DJ Kurupt: I Got Next

Grinding is instrumental to the success of any machine. The mixtape movement has surpassed traditional ways of advertising artists and their exclusive hits. DJ Kurupt, coined the Master Jedi, penned King Kurupt was and is a vital part of the mixtape music movement! Notorious for exclusive blend tapes that splash overseas, DJ Kurupt tackles the hustle further by launching his own tour to find talent worth buzzing about while branding the King Kurupt icon. Throughout his journey through southern terrains King Kurupt will brand his upcoming album which features key hip hop artists as-well-as unsigned talent. He plugs to the days of his come up, his hustle for success, and what truly makes a DJ like him just that official. Before we get into Kurupt the DJ, let’s get a synopsis of this unique tour that the game is buzzing about!

DJ Kurupt: There hasn’t been a good DJ in a long time to rock the crowd across the map, hood-to-hood, and I feel that I am the one. The tours goal is to reach out to the people in selected markets who have supported DJ Kurupt. I wouldn’t have reached this far into the game without the support from my fans universally, so I just want to give something back.

A lot of activity follows this tour. I’m working on a DJ Kurupt independent album, which has top selling names on it. I’m also seeking new talent to bless my tape. I’m for the streets, and I want to bring that fire back to the game. Come party with DJ Kurupt at the same time, I know there is a lot of unheard talent out there, and I want to help give them exposure. I want to be a part of the new generation of Hip-Hop. I want to let people see DJ Kurupt in action. I truly want the game to get closer and understand what I stand for and represent. So where is this tour actually going?

DJ Kurupt: The tour is set to start of in the South with a few dates Mid-West and back to New York City and through New England. Log on to DJ to find venue locations and tour dates. So whatever city you are in, you need to be there. You are about to witness what has never been done before, a mixtape DJ with his own tour. I’m calling the tour the King Kurupt Tour because I am a king at what I do. I touch every angle of what is expected from a DJ. Are there any sponsors on the tour?

DJ Kurupt: Yeah, Mecca Clothing, Koch Records, M.O.B. Records,, Rocawear, FYE and Coconuts are the official sponsors. I will be doing in-store appearances throughout the cities that I touch. I'm encouraging new artists to come out and holler at me. Bring demos for consideration of future projects.

Earlier you mentioned that you touch every angle of the DJ. What makes a solid DJ?

DJ Kurupt: From my expectations I feel that a DJ should be able to cover all grounds. DJ’s should know how to separate their talent. For instance, a good DJ should know how to rock on the radio. It’s not the same as being in the club. Some DJs think that, but whatever. Creating a mixtape is also not the same as spinning in the club. They are completely different things. As a matter of fact, most people look at me like a mixtape DJ, yet I’m producing a track on Ness of Bad Boy’s album. See I try to step out of traditional boundaries. < There has to be a starting ground. You don’t just wake up and be that hot DJ…where did the whole DJ Kurupt, King Kurupt run start from?

DJ Kurupt: I didn’t know I was going to be a mixtape DJ. I didn’t know I was going to be producing mixtapes. I had no idea what all that s**t was. I started on my block, me and all my boys, we used to find parties to get into, but we couldn’t get into parties at that age. We said to hell with it. We are going to throw our own parties. I had a lot of music. I always had a lot of music. I had a lot of cassettes. I didn’t have turntables yet. I used to take my moms stereo equipment out the living room and bring it to my boys crib. We did that every weekend so you know I was the one with the music. I was the one selecting it. I did parties so much that every weekend it got to a point where I really started to like it.

A couple years went by and I was still bubbling. I got my first turntable in 1991. I got my first couple of records around the same time. From the basement every day, all day, I was grinding. I then snatched a job working at a record store. It really became over then because I used to get my records. I kept it moving. It got to a point where my job was interfering with what I was doing on the DJ front. I had to leave my job. I then got on college radio for free doing parties and nightclubs. I was doing all that s**t for free. I didn’t have a car back then, so I used to take the taxi to the club. I would throw my records in the trunk. I was really grinding then grew with it. I grew with it because that was what I wanted to do. At what point did you realize that it was time to move as DJ Kurupt the brand?

DJ Kurupt: The time I realized it was time to move on with that name and to keep it moving was around 1995/1996 or maybe 1997. It was due to the reaction and the demand. I created a demand without really knowing what I was doing. People from the streets were asking about the drop dates for my tapes. It was crazy. I had to supply the demand. I was just doing what I liked. Around that time my tapes were moving around the streets like crazy. The tapes then ended up in the hands of Two Friends Management, who then became my first managers. They put me into a lot of s**t and got me into a lot of clubs. They really helped me get to where I am at. I can’t ever forget about that. You are now in New York, where did you originally reside?

DJ Kurupt: Originally I am from Springfield, MA. That was DJ Kurupt then, now you are a New York bird. Let’s talk about how you got to New York and how the move shaped your hustle.

DJ Kurupt:

All that came from the demand of me just making mixtapes and CD’s in Springfield, MA. The tapes traveled from Springfield to VA. Sooner than later, the tapes created a demand all on its own, so I was like I need to move, I need to go the Mecca of this music s**t, the center of the world and really get it poppin.’ So I got New York, now things are just bigger and better. How does DJ Kurupt or King Kurupt get a rap giant like 50 Cent to host an exclusive?

DJ Kurupt: You got to hustle, its all about the hustle, the grind, and the consistency. You have to put out tapes frequently. You have to get the tapes in the hands of the game, the fans, and so on. I have a mailing list of top record executives and magazine companies that I rock with. Justo, the Mixtape Awards producer has every last one of my mixtapes. I used to send them to him every time they came out. He started to see who I was. My name was hot on the streets, so label representatives started calling me to play their songs or to get so and so to host a tape. I was on the radio so I built a lot of connections and a lot of contacts. I used to go to tons of conferences to build relationships. What separates DJ Kurupt from every other DJ in the game?

DJ Kurupt: I would say my presentation skills and my creativity. I can’t just make a mixtape. I have to have a concept. I have to be different. At the same time I do more than mix tapes, I rock crowds and the radio. I’m not just a mixtape DJ. I don’t want anybody to get confused. I’m also no stranger to TV. I was on Rap City numerous times. I’ve been in top publications around the world. I was nominated for Best Mixtape DJ of the Year at the Underground Mixtape Awards in 2004. I won that. This year I was nominated for Best Mixtape DJ of the Year at Justo’s Mixtape Awards. I didn’t get the #1 spot, but I’m #2, and I could live with that – for now. [laughs]