Sunday G-Funk #5: Kurupt – Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha

kurupt_-_tha_streetz_iz_a_mutha-front

 

I’ve got a bevvy of updates for you this week, so stay tuned! I know it’s been awhile since I did Sunday G-Funk, but here I am finally back at it.  Apologies, been quite busy lately.

The top 5 is reserved especially for the best G-Funk West Coast abums history has brought us. Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha fits perfectly into that category, as Kurupt’s first critically revered solo release.  His previous release, Kuruption! reached gold status but failed to meet the lofty expectations certainly brought on by his past success as a feature artist on classic Death Row records.  Streetz reached gold status as well, but once again failed to meet sales expectations.  Losing distribution from A&M Records due to corporate mergers contributed heavily to the sales problem.

But hey, sales aren’t everything right? Because the abum is incredible regardless.  Kurupt’s lyricism throughout stays intelligent and creative while still giving off the laid-back West Coast Gangsta vibe.  Who can forget that “Xxplosive” verse from Chronic 2001?  This talent was rare among Death Row, as the majority of the roster featured Hip-Hop artists who were more suited for groovy Gangster Rap with no requirement for complex lyricism.  My favorite track, “Streetz Iz a Mutha” (which I previously mentioned in a Monday Grooves post) is quite a great jewel on this album and features exactly the kind of hardcore complex lyricism I’m talking about.

One of the biggest questions when Kurupt went solo, as is the biggest question with many group artists who go solo, is if they can succeed off their own musical ability.  There’s not exactly an abundant number of artists throughout history who did this, especially in Hip-Hop music, so I can imagine expectations were lofty and the sky was the limit.

While there’s no question Kurupt sounds the best when he’s over a Daz Dillinger beat, the most talented lyricists, in the end, need to prove their versatility over different styles of production.  Some may hate it, some may love it, but spectators of all sorts definitely respect a talented musician.  Soopafly, Bink!, Dr. Dre, and Organized Noize all provided sound for the project, producing many dope beats along the way

Sticking with his roots, Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha features not one, not two, but six Daz beats.  Even with 18 tracks on a project, that is still quite a large number from one producer.  After the collapse of Death Row and the murder of 2Pac, the heavy involvement between the two artists was surely encouraging to Dogg Pound fans everywhere.

“Trylogy”, “Ya Can’t Trust Nobody”, and the posse cut featuring Snoop Dogg, and Daz Dillinger (among others) “Represent Dat G.C.” are other classic cuts off the album.  

One last thing to mention is Kurupt’s love for calling out whack rappers in the industry and starting beef with them.  Starting from his foray into the East Coast – West Coast rivalry with Tha Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York”, Kurupt was designed for battle.  Streetz is no exception, as the final track “Calling Out Names” sends shots to the frequently disliked Ja Rule, and DMX.  Poor Ja Rule, I’ll never understand why he inspires so much hatred.

-Ronzo

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