On his third solo album, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey, hip-hop star Kurupt (aka Young Gotti) says that after nearly a decade of forging groundbreaking and often provocative jams that helped put West Coast rap on the contemporary musical map, he's starting to grow into his status as an elder statesman of the urban music scene. "This album is more mature musically. I decided to call the album Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey because it's like traveling through my inner thoughts and taking people into a whole new realm.
Kurupt also brings a number of other talented folks into his musical modes on the new disc, such as fellow hip-hop homeboys Xzibit, Nate Dogg, Tha Liks, Daz, MC Ren from N.W.A. and Jon B., as well as some friends from the rock-rap camp like Everlast and Fred Durst and DJ Lethal of Limp Bizkit.
But Kurupt has been mixing it up since he emerged in the early 1990s on Dr. Dre's The Chronic and Doggystyle by Snoop Dogg. He debuted on his own in 1998 with Kuruption, and followed it up the next year with Tha Streets Is A Mutha. He's also released Dogg Food and Dillinger & Young Gotti with his pal Daz, proving himself one of the pivotal talents in the California urban music movement.
Space Boogie also features a collaboration with Kurupt's fiancée, Natina Reed of the R&B group Blaque, who shows off her other skills at the microphone on "It's Over," the new CD's first single. "It was fun," enthuses Kurupt. "We went in there with a cool little beat. I told her to go ahead and write my rap and I'd write her rap. We were just having a ball."
Kurupt seems happy with his life right now, having landed parts in two movies (The Plague Season and Keepin' It Real), and feeling satisfied with his latest CD, saying "This album is the first time I'm able to do whatever I want, however I want."