You have got on your finest two-piece suit, done up hair, a firm handshake, and a nice smile – quick, where are you right now? A job interview, of course. But beyond the smiles and small talk, and really behind even the immediate skills, what was missing from the hands of the gentlemen above?
Apparently, KutMasta Kurt may be outfitted in a trucker hat and an unfashionable pair of overalls, but, unlike the man above, he’s got his résumé in hand in the form of “Redneck Games,” an opus of material that he has created for artists ranging from hip-hop to rock over the past few years. And judging from his résumé, this is one producer that should not be looking and settling for work down on the farm anytime in the near future.
“Redneck Games” is half a collection of the finest underground work that KutMasta Kurt has to offer and half a screaming plea for help with finding more upscale work – just check the odd inclusion of tracks such as 7L and Esoteric’s “Rest in Peace,” which served as the B-side to Eso’s diss track, “Do It,” to Cage some time ago but went unnoticed otherwise. Still, Kurt’s scratch-‘em-up style behind the boards makes such rare B-side inclusions welcomed on “Redneck Games.”
He completely flips the script on the previously bouncy Beastie Boys’ track “Body Movin,” remixing it nearly to death before rebuilding it into a darkened scratch-fest that carries a much more genuine and underground hip-hop feel than the commercial friendly original version. And the amazing “In The End” remix to the Linkin Park rocked-out version works hard to show Kurt’s versatility and vision behind the boards, as he turns rock into pure hip-hop with the help of Motion Man (this version also originally appeared on Linkin Park’s “Reanimation” disc).
“Work the Angles” from Dilated Peoples stays intact but sounding just as good as ever, while Grand Agent’s “Every Five Minutes” works hard to portray a real love of hip-hop through the efforts of both emcee and producer. KutMasta even brings out the best in old school legend PMD (of EPMD fame) on “Straight From The Heart,” where PMD rips his old style over the quick-paced, quick-hitting production of Kurt, something that fell off elsewhere on PMD’s “The Awakening” album.
Despite his skills, Kurt’s résumé is not flawless as the awkward rock-to-rap mish-mash of Resorte’s “Brota (Remix)” sounds rougher on the ears than elsewhere on “Redneck Games”, and Kool Keith’s “I Don’t Believe U (Remix)” could probably be used to drive answers out of tight-lipped crime suspects. Still, the few miscues are not enough to forget the break-neck “In the End” or the wild “Wildin Out (Remix)” from Mos Def and Diverse.
Hip-hop is not usually an occupation that requires a résumé to obtain employment, but KutMasta Kurt is not leaving anything to chance with “Redneck Games,” providing potential listeners (and maybe even employers, *cough*, emcees!) the chance to hear what a “kutmasta” can do to a song. Flipped, chopped, and scratched, Kurt proves that there is a reason that his name is preceded by the adjective KutMasta. And, “in the end,” that is all that really matters.