It's been a turbulent ride for West Coast emcee Kurupt over the past couple of years. Kurupts career has been filled with numerous ups and downs since he was first introduced to the world on the legendary album The Chronic. Throughout his career Kurupt has been known as one of the best lyrical emcees to ever come out of the west. As one half of Tha Dogg Pound, Kurupt along with his partner Daz have released two successful albums, not to mention Kurupts own solo career. Which consists of the east/west mixed "Kuruption" and the highly underrated "Streets Is A Mutha". With his new album "Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey", Kurupt once again takes us into the world of a West Coast gangster.
Even though many years have passed since his death row days, Kurupt is still the same old "gangsta" we've always loved. This is never more evident than on "Space Boogie". Most of the tracks on the new album consist of funky West Coast production combined with Kurupt's own brand of lyrical fire. A prime example of this combination is the opening track "Space Boogie", which features Kurupt doing his usual lyrical performance over a head nodding Fredwreck beat. None other than West Coast affiliate Nate Dogg drops by and gives his usual stellar performance to make the track even funkier than it already is. And what would be a West Coast album theses days without a posse cut. "The Hardest" is a typical group effort we've all witnessed before, this time from MC Ren, Xzibit, Nate Dogg and Kurupt. Good production carries all the emcees over the top to yet another West Coast anthem.
"Bring Back That G" is quite possibly the best track on the album. The tracks g funk feel and melodic production combine well with Snoop's laid back flow and Kurupt's energy on the Mic. Kokane adds his usual George Clinton impersonation on the hook along with new comer Traci Nelson. While most of the tracks on Space Boogie are nothing instrumental or mind blowing, they will satisfy the average Kurupt fan. Tracks such as "Hate On Me", "On Onsite", and "Da World" are what we come to expect from this DPG member.
However, "Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey" is not filled without its problems. The lead single "It's Over" is a plain example of a drawing effort for a big commercial hit. Along with his fiancée Natina Reed, Kurupt delivers a horrible performance never imaginable before. Besides the horrible lyricism and production the hook sounds more like a cartoon theme song than the West Coast hip hop you would expect from Kurupt. "On The Grind" is another example of a missed opportunity on the album. Surprisingly Daz's production is not of his usual caliber, which doesn't help the horrendous track.
Surprisingly, Kurupt ventures out of his West Coast family and recruits Fred Durst and Everlast for two tracks. "Lay It On Back" starts off as an average track but soon diminishes into obscurity thanks to Limp Bizikit front man Fred Durst. Durst's performance is less than stellar and does nothing to help the track except making fans hit the skip button. "Kuruption" featuring Everlast is a surprising change for Kurupt. The politically charged track comes off well and is a welcomed change in topic for Kurupt. If it weren't for Everlast's folk inspired singing, the track would have been one of the finer moments on the album.
"Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey" is a typical West Coast album filled with g funk production and gritty street enthused lyricism. The album's production is mostly handled by newly recruited Dogg House producer Fredwreck. Who does an excellent job in filling Space Boogie with raw West Coast beats, and proves he is one of the best up and coming producers coming out of the West Coast. Along with running mate Daz, the album is filled with great production from beginning to end.
Lyrically is where Kurupt takes a big hit on "Space Boogie". Kurupt's usual venom on the mic seems non-apparent on his latest effort. It is when Kurupt goes into a rambling tongue twisting frenzy that gets him in trouble. His verse from "Onsite" is evidence of this statement. "Milli monotone, cyclone Stallone, Marone chaperone shiny chrome, Capone Smashin in a 80 two brand new grown". The end results in lines like this leave the listener dazed and confused. Where exactly Kurupt is going on each verse in "Space Boogie" is sometimes a mystery.
"Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey" is still a solid release from the veteran emcee. Those who were expecting another "Streets Is A Mutha" performance might be disappointed. The fire and passion seen on Kurupt's last effort is not evident throughout the album. Nevertheless, "Space Boogie" still showcases Kurupt's talent and ability to drop quality albums on a consistent basis.