In our full-length interview with legendary Westcoast rapper Kurupt, we talked about his new project “Kurupt presents: A Toast To The Coast”, his latest single “Don’t Ask Me,” revamping his label Penagon Entertainment, and the upcoming DPG release “Doog Food 2.” We also discussed his role with Death Row Records during the iconic label’s heyday in the 90s, before sharing what it was like to work with Suge Knight and why Snoop Dogg is Kurupt‘s role model.
Yo Kurupt! Before we get into it, how are you feeling today? How is life treating you?
Life is great. Just chillaxing! Staying out the way. Concentrating on these tours. It’s Rock ’n’ Roll, baby!
You are releasing your new single “Don’t Ask Me” featuring Suga Free on September 15. What is your most hated question during an interview that you don’t want to be asked?
That’s my most hated question. I ain’t got one! Don’t ask me, ask the bitch! [Laughs]
Let the fans know what they can expect from the forthcoming record. What is the concept and message behind the song?
You know, the message is real simple: keep it player. You know, when somebody come up to you, asking you about what’s up with you and this girl. Evidently, they got something going on with the girl too.
You let them know, ‘Hey man!’ in a polite and manly way… ‘You know, don’t ask me, ask the lady, you dig?’ Because she could tell you better than I ever could. I’mma tell you what’s going on with the lady, you know what I’m saying? Keep it player, man!
Will “Don’t Ask Me” be a part of an upcoming Kurupt album?
I got an EP coming entitled “Kurupt present: A Toast To The Coast.” So you can look for that one. This is for the Westcoast, you know what I’m saying? But it’s basically for everybody to join a party and have a good time with it, you dig? Everybody is invited, but this party is for the coast. This release is just the set off of this fun trip, of this brand new Kurupt experience.
The single will be released via your revamped label Penagon Entertainment, which has gone through a major overhaul. What was the reason for it and what can we expect from your label in the future as far as artists and releases?
Penagon – like all companies – you shapeshift at times. You gotta change it up with a new staff, new team, new everything, new ideas. So, you know, that’s what we did with this company Penagon Entertainment.
We got new artists that we’re gonna be coming with. We got new music, new production. It’s lovely! You know, we are having fun. This is all about fun! This is Hip-Hop. 50 years of Hip-Hop.
I’m 50 years old that means I was born when Hip-Hop was born. So, you know, now I’m getting back to that executive lane. Putting that executive hat on and I’m gonna set it all off with “Kurupt present: A Toast To The Coast.”
Business-wise, who’s that one mogul you look up to and say, “I want a career similar to his?”
I wish my career was like the one from Snoop Dogg. Boss Hogg, Snoop Dogg! You know, Snoop is the key example of excellence and endurance in this game. He is the key example of longevity. He’s everything that I see that I want to be, everything that I see that I am. You know, Snoop is the key to the game for me. His game is imperial, his drive and thrive… his striving is amazing!
His family, he takes care of his family, you know what I’m saying? He knows how to separate family, life as a man, and the business life. And he has a business with his family, you know what I’m saying? With his wife and children. His son Cordell, he’s super shining, you know what I’m saying? Everybody is doing they thing, man, so Snoop is definitely my example.
Suge Knight once opened the doors for you to be a part of Death Row as a VP. What lessons from back then did you learn from him about operating a label?
What I learned when I went back to Death Row with Suge was to stay focused. You gotta stay focused or else your empire will crumble, you know what I’m saying? Suge put a little bit more focus into my thing and into the executive side of Kurupt, so, you know, the focus was the key.
When was the last time you talked to Suge and how is he feeling and doing behind bars?
I talked to Suge a couple months ago and he’s doing okay, he sounded upbeat, he sounded really good. You know what I’m saying?
What is your opinion about the music industry nowadays? What would you chance if you could?
The industry nowadays is all over the place. I’m not mad at it. You know, it is what it is. Everything expands and everything reshapes. You deal with the times, you change with the times. I mean, you know, I really wouldn’t change anything.
I’d let it be. Be what you want to be, man. You know what I’m saying? It’s different though, I tell you that much. You know, it’s really, really different. It’s hard to understand, but when you got good people around you that can relate to that business, then you can do your job.
My job is to entertain the people. My job is to put out good music whether it’s mines or whether it’s another artist. You know, my job is to deliver good music.
You are currently on tour with Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop Dogg. People might be curious if new DPG music is in the works?
You know, we love to satisfy the people. You can best believe new DPG music is in the works. I’m gonna let the cat out the bag so the dog can come in and let you know like this.
We are working on that “Dogg Food” album too. You understand me? The DPG is in full effect. We are just making these things happen. We are loving all the support and all the people that is rolling with us. You know, we got the “Dogg Food 2” project dropping!
We got Snoop who is killing them with October London. Oh my god, he’s just on smash! So us as a whole, we all doing something and that’s the most important thing.
I still got in the works, my solo album called “Transition” with HMG. So that’s still, you know, slapping and, and you know, hitting across the head. My solo project is coming soon! Lastly, I’m about to get back into my acting shoes.
You have had a lot of major success in your career but what has been the biggest accomplishment so far?
My biggest accomplishment so far is still being alive in this game. That’s the biggest accomplishment I have right now, man, because a lot of us ain’t made it and a lot of us made it and ain’t here now.
So, you know, my biggest accomplishment is to still be here. To enjoy my family, my children, and still be able to do what I love. This music and in all forms entertainment in general. God is great!
Who are some of the new artists you’re listening to right now?
I’m listening to them all, you know what I’m saying? I’m listening to them all, man. Every one of them… according to my mood, according to my children’s moods, you know, determines on what record it is. They always playing new music and putting me up on new music. I really just watch my children. They play their stuff. I let them DJ and I just put my phone in and Shazam this motherfucker.
How do you feel about woke artists like Lil Uzi Vert calling himself not a ‘he’ anymore instead he prefers ‘they’?
To each his own, you know. Hey, he’s a man! Who am I judging?
Finally, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Yes, the 15th, we’re coming for you! September 15th. Thank you for the love and support for all these years. Thanks for having me! But get ready for “Kurupt present: A Toast To The Coast.” This project is just fun!
5 fun and beautiful records. It’s just fun! It’s time to have fun, man. Everybody is so all over the place, you know, that’s one thing I like about this generation. They having fun, you know what I’m saying?
I got inspired by Nas. Nas said, ‘Man, just go out there!’ He wants the artists from his era to get out there to have fun. Drop your shit, do your own thing, man. Stop worrying about what people think, stop worrying about people’s acceptance. Just go for it and go back to having fun! This is Rock ’n’ Roll, baby, and I agree. So I’m going back to having fun. I’m gonna launch off this new project on September 15th. Get ready!
…and real quick, you said don’t ask me. Who am I supposed to ask?
Ask the bitch! [Laughs] Thanks for the interview!