I’m doing good. It’s the same ol’ same.
How did you find Tangled Thoughts?
They were tight. I met them back in Philly and I’ve been fucking with them ever since.
In your position, you could work with a lot of up-and-coming artists. What did you hear in Tangled Thoughts that made you want to work with them?
It wasn’t as much the music as it was them. Tek is one of my producers and it was only right that I supported him. Tek has been my producer for quite awhile. I told him if he really wanted things to move, he needed to move out to Cali and get things cracking. The whole crew is tight. I told him to come out and really, it was their dedication to working. They always had new records and I was like, ‘Fuck it, man. Why don’t you put a whole album together and I’ll oversee it.’ That’s what they did.
What do you think of the way the album From Philly 2 Cali came out?
I love it. I love it. Tek is an operator. He takes records and he does it like Dr. Dre. You lay it down today and within a week, it’s a whole different record. That’s what I was really loving the most about Tek, his dedication to whatever record he was working on. It came out smashing. I really love it. The boys put their heart and soul into it. That’s the main thing that grabbed me about Tangled Thoughts, their work ethic.
How have you helped Tangled Thoughts grow as a group?
I always try to keep them high and dry from the bullshit. There’s not really too much I need to show them because they don’t get involved in the politics and garbage. That’s what I love about them. They stay away from the garbage and they make good records. I love that about them.
How valuable is your cosign in the game?
I have no clue. I have no clue how valuable my cosign is. I just try to support anyone I’m fucking with and give them whatever they need and bring it to the table. It’s a team effort. I truly believe in that. These guys have a great future in making classic records.
How close do you follow the Philadelphia hip-hop scene today?
I go home, post up, smoke and meet new MCs everyday, but Philly is not about the game. I go back to see my mama and my family. Philly is the place I go to get away from the game, believe it or not. That’s why it means a lot that I came across Tek out there. I was there to be with my family and I couldn’t stay out of the studio once I heard his beats. We just knew that ever since then we had to work together. But I don’t go home to do business. That’s the house.
What’s the benefit for you and Tangled Thoughts being in California today?
This is the difference – if you have been in Philadelphia all of your life and have gotten nowhere, don’t you think it’s time to move? (laughs) If you’ve been in California all your life and haven’t gotten anywhere, don’t you think it’s time to move? There are only five places to go – New York, Atlanta, Miami, Houston or Los Angeles. So if you’ve been living in any of those places all your life and you have not gone anywhere, then you need to move! What better place to move than someplace where somebody has some type of control and some type of connection? It’s only right that if Tek and them wanted to get somewhere, they move.
New York has always been in the game and New York is the center of the game, but this business is all about who you know. It’s not about your skill or your talent or none of that shit. It’s about who you know. I’m the one they know and it’s only right that they stay close to Kurupt so that they could meet who I work with. It’s not about California. California business is shady just like all the other places if you don’t know nobody. My boys don’t know nobody in Miami, New York, Atlanta or Houston. They know somebody in LA and they were smart about it. The first thing they did when they came out here was move into the 805 and storm the airwaves. They were killing the game and doing things that they were never doing in Philadelphia. That was a great move.
How is it working with Tek in the studio?
It’s so easy. It’s actually too easy because Tek lets you breathe but he still keeps you on track. Sometimes as an MC, you can go off-track. All it takes is somebody who has some type of concern for your career. When you’re surrounded by a gang of negative people, all you can do is go down. I like to stay around Tek because he keeps me focused and positive and that’s the type of producer I want to work with.
What kind of potential does Tek have as a producer?
Oh, he’s there. All he’s got to do is stick with it. It will all come to him because he’s patient.
Does the way Snoop took you under his wing influence how you take new artists under your wing?
Definitely. You need that in the game and you need that in your life. You need somebody who takes an interest in you and helps you out with your decisions. You need somebody who doesn’t tell you what to do but gives you good advice. That’s what Snoop does for us. I come from the world where I had Snoop to keep me on track. I had great producers like Daz and Soopafly and there was Nate Dogg and Warren G. You need that as a young artist, especially when you have talent like Tek and them have.
When I first heard Tek, I heard his talent just like the first time I came across Scott Storch when he was in Philly. Nobody was fucking with Scott except the Roots and he blew me away musically. He turned out to be one of the biggest producers in the game. It’s like when I first heard Eve when she was young. She was right. Her rhymes were tight and she turned out to be one of the biggest artists in the game.
There’s a lot of cats that I was around and I was able to be a part of their career. When I moved back to California, they began to fly. I was working with T.I. when he was still at Arista and he was frustrated. I spit a little game to him and he went to the moon. God blesses you for these things and I feel blessed. I’m on a different side of the tracks than some of my homies. I’ve given a lot of game out and whether people have used it or not, that’s on them. God softened my heart and put me and Daz back together to fly as a unit and that’s what we’re doing.
Are you happy with how the last Dogg Pound album Dogg Chit came out?
It’s off the hook. Musically, Daz really brought the best out of me. We call that one Dogg Food 2.
How important was it to keep it mainly you and Daz on Dogg Chit?
Snoop wanted to get us started up back in the game so he called up his friends on the Dogg Pound Gang album. Everybody showed their support and that’s mainly what Snoopy wanted to accomplish. On this one, we went back to the basics. Daz handled the production. We showed a lot of West Coast unity on this one. We were more concentrated on keeping Dogg Chit on the West with Daz and Soopafly on the music. We wanted to take it back to that Dogg Pound essence.
What’s it like working with Daz today?
It’s great. Daz is my brother. When we were separated, there was a piece of both of us missing. Now that we’re together, we’re in flight. Snoopy is helping us. I still have to step my pen up a little bit. I’m still getting back in rhythm, but once I get my game back in pocket, it’s game over.
Have you been able to stay humble throughout the ups and downs?
Oh, yeah. I’ve made my mistakes. We all do, just like when I see DMX in the airport after all these years and he turned out to be one of my good buddies. DMX is a real good nigga. You never know that until you meet somebody. When you’re young, you go off your emotions and feelings more than what your brain is telling you to do. You learn from your mistakes and we’re here now and it’s super-big.
Will you work with Dre again in the future?
Definitely. He’s on Snoopy’s album. But right now, I think that me and Daz are trying to get our rhythm together and trying to put out that classic Dogg Pound gangsta shit. That’s what we’re concentrating on. We’re getting back to that reunion, getting our paper and enjoying ourselves. We’re feeding our families and getting back to our stride in the game.
Will you work with Pete Rock again?
I saw Pete Rock not too long ago. I’m definitely fucking with Pete. And Premier. I’m fucking with all my originals. The first thing I have is pushing this Tangled Thoughts album and me and Daz pushing our Dogg Chit album and working on our next album, which is West Coast Aftershock. We’re working on getting our rhythm back. That’s the key to the game.
Is a Kurupt solo album going to happen soon?
Yeah. I’m working on that. Snoop is executive-producing it. Daz, Snoop, Soopafly, Tek and Terrance Martin are doing a lot of production. Snoop is doing his production thing as Niggarachi. I’m going to keep it in-house and keep it all gangstered up. We’re working on that, but that’s not my concentration right now.
Is there a type of beat that you can excel on more than others?
I really don’t think it matters. If I feel the beat, you’re going to get the best out of Kurupt.
Have you talked to Foxy Brown lately?
I haven’t talked to Inga at all, but we’re cool. We’re at an understanding. She goes through her things but she’s a real good person. A lot of people don’t know that about the girl, but she’s a real cool person, homie, once you get to know her. She just gets ticked off real easily. (laughs)
Have you been in touch with Suge Knight at all as he’s going through his situation with Death Row?
No, I haven’t talked to Suge at all either.
How are you helping your wife, Gail Gotti, with her music?
When it comes to Gail, I don’t really have to help her. She has her own motor. I’m right there with her and we’re working on her album. We’re just loading up these albums. There’s also the album me and Gail did together, her album, my album, the album with Daz, Snoop’s album, Snoop and JT’s Tha Big Squeeze…We’re just keeping these albums rolling and making it happen.
What advice would you offer to up-and-coming artists?
Just stick to what you’re doing and try to be the best that you could be at your thing. Tek and Tangled Thoughts did what they did and they never really thought they would be running across Kurupt. They stuck to what they did and now look at them – they’re out in California making records. They didn’t have anything popping in Philly, they go out to Cali for one trip and look what happens. All you really need is one person to give you a boost. All I really did was give them some game and they made everything else happen on their own.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Look out for all those albums. Look out for Tangled Thoughts, Dogg Chit, Snoop and JT’s Tha Big Squeeze, Daz’s album with Jermaine Dupri, Gail Gotti’s album, the Gail Gotti and Kurupt album and the Dogg Pound’s West Coast Aftershock. We have so many of them. Just stay positive and look out.