It’s a busy California summer for Kurupt Young Gotti, recently delivering a plate full of projects with more to come. He released Tha Dogg Pound album Dogg Chit in March, played a large role in April with Snoop Dogg‘s multi-collabrative west coast project The Big Squeeze. He also plans on dropping Digital Smoke with J Wells in June.The 1/2 of DPG gave me the down low on a pile of topics including but not in the least limited to; working with Dr. Dre, his solo efforts, and Nelly Furtado.
MetalLungies: What’s goin’ on, Kurupt?
Kurupt: What’s up, player?
ML: Not much; how ’bout you?
K: I’m getting old, but I am still here.
ML: Ah, that’s what’s up. Congratulations on your engagement. I just read about that.
K: Well thank you very much. Thank you very much!
ML: I first want to talk about “Dogg Chit”. And, with the finished product out, how do you feel about the album? What’s the difference from “Cali Iz Active” for example?
K: Well this album here is the closest thing that me and Delmar [Daz] have had, with the rhythm that we used to have back in the days, you know being back together, It’s the rhythm, emotion, and this is the closest thing, The Dogg Pound. The next one is going to be even closer. We always look at “Dogg Food” as the pinnacle of everything that we want to do. It has that quality, that musical quality, that feel. Because that, for me and Delmar, was at our peaks; we was feelin’ the most on fire. This is the closest thing to it. This is classic Dogg Pound, full-scale, all-Daz production which is very important in the development of Tha Dogg Pound, for Daz, to get back on their feet, and just start peckin’ ‘em out, so we’re very proud of this project right here. And we really put our foot into this one, our heart and our soul. You know what I’m sayin’?
ML: So “Dogg Food” is the standard that you try to always, you know, reach?
K: Exactly! You know, after we did “Cali Iz Active”, me and Daz sat down and had a long talk and we just said, you know what? That’s when we placed “Dogg Food” as the standard of everything that we release from this point on. Starting with “Dogg Chit”. It’s basically that we want to match that peak right there. We got to get on the ballgame. We got to take our careers, our musical careers very seriously, and we definitely take “Dogg Food” and place that as the standard of any projects you’re going to hear in the future from Tha Dogg Pound.
ML: Do you have a favorite track on the album?
K: I definitely do. My favorite track right now on that album is “Anybody Killa”.
ML: Does Daz have a different favorite track? Or do you guys have the same one?
K: I’m not so sure what Daz’s is. You know, but I definitely know mine. My tune is “Anybody Killa” involved with a pimp.
ML: I was thinking, what’s the difference between a Dogg Pound album, and a solo Kurupt album?
K: Well the difference totally is the content. A Kurupt album is really just me solely, and more based around lyrics, being lyrical but still being G’d up. Dogg Pound album is just about not giving a fuck, bangin’ out, making some good gangsta music. Mine is more worldly I guess you could say. You know I go for the gangsta crowd. I go for my Philadelphia East Coast crowd, the fans. I go all around the board. Dogg Pound is West Coast, strictly and totally, we make nothing but West Coast classics. I really don’t see it different, besides just that I go for a different parameter, than when I’m droppin’ Dogg Pound records. When I drop them, we go straight West Coast, bang out. When I drop club solos, I’m goin’ West Coast, I’m goin’ East, I’m goin’ all across the board.
ML: You’re originally from Philadelphia. Do you still go back there a lot?
K: Oh, always; my family’s there.
ML: And, talking about your family… does Roscoe have any projects coming up? Do you know?
K: Yes, he does, he has an album with West Coast Customs, a label that he’s president of; he’s droppin’ a new album with them. His new album we try to be working on that as well. Daz is going to be overseeing that one. Daz and Soopafly, Fredwreck and myself. He’ll still be keepin’ it movin’ too.
ML: ‘Cause I really loved his 2003 album, so I’ve been waiting for a while for a new Roscoe album.
K: Oh, we going to be cuttin’ it… we goin’ to be cuttin’. We just all playing our parts right now. Snoop has an elaborate plan that he puts together, man, that we all just following the leader right now. Following our big Dogg, making sure everything is to the good. Making sure that we could keep this family that we have together as one. The main thing about that is to play our part, according to what the head of our organization has to say. That’s Snoop, so you know, we just followin’ the big Dogg, man. He has his plan; it’s grand. He’s been putting it together for some time now, about a couple years, and now we’re in effect. So we’re going to perk it out man when the big Dogg calls the shot that’s when we follow.
ML: Yeah, so now it’s all coming to form.
K: Oh yeah, gotta do it!
ML: So you’re going to be a part of Roscoe’s new album now?
K: I’m going to oversee it. Definitely, me, Daz, Soopafly, Fredwreck, we’re going to oversee the whole project and and get the boy intact and get him right. Right now it’s really all about “The Big Squeeze” and all about that “Dogg Chit” album, and Roscoe’s playing his part, just waiting for that call for him to get ready to come to the table and put his together, you know.
ML: Alright. Well what I usually do with artist interviews is I like to go through the tracks and maybe get a few tidbits about how the track was made or any background information about the track. So do you want to go through the tracks from the “Big Squeeze” and that you appear on?
K: Why not. Why not.
ML: Let’s start with “We Go Hard”.
K: Oh that’s self-explanatory! *Laughs*
K: Self-explanatory, the game’s over, you said the push, man. We push.
ML: What about “Pop Pop Bang”?
K: You know, “Pop Pop Bang” basically the Niggaracci beat, which is basically Snoopy in his production hat, doing it big. When he brought it to the table, I was captivated by it, ’cause it’s classic West Coast music, this is music that the street are banging out to and moves to. So in that record right here I thought I wanted to tell a story. So that’s what I basically did; I told a story about this buster, and that’s the basis of that, man. Oh and plus I got an opportunity to work with one of my big homies, man. A West Coast legend and icon, Kam as well. Snoop put Kam on there.
ML: You’d been trying to work with him for awhile?
K: Oh definitely! You know, yeah.
ML: What is “31 Flavaz” about?
K: “31 Flavaz” is me and Snoop, classic Kurupt & Snoop. We’re the dynamic duo, man; we been that for centuries, man, and you know, “31 Flavaz” was the startup of the dynamic duo again man. Last record we really banged out on like that was when me and Snoopy did “Don’t Get Caught Up”, with DJ Quik for the “Caught Up” soundtrack. And this is just continuing that thing, man. We started from where we last ended at, man. “31 Flavaz” was the reconnection of the dynamic duo, Big Snoop Dogg and Kurupt young gotti, The Kingpin, smashing off on ‘em, man classic Kurupt and Snoop. That’s also a Niggaracci [Snoop] beat as well, you know Snoop got that production hat on so swell. And “31 Flavaz” is my favorite record on “The Big Squeeze” album.
ML: I’ll be sure to look for that. How about “Spend Some Time”?
K: Now “Spend Some Time”, is a record man that when I heard it I wished Snoopy would have put me on it, and then after he finished it he said, “Kurupt, I want you on this one right here.” That made my day, because that’s so radio right there… And you know that’s Kurupt’s thing, and we’d be freakin’ and all that type of stuff like that, so. You know “Spend Some Time” is self-explanatory as well. We speaking to nice little fly thing that we like. Standing on the corner over here, and spend some time with the boy!
K: With one of my closest friends, big Soopafly, Priest, doin’ it big. And my boy Chuck on that chorus with Snoop.
ML: And then another track you have with a lot of people, “Fuckin’ is Good for You”, how ’bout that?
K: Yeah, yeah, you know, fuckin’ is good for you.
K: *Laughs* Self-explanatory! *Laughs* It is good for you! *Laughs*
ML: What about “You in Trouble”?
K: You’re busted, bitch. *Laughs* That’s really basically, talk about a player that’s busted up, found out his bitch was cheatin’, doing her own little fuckin’ thing. He thought he was out there getting all the pussy. His bitch was out there getting pussy and dick. Found out from his home boys his bitch was out there acting stupid. He had to let the bitch know you’re in trouble. “You’re busted, bitch!” ‘Cause you know all the time, it’s always about the guy getting busted. It’s always about the guy doing something wrong, where the guy fuckin’ up. The guy is cheating. The guy is out there, always, you know what I mean?
ML: Yeah, but the girls can fuck up, too.
K: Yeah, yeah! And that’s what me and Snoop did on that record right here. We turned the tables on ‘em, and showed it from our perspective. That you know, we ain’t the only ones that fuck up here. We only human too. That’s also a true story, ’cause I had a bitch, man, I thought I was doin’ somethin’ man. But this bitch was out there just blowing off the earth… I was like, damn! You bitch! The first time I decide to be loyal, bitch… You decide on chewing on some goddamn balls like it’s bubblelicious. You hanky-spanky bitch, you.
[K talking in background to someone: "I seen this on the internet today; first time I seen it on You Tube.]
ML: What did you see on YouTube?
K: I seen the first single from “The Big Squeeze”, “Hat 2 Tha Bacc” with Western Union, Delmar, big Soopafly, and big Snoopy. The video is off the hook and I seen it first today on You-Tube. They just put it on.
ML: Were you part of the video shoot?
K: I wasn’t there, I was filming. I was working on a movie right now, called “Days of Wrath”.
ML: Now, this is a good segue to the other thing I was going to ask you. I was looking at your movie profile, and you’ve got a bunch of movies in the process. I saw you have a movie with Bill Goldberg?
ML: You wanna talk about your movie career?
K: You know, I’m just really getting started, but you now I’ve been extensive with that movie game. I learned it from 2Pac and from Snoop. You know, the Dogg wears many hats. He’s one of the first ones from our little squad that really started doing that reel, with range. In this business, you got to wear many hats, and I don’t just plan on just being an artist in music. You know, I’m going to do the film thing; I’m going to do the executive thing, you know, I’m going to wear many hats in this game. It’s all about throwin’ up in many fields, not just one.*Laughs* I have a ball with it, man! I have a ball with the movies, it’s a good career to get involved in too. I owe a lot of thanks to Natina Reed, and, William Morris, and Dana Sims. I owe a lot to them, because they really opened up the doors for me to get involved into it. You know, Natina is my son’s mother. She’s my boy’s mom, and she really opened up those doors for me, so I owe a lot of thanks to Natina Reed for that.
ML: Can you talk about the movie “Vice” for a little bit? Because I was reading the cast, and it looks like a very interesting movie.
K: Oh, it’s trump tight too, it’s trump tight. I fell in love with it when I read the script. That’s a movie with Daryl Hannah, and my big homie from waiting to exhale. I think he’s the one that really put that movie together right there, and got Kurupt involved with it, plus my agent, David Weintraub. So, as soon as I read the script, I fell in love with that movie. That’s about the vice; the reason, there’s a lot of sting operations going on. Watch ‘em! *Laughs*
ML: When is that coming out? Do you know?
K: I have no clue. I do know that it will be sometime, probably, in 2008.
ML: 2008? Alright.
ML: So, I’ll mark my calendar for next year.
K: Oh you gonna like that one. Darryl Hannah does her thing, man. She always does her thing.
ML: Alright. One of the first music DVD’s I really liked was G-TV. Because it had an uncut feel to it, it didn’t hide anything from you. Do you have any plans for a followup maybe?
K: Oh definitely! I’m working on one right now, G-TV2, that Snoop’s doing with me. He’s gonna do G-TV2 with me, because G-TV is just about not hiding anything, just like you said it’s beyond not hiding anything… it’s about being totally in. It’s not like that superstar shit, which you could never catch me slipping, you know. Have you seen those DVD’s? Yeah I got a course in that when I was asleep. And it woke me up, and I’m like, “Damn!” The camera’s rolling on, and I’m like, “You motherfucker” *Laughs* But you know G-TV is real, man. It’s about being on the inside with the gangstas, man. It’s what we be doin’, on tours and shows, and then it shows me goin’ home and seeing my kids, picking up my oldest daughter. See what I’m saying? It’s just showing you from the outside to the inside, from the bein’ in the streets type of thing, to when you’re really at home. Showing both sides, and that’s what’s real big about it.
ML: Alright, going back to the music for a little bit… you’re an industry veteran, and you’ve been in the game since the early ’90′s.
ML: What’s the difference that you feel the most from when you first went to a record label, versus today.
K: Well, it’s just, you know, the kids nowadays been through a different thing. You gotta put a little bit more into it, when it comes to making these records. One thing we’re never gonna do… we’re never gonna make records that we’re not satisfied with. Our records is West Coast records, man. We make West Coast records, period. But you know, it’s really no different, I mean it’s all about the grind, it’s all about the push, it’s all about putting out some quality music, whether it’s West Coast, whether it’s East Coast, South, whether it’s Midwest, wherever it may be. It’s all about putting out quality music, so you know that’s one thing that never changed about the game, is that you have to have quality, to make it. So, we just keep the quality up, man, and we change with the times, as far as supporting the times, but our music is gonna always stay West Coast gangstaed up.
ML: Well, being a West Coast artist, is it now easier, harder, or the same putting out the music on the East Coast versus maybe ten years ago or so?
K: I’d say it’s the same, man. ‘Cause you know they really don’t support anybody but themselves. You have a couple people out there that really stay down, and really show support for good music, but the majority of them, they just really to themselves, and you can’t be mad at them for it; it’s their own prerogative, to do whatever they want to do, so I never… as I got older, the anger thing just totally left me, you know since I been back with Snoop, and you know, I had to do the Woosahabah *Laughs* You know, the world changed. It’s always been hard to make it on the East Coast, gotta understand hip hop came *from* the East Coast, so to make it in the town where it came from is always going to be a lot harder.
ML: Yeah, that’s a very valid point.
K: Yea, can’t be mad at ‘em; it’s their prerogative, but they did bring this to the table. We love ‘em for it, man, because it opens up so many doors for a lot of inner-city youth, a lot of black youth, a lot of white youth. It opens a lot of doors for a lot of people, and a lot of races.
ML: Yea. I saw you on tour last summer, when you were touring with Ice Cube in D.C. You guys have a really live set. I remember you guys were throwing bandanas nonstop into the crowd. Do you have a favorite concert story that you could share?
K: Oh man! With the Cube tour?! You know that my favorite thing was just being back with my homeboys, ’cause I been away from my family for so long, and to finally be back with them, there’re so many stories I could tell. Most importantly, was sitting with Ice Cube, and Ice Cube giving me some game, and when Snoopy was there, we all just had a real long talk about things, and you know, the game they gave me. That was one of the most, one of the biggest exciting points. *Laughs* One of the biggest exciting points of the whole thing. ‘Cause you know they never get a chance to mess with you, ’cause they be moving so much, it wasn’t about the bitches, the whole tour wasn’t about the bitches, it wasn’t about the parties. It was about us being together, West Coast, being out there as one, finally getting to hit the road with somebody we looked up to for so long, like Ice Cube. You know all of us been lookin’ up to Cube for centuries! Snoop, myself, all of us, and so you know, it was really exciting to be there. So you know there’s too many good points, to even just mention just one. *Laughs*
ML: So the whole tour was like one good moment?
K: One good moment. You know the whole inside thing… So you know, it was a grand thing.
ML: Is there a tour in the plans for the summer, maybe?
K: Yeah, definitely, you know what I mean. I think we’re gonna bring the Snoop and Puffy tour to America.
K: Got offered that from overseas; I think we’re gonna bring that to America. That’s such a great show, you know. It would be wrong if we didn’t give America the opportunity to see this great show. Puffy really did his thing; he really did an excellent job, rockin’ that mic, and rockin’ that stage, and Snoopy did an excellent job. We all put our one’s and two’s in there, and man it was just a big family. It was big also, because it was showing the East and the West Coasts together as one, that was huge.
ML: Yeah, I was actually reading an article about it. It seems like a huge production.
K: You know, Puffy always got to do it big, you know he *has* to do it big and Snoop, you know he’s West Coast, and he always does it big here on the West Coast. So for those two big individuals to get together to do one big event… that was spectacular.
ML: Yeah, and they’re onstage at the same time, at points, right?
K: Oh man, wasn’t that great?!
ML: Any stories from the tour?
K: The whole thing.
ML: The whole thing *Laughs*
K: Couldn’t even get me started. But I know I’ll tell you one of the biggest points was Amsterdam. London pissed us off by not letting us in, but all they did was give us a great week’s vacation in Amsterdam. *Laughs* And boy, that’s a story for ya. Nothin’ but smokin’ and lokin.
ML: That’s actually what I was going to say. I was going to say, how was Amsterdam?
K: Oh, outrageous, outrageous, man! We had us a ball out there. The people was real receptive towards us and we had a good time out there. Plus an actual vacation. You can’t beat it.
ML: In Amsterdam.
K: That’s right.
ML: Alright. What’s your relationship with Dr. Dre these days like?
K: My relationship with Dr. Dre is always good, always good.
ML: Are you gonna be contributing anything for the Detox?
K: Well you know, everybody asks that, but the truth of the matter is, you can never contribute anything. You can only wait to be called to the table, ’cause you know…
ML: Have you been called to the table?
K: Well no, I been doing these movies and stuff, and Dr. Dre been doing his thing. I talk to Dr. Dre.
ML: What’s the last thing you bought?
K: Nelly Furtado.
ML: The album?
K: Damn right.
ML: Alright. Have you listened to it?
K: Damn right, I own that record.
ML: What rating would Kurupt give it, out of 5?
ML: Alright. So, Kurupt, a Nelly Furtado fan… you learn something every day.
K: I say it right; when I say it right, it’s the ONE.
ML: Alright, are you a sports fan? And if so, what are your favorite sports teams?
K: What sports?
ML: Any major sports. What are your favorite teams?
K: And the Lakers.
ML: And the Lakers. Alright, how do you feel about the Lakers this year?
K: Oh they gonna step their game up, I assume they gonna step it up. But I’m a real Laker fan, so you know… They all, they can’t never do no wrong in my eyes. *Laughs* They got a great squad, and they gotta step their game up and that’s what they gonna do. I mean Kobe is just immaculate. He’s so fucking immaculate. But I feel they gonna step their game up. I’m gonna ride with them regardless. By next year I think they’re going to be excellent, and ready to be up in there and go get that ring.
ML: Alright, I feel like every Laker fan I talk to is very loyal. You know they’re never talking down about the team. They’re like, “We gonna get our share.” You know?
K: Oh Definitely! I mean you know, they got some fixin’ up to do; *all* teams have fixin’ up to do. You know, so they ain’t got no problem that none of these other teams don’t have, you know. Dallas Mavericks had the best record damn near for two years in a row, still ain’t got no ring.
ML: Yep, that’s very true.
K: You know, it’s just all about the game, gotta stay supportive, man, let ‘em know that you’re supporting them, man, and you know they’ll deliver… they HAVE.
ML: Alright, yeah, so you know they’ll do it again.
K: I think one of the best franchises there is in the game, our history is impeccable, like the Celtics.
ML: Yeah. Alright, the other thing I wanted to ask was, on “The Big Squeeze”, Snoop handles most of the production? How would you describe Snoop’s production?
K: Oh I love it. You know Snoopy’s been producing though. He made “Somebody Somewhere”. He made “Beware of My Crew” for the LBC Crew. You know what I mean, we’ve *all* been producing. I made “Never Leave Me Alone” for Nate Dogg, his first single, back in the day. So Snoop’s always been producing; that’s what people don’t know. So this is just Snoopy getting back into his production side, you know what I mean? And the album is bangin’, hands down, it’s off the meat rack. As soon as Snoopy bring up a beat, you can fill in your style, like “31 Flavaz”, man. It’s off the hook, you know what I’m sayin’? It’s off the hook! So I love it, you know what I mean, and when I do my solo album, you know Snoop’s executive-producing that album, and I’m definitely gonna have me Niggaracci beats. It’s all over that motherfucker *Laughs*
ML: No questions asked.
K: Oh yeah! Oh yeah!
ML: What about your solo album? Probably next year? Or are you going to try to get it out this year?
K: Oh no, definitely not this year, you know right now I’m more along the lines of just playing my parts, and getting my pen up, and putting these things together. When it’s my time, you know Snoopy will let me know, man. We gonna fly off, you know in the meantime, I’m gonna just keep rockin’ out these rhymes man, and makin’ these classics that I’m makin’. Because when I do my solo album this time, it’s gonna be a total different breed of an album. A *total* different breed of an album. I’m definitely gonna be talkin’ with Dr. Dre, I’m be talkin’ with Daz, I’m talkin’ with Priest, and talking with Niggaracci, with Snoopy. Just going to be a whole different calibre of a record. You know, I’m been I’ve been workin’ for like a year and a half to two years, like Dr. Dre, on this thing, on this one right here. That’s what me and Snoopy been doing, so…
ML: Alright, so, you’re gonna put a lot of hard work into this one, huh?
K: Oh, ya gotta do it, ya gotta do it. That’s how I’m doing every solo album, from this point on.
ML: Alright. What I wanted to ask you, you said you’ve produced, like you mentioned the Nate Dogg track. That came out in ’97, right?
ML: Alright. Do you have any production that you’re working out? Is there any, you know, Kurupt beats that we should be looking for, either now or in the future?
K: No, my thing right now is doing this film and being an artist right now. That’s the main thing that I’m concentrating on. Who knows, in the future though, you may hear some of them Kurupt classics, you know what I mean. But it’s just not something that I’m concentrating on right now.
ML: Yeah, not enough time in the day for Kurupt beats. You got movies, rappin’…
K: Hey! See what I’m talkin’ about? And kids!
ML: And kids, and future wife!
K: Oh man, you know what I’m talking about man!…
ML: Alright, the last thing I wanted to ask you… I thought you might have some insight into this, ’cause I’ve been trying to find some information on Sam Sneed. Do you know what he’s up to these days?
K: Makin’ them beats.
ML: Makin’ them beats? Is he based out of LA?
K: He’s based out of Atlanta. I thought so, you know he’s from Pittsburgh though, but he’s based out of Atlanta, you know he’s doin’ superbig, man the last time I saw Sam he was smiling, had classics to hand me man and keepin’ it movin’.
ML: Alright, so could we possibly be seeing some Kurupt/Sam Sneed collaboration?
K: Oh you can definitely believe that. Yessir.
ML: Alright. So, just to wrap it up, in two sentences, how would you summarize 2007 for Kurupt?
K: Well you know, 2007 is damn near over, you know, and I just summarize, seeing me on that road with Snoop, seein’ me makin’ more of these bomb movies that I’m a part of, made, and working on my solo album. And working on that new Dogg Pound album, “Westcoast Aftershocc”.
ML: Alright. So that’s the title of the album, “Westcoast Aftershocc”?
K: The next Dogg Pound album, be ready to feel it. Gonna quake in a city near you, man.
ML: People in Atlanta are even gonna be shaking.
K: Wow! Damn, what is that? Must be the Dogg Pound. *Laughs*
ML: *Laughs* They should name a hurricane after you or something.
K: Okay, call it Hurricane Gotti *Laughs*
ML: That’ll be the most gangsta hurricane ever.
K: Okay, dang the whole world gonna be done the whole thing under water!
ML: Alright, well, that about wraps it up. Thank you very much for your time.
K: Yessir, yessir. Pleased to talk to you, man.
Kurupt’s recent Basement freestyle
Digital Smoke Tracklisting:
2.) All We Smoke
3.) I’m Just Sayin f/Roscoe & Tri-Star
4.) Get It f/Goodie Mob & Roscoe
5.) I’m Too Gangsta f/Gail Gotti & Styliztik Jones
6.) Summertime f/Y.A., Gail Gotti & Nire’
7.) Digital Experience f/Bigg Gipp of Goodie Mobb
8.) Smokin f/ Y.A. & James Debarge
9.) History f/ Butch Cassidy
10.) Weed Types
11.) Los Angeles f/ Samuel “Shawty” Christian
12.) Itz Nothin f/ Roscoe
13.) Got Me Going f/ Knoc-turn’al
14.) I Came In The Door f/ Kokane
15.) Likwit Smokestra
16.) Let Em Know f/ Tha Liks
All Produced By: J. Wells