called Riflemen. With 40 Glocc, Jayo Felony and Prodigy from Mobb Deep. I dont kno what happened to it.

  • mosin

    lol hit the road with dr dre lets see detox come out first!

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  • q461

    Co-sign on that 4- Horsemen record…

  • R2J

    Kurupt been around for a long time and I respect him for mentioning the west coast tension that’s been going on. There’s always been tension out there but that issue will be pass over cause of the quality of talent coming out there.

  • Mutada Mullah Atari

    Kurupt has not put out anything dope since Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha. All that Ecstacy, weed cigarettes and booze killed his ambition and dulled his talent. Being fall down drunk and free styling every verse = legacy lost. The Death row, move was even worse, went back to Suge for a check..that never came. The DJ Quick album sucked to, not sure how when Quik is one of the best hip hop producers of all time. But again Kurupt put no effort into the lyrics and sounded like shit. Super fly and Daz made some of the best Hip Hop tracks of all time (What would you do, 21 Jump Street, Ride with us, In California etc.) Now Daz acts like lost his MPC3000 disks and cant compose any dope music any more. The beats these dudes rap over now are ASS. West Coast till I die, but these niggaz fell the fuck off

  • Anonymous

    Glad to hear someone on the inside confirming there will be a tour behind Detox, hopefully it will be another up in smoke tour.Im still kickin myself in the ass for missin that one.Now hopefully Detox is close to bein finished as all the rumors are sayin.

  • fireforreal

    Fuck Jay rock.Fake ass Game. he’ll NEVER be a legend like Cube because he’s too busy crying with a chip on his shoulder.

  • Crenshaw MOb

    It’s calmed down out here dudes, it’s good to see the west wing coming up and doing things together-flags are getting lowered and people are starting to see that business is more important that hatred. Now, Detox-we will believe it when we see it, there is a slight buzz out here for Dre & Detox, but nothing big. People out here are on the grind for themselves-But Big ups to Kurupt and the Dogg Pound DPG’s-

  • Southcidal

    Mutada Mullah Atari you are right. As much as I hate to say it, the Pound has fallen quick. I’m from the South (N.O.), but the Dogg Pound was my favorite group along with U.N.L.V. Daz was the creative force in All Eyes on Me production and now his beats are nowhere close to that. And Kurupt was one of the top 5 lyricist at one point.

    I think the problem with the Pound is the Solja Boy/New Boyz era. They have forced Snoop and the boys to feel like they’ve got to change to stay relevant. Snoop even made the statement that if his kids don’t like it, it won’t make the cut. What Snoop, Daz, and Kurupt needs to realize is that the fans who made them famous are now in their 30s (like myself) and that they should not just abandon these fans to cater to the 13 yr olds who won’t be interested in 30 yr. old rappers anyway.

    Once again, generational divide.

  • 11KAP

    California Dreamin’….yeah! Keep it gangsta, bruh!