Kurupt - Streetlights

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Kurupt and Terrace Martin don't quite recapture the chemistry of 2009's Blaqkout, but DPG fans will be pleased to see how Kurupt has adapted to the current state of the Hip Hop game.

Like many of the “golden era” emcees of yesteryear, Kurupt has a bit of a dilemma on his hands. What do you do if you were responsible for crafting past classics like “Ain’t No Fun” and “New York, New York” but still have enough fire left to keep creating albums instead of being forced into Rap retirement? If you’re Kurupt, you go the independent route and keep making albums with your friends.

Having freed himself from the formulaic constraints of being signed to a major, Kurupt no longer has to cater to mainstream radio. Forced singles such as “It’s Over” have given way to more natural cuts such as “I’m Burnt.” The latter has as much bounce to it as anything SoCal residents will hear on Power 106, yet it’s just as authentic as anything Kurupt has ever made.

That authenticity also bleeds over into the rest of Streetlights. After a down period that saw his once powerful bark reduced to a sedated lyrical growl, Kurupt seems to have as much control over his delivery as he did in 1993. He effortlessly switches from subdued elder statesman on “All That I Want” and “Bounce, Rock, Skate” back to the magma spewing emcee he was introduced as on “In Gotti We Trust.”


In short, his days of lazy metaphors such as “Explode like explosions” have gone the way of the pullout radio. During one of his full-disclosure moments on “Questions,” Kurupt addresses rumors such as the infamous Suge Knight beatdowns at Death Row Records and his ex-fiancée Foxy Brown. Over Terrace Martin’s successful experiment in minimalism, Kurupt shows he still has his ear to the streets, rhyming, “How’d you meet Snoop, was it at the Roxy? / I can’t believe you knew ‘Pac / Heatrocks / Are we gonna see you on Detox?” His past made for great tabloid gossip before the days of TMZ and Bossip, and it’s refreshing to see that Kurupt acknowledges it instead of running from it.

In one sense, some listeners (and Kurupt for that matter) may be a bit too old to be impressed with crude dick and pussy fare offered on tracks such as “I’m Drunk” and “Scrape.” But this is the guy who co-wrote “Ain’t No Fun” and “Bomb Azz Pussy,” (albeit nearly 15 years ago.) If anyone has a right to revisit that territory it’s “Young Gotti.” It’s just that after successfully balancing gangsta ignorance and grown man elegance on 2009’s Blaqkout, it almost feels like Kurupt is taking a half step backwards. However, none of Streetlights’ few shortcomings can be blamed on the production, which is mostly handled by Terrace Martin, with one offering each from Pete Rock and Lil Jon.

Terrace doesn’t quite capture the instant chemistry Kurupt achieved with the likes of DJ Quik, Fred Wreck or Dogg Pound partner Daz Dillinger. Based on his current body of work, it seems more a matter of when he’ll be able to craft his own classic than if. In terms of variety, Martin balances out synths, live instruments, re-interpretations of previous classics and his own array of different drums to already warrant consideration as one of the left coast’s best producers. You can make the argument that the pupil outshines the teacher this time around.

Streetlights
is a quality enough album that, even with a few flaws, it ranks as a superior offering. It stands up as a solid follow up to Blaqkout, and some of Kurupt’s lesser-known independent projects. From a listener’s perspective, Kurupt is enjoying a renaissance; he hasn’t put together a string of consistently high quality projects like this since releasing Tha Streetz Is A Mutha. While some of the West’s founding fathers are beefing with the self-proclaimed “New West,” newcomers such as Problem and Terrace Martin seem to have energized the Kurupt.  Without resorting to the tired cliché about old dogs and new tricks, suffice it to say that die hard DPG fans will be pleased to see how Kurupt has adapted to the current state of the Hip Hop game.

46 Comments

  • Anonymous

    The WEST NEVER FELL OFF F*CK WHAT YOU THINK

  • BIGSAVAGE88

    this is kurupts worst album , Brotha lynch hung dropped a cool album this year Dinner and a movie , and other westcoast legends like snoop , xzibit and others seem to have fell off and went soft . it seems like Ice Cube & MC Eiht are the only good ones left

  • Kay W

    This is an ok album, some fire tracks but most of them average

  • I KNOW THAT HIP HOP

    Kurwho? Hahah some niggas stuck in the 90's! GIVE IT UP HE WACK! GUCCI WOULD BURN EM LoL!

  • hiphopbaby4life

    its young gotti uppin his flow n rymes can't stay in 95 gotta give it more of what his true fans need

  • antiguccimane

    dudes wanna act like just because an artist made a name for himself his music is gonna be automatically good....this shit is trash like everything dogg pound has released since 95

  • stupidniggazdiesoon

    i cant believe niggaz givin 5 to dis damn yall niggaz just like giving 5 dont ya .this pure trash

  • RJF

    Explain how Kurupts get 3 Stars but B.O.B. gets 4 plus stars? This reviewer is turning on us, once you go pop you never come back

  • Christian2424

    Funny how they dont mention "In Gotti We Trust"...BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM....and FACE DOWN IS SICK

  • The Born120

    Oh yeah four off top if it wasn'y for scrape and that lil jon bullshyt(obviously cube inspired) it would be damn there 5

  • The Born120

    Hands down if you know nothing about LA underground(no not ras and X, more like mykah9,Good life,project blowed shit) then his delivery by itself will go over your head(using your voice as an instrument, Think valves on a trumpet. Lyrically he's inspired(multi syllabic, array or Different types of wordplay(not A-typical green like the grasss more like "I Told her Cum Hear(come here) and stuck my dick in her ear) yessir Bang I'm Burnt Bang I'm the man....a testament to a guy Big said was his favoite or "ill" Pete rock,Quik,Dre,Premo Kurupt Legendary Lyricisst

  • ImFromDaSouth 239/404

    DX Im gone need yall to update your site again. Niggas should be required to put where they from in there Login ID. Niggas be rating shit according to where the rapper is from and don't let them be from the same coast, u already know the rating they gone get whether it's garbage or not.. I haven't Kurupt CD but if he on that old DPG shit then I already know its gone go hard..

    • ImFromDaSouth 239/404

      I feel ya GREATIANDI!! Sounds like a creditable source. Originally from the GA/ Them woods Grew up in Ft.MYers Fla and ATL Lived in North Chicago for years

    • thegreatiandi

      From Las Vegas Originally from Chi Lived in L.a for years ( Inglewood, South Central and over by the watts Tower ) Went to Long Beach State That nigga sucks ass now. Period.

  • thegreatiandi

    this trash get a 2 stars at best. This aint bout sells or anything else. This is just bassed on skill. And Rupt used to be i'll on the mic...but this fool just comes off the dome nowdays. He was always the weakest member of the 4hoursemen. If i have to hear this fool make up words one more time ima vomit. " Im the nosta-gosta-pistol-paka " Fuck ota here...

  • sparxsman

    ALL UNSIGNED ARTIST REGISTER @ WEBUILDHITS.COM PLAY THE GAME WITH HIPHOP`S BIGGEST PRODUCERS

  • jehrel bruno

    Wow I really dont see what how this album is only 3 stars. Did the guy have the wrong CD the first track sets the tone for the album Kurupt showing off his raw flow.This album is not perfect but its way better than 3 stars I have never made a comment about an album review but this is so far off Im glad I didnt take the reviewer word for it dude needs his hearing checked ASAP

  • Gonzalo

    SOLDADO ENT PRESENTS GONZALO SOUNDBOY KILLA & MI MONTUNO AVAILABLE NOW ON ITUNES & AMAZONMP3 OVER RMX FREE DOWNLOAD http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/song_3822932 I'M CRUSHING ALL COMPETITION THE INDUSTRY WILL NOT IMPEDE ON MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO RHYME

  • DeJuan

    This album is tooooo fly for its own good!! Pete Rock holding Gotti down on 'Yessir' - and don't even get me started on the "Intro" - that beat is about as inspiring as it gets! The track w/ Xzibit, not to mention "I'm the Man"...and that "Bounce, Rock, Skate" remix is meean as hell, too! Kurupt, as usual, reminding all the heads why he's not to be trifled with under any circumstances. HOLLER BACK.

  • Double A

    This. Shit. Is. Hard.

  • SCREW DX FAM A LAM

    DX FAM A LAM IS TUTTTTTI

  • Donpo

    Bad muthafucker still got

  • buckeyewu

    I give this one a a solid 4. Out of 14 songs there were only that I didn't like. Questions and Face Down were the only tracks that seemed like fillers to me. In Gotti We Trust was ok the 2nd time around. Everything else was good West Coast music.

  • BOBBi_G_PROFECY

    Agree w/ sum of the rating issues being stated but I like the way the albums are broken down & detailed so it definitely makes up for the actual rating. Keep up the good work HIPHOPDX but please do try to be more accurate w/ the ratings. P.S. My singles “CAKE!” & “BIG BOYS” are AVAILABLE NOW @ iTunes & every digital retail outlet SO BUY MY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL. BOBBi G aka The Future King of The West Coast bka Ask DRE even he’ll tell you I got next

  • DeJuan

    Kurupt = top 5 MC. Bottom line.

  • Vocab

    dope review, agree 100%, was really hoping for a nice solid 4 but the album is def a mixed bag. I love the direction Kurupt is taking with his lyrics and flow, he's spitting raw, but his beats are too inconsistent and his song writing lacks, he's almost there though, hopefully he nails it on the next album.

  • Snoopaveli

    BANGING Album!!! thx Kurupt !!

  • kush nap

    if drake get 4 or 5 stars, you know dx received their payment. kurupt still nice in terms of his flow and delivery. but hes not sayin anything. been like this for awhile now. some of these beats is trash. but kurupt still one of the livest emcees ever. if im a DJ just spinning beats live, i want kurupt rapping. he sound likes coming off the top on a lot of this. i wish he came back with some more tecnical shit. kurupt vocab used to be crazy.

    • DX Fam A Lam

      Respect. Just don't make payola comments. If we took "payola" we wouldn't be who we are. If we took payola, trust me, the cars would be German and the beers would be Belgian.

    • kush nap

      and you stay sweating my opinion cuz you know its based in truth. sensitivity kills. make the section better. yall would rather have the critics just go away, when you could take the time to improve the site. defensive lames that are content with the way it is. dx = primo site. dx review section = weakest part of the site.

    • kush nap

      you stay on the defensive. deep down you must know the review section is trash. but dont act like DX isnt on the take. yall bow down to payola like everyone else. you just dont wanna admit it.

    • DX Fam A Lam

      You writing the check? Stay hating.

  • TU

    Kurupt > Drake simple as that

  • H-DUB

    Fact is, instead of coming out with mediocre Albums every Year ( Daz included ), bring ONE big Banger with the whole Fam.

  • Curt1711

    You see kurupt is typical of many west coast rappers who 'fell off' or failed to consistently deliver. Rhyme style and word play is up there with the best but when you restrict your subject matter to guns, hoes, weed and homies you can only go so far and your mass appeal fades to only the hardcore. Streetz is a mutha is one of the best post 1996 west coast albums ever - kurupt has never lived up to this since although originals album was just that, original.

    • BigYAY

      I agree. Streetz is a Mutha came out on the same day as Chronic2001 and I used to bump Kurupt more than Dre. Space Boogie was a classic too. Those were the days.

  • OAKLANDGODUMB

    this albums is weak he should come up with a group and promote them instead of just himself like the last 5 albums

  • Really Doe

    Good, not great.

  • Brian Kidd

    A 5 all the way.

  • Drum Machine

    The review of west coast albums on hip hopdx are terrible. this album is a 4/5 for me.

    • MalcolmLittle

      Well wait, I guess this review WOULD be a prime example of the point I was tryin to make. "Streetlights is a quality enough album that, even with a few flaws, it ranks as a superior offering." "From a listener’s perspective, Kurupt is enjoying a renaissance; he hasn’t put together a string of consistently high quality projects like this since releasing Tha Streetz Is A Mutha." "That authenticity also bleeds over into the rest of Streetlights. After a down period that saw his once powerful bark reduced to a sedated lyrical growl, Kurupt seems to have as much control over his delivery as he did in 1993." ^^^ A "superior offering," with the rating of a mediocre album...it ain't addin up. I ain't here to bash the site, but you can't defend EVERYTHING your writers do...that's all I'm sayin...

    • MalcolmLittle

      @ DX FAM A LAM I think what he's sayin, is that a lotta times the the reviews and ratings from DX don't exactly match up, I noticed that myself awhile ago. Click on a review, the 1st thing you see is the rating...see an album with a 3.5, 3, maybe even 2.5...go on to read the review, and like Harry said, you don't see a single negative point made by the writer...or if there is one, it's usually one of little to no real significance. I can't name specific incidents cuz I really don't pay THAT much attention to it, I ain't never been the type to let another person's opinion of somethin influence whether I do or cop somethin ya underdig? Just had to point out that some (not all) of these people ain't too far off base when they criticize the rating system here. http://realityreport-mlittle.blogspot.com "Read between the lines, and question EVERYTHING." -- MalcolmLittle

    • HarryLlLlLl

      You gave fashawn 4 stars. IMO the only clear 5 star album of the last few years. You mentioned no negatives on the review and lauded him with praise at the end of year awards. And you gave him a four. By no means a bad mark but that album was classic

    • stephen4

      Well why have you given it a 5/

    • DX Fam A Lam

      Word? Too Short, Brotha Lynch Hung, E-40, Madlib, Davinci, Cypress Hill all got positive reviews. Where's the best west coast album reviews?