Veteran's Way: Kurupt on Old Friends, New Music, and Life After Death
Kurupt is a survivor. He got out of Death Row Records twice, fell out and reunited with fellow Dogg Pound member, Daz Dillinger, went through the passing of his friend Nate Dogg, and is currently feeling the recent loss of his former fiancee and mother to his son, Natina Reed. And, he is re-emerging soon with a new mixtape, Money B*tches Power.
Kurupt has been doing this rap thing for 20 years and has probably forgotten more than most will ever learn. Respect his gangsta!
AllHipHop.com chopped it up with the Left Coast lyricist (TODAY'S HIS BIRTHDAY!) as he spoke on his new life, what his upcoming mixtape means to him, and loved ones lost:
AllHipHop.com: What song on your upcoming mixtape, Money B*tches Power, would you say was the most difficult to record and why?
Kurupt: To tell you the truth, there wasn’t too many records that were difficult to record, because the producers I was working with - Nottz and Battlecat and J. Wells - we already have a rhythm. So there weren’t too many records that were difficult. It was more along the lines of reminiscing on the records we made back in the day. So we had a lot of fun.
AllHipHop.com: Anything that you’ll reminisce on with this mixtape that really stands out to you?
Kurupt: I got one record on there that I'm real excited to see what the people’s reaction is to it. It’s more of a 2000 version of that original gangsta sh*t that they love us for. I’m real excited about sharing that record and seeing how [people] take to it. As well as, I did a record with my son and I’m dying to see what people are going to think about that one.
AllHipHop.com: What would you say the biggest difference between this release and your last solo project, Streetlights, is?
Kurupt: I would say the big difference is with Streetlights, I was more or less revving up. But this mixtape right here, now in motion, and my [next] solo album, I’m gonna be on fire. I’m taking my solo album to a whole different place, a whole different plateau. It’s real exciting to see all of this just come into fruition. I got a new life now. I’m a year sober now from drinking. It’s just a whole new Kurupt. [I turn] 40 on the 23rd of November, so my mind is just totally different.
AllHipHop.com: That’s actually a perfect segue into my next question. Why release the mixtape on your birthday?
Kurupt: The 7th was the original date, but due to things that happened, I stopped production and moved it back. It just seemed logical. I want to release it on a day that means something and the 23rd is a very big day for me and my brother. It just feels right; it just feels good and that’s what I’m into now. This mixtape means something- introducing a new frame of mind and new music. [Note: Since this interview, the mixtape has been delayed again due to various circumstances. No official release date has been set yet.]
AllHipHop.com: What puzzle piece does this mixtape fill that, up until now, has been missing in your career?
Kurupt: Really touching base with this new sound that’s out here from the West Coast. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to express myself on the music with no worries about what people are gonna think. I made this mixtape for me. I’m gonna bring the original generation in with the new generation on some new G-sh*t!
AllHipHop.com: This March marks the two-year anniversary of Nate Dogg’s passing. How do you see the music industry remembering his legacy and continuing to carry along his music into the future?
Kurupt: It’s crazy. Even when you’re not here, you’re still here. I know I can speak for a lot of people - Nate Dogg is still here. He’s here through his music; he’s here through our hearts and souls. Nate’s gonna be here forever, Nate and 'Pac. But it does hurt each year that goes by. One thing about Nate, as time goes by, we miss him even more. He was a brother; he was more than a friend.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any thoughts or comments on the passing of Natina Reed?
Kurupt: She was somebody that you fell in love with immediately. She loved everything. She loved everybody. You just didn’t want to get her mad [laughter]. I was privileged enough to have her in my life as my fiancee. Natina brought the best out of me. We was privileged to have us a beautiful baby boy, Tren. Some people you expect to see until you pass away. Nate was one; Natina was another.
AllHipHop.com: I’m sure I speak for AllHipHop.com as well as myself [when I say] our sincerest condolences and prayers go out to you and yours.
Kurupt: Thank you very much.
AllHipHop.com: It has been a pleasure talking with you. Anything else you want to add?
Kurupt: I’d just like to say thanks for all the support throughout the years to all the fans and everybody out there. Kurupt is in the building! I hope everybody enjoys the music. I’m making music for myself now, and I just hope everybody enjoys it with me.
Kurupt's Money B*tches Power is coming soon! Excited for it? Sound off below!