Kurupt – Against Tha Grain Review

Link: Official Kurupt Site

The Inside Pulse:
Ricardo (Kurupt) Brown returns with his fourth solo studio album. Unfortunately, he’s working with two strikes against him: his last two joints (1999’s Streetz Iz A Mutha and 2001’s Space Boogie: Smoke Odyssey) were both criminally slept-on gangsta rap bangers, thus raising expectations among Kurupt’s fans that no one could satisfy. Second, it’s been more than four years since Kurupt’s actually put out an album, which is essentially an eternity in the ADD environment of rap music. The end result is what one might charitably call an “expected disappointment”. Kurupt continues his slide into self-parody, with only occasional glimpses of the borderline lyrical brilliance that marked his early days on Death Row Records.

M.O.P. rides shotgun with Kurupt on Jealousy and the collabo pretty much clicks on every level. Kurupt even addresses the talk that he’s fallen off since his debut. Throw Bacc Muzic is catchy enough for consideration as a radio single. Despite the fact that this is a Death Row release, the label’s trademarked and overwrought diss tracks have been almost eliminated entirely.

The production is mostly a flat collection of forgettable beats. Nothing that’s outright awful, but the chemistry that Kurupt and Fred Wreck (his beatmaker on his last two albums) had is nowhere to be found. 2Pac dusts off his eight-year-old verse from Nate Dogg’s first album and recycles it on My Homeboys. While new Row “inmates” Eastwood and Spider Loc drag down the tracks they’re on. Elsewhere, on Tha Past, Kurupt joins Dave Holister on a embarrassment of a mess that reads as an introspective open letter to all the friends Kurupt left behind when he re-signed with Death Row in 2002.

This is that stuck-in-neutral-since 1997 Death Row sound mixed with 1998’s Kuruption.

Reason to buy:
For Kurupt completionists only, as the word on the street is that Death Row Records is not endorsing this album. Something about problems with the distributor and certain songs getting removed from the final version. So pick it up if you want to stick it to Executive Producer/Scary Black Man, Suge Knight.