Kurupt has been handling microphones for longer than most Hip-Hop listeners have been handling responsibilities. With a catalogue deeper and more substantial than just about any other artist in the game, his name still doesn’t ring as loud as it should amongst most Hip-Hop circles. It truly is a shame, but like most pioneers in rap, his legacy is disregarded by most of the new generation of enthusiasts.
His latest offering Streetlights is an artistic statement that not only addresses this issue with an updated sound provided predominantly by fellow Los Angeles resident Terrace Martin, but it also showcases the lyrical ferocity that first got him the recognition he attained in his earlier career. This duality is maintained throughout the album with a diverse arrangement of tracks that satisfy listeners of all kinds. Top-notch fare such as “In Gotti We Trust” and “Streetlights” prove the duo’s chemistry to be apparent, but songs like “Scrape” and “I’m Burnt” especially, border on parody with juvenile lines that jar “You’re nothing, full of cum/Stupid bitch, you’re no more fun/Now Gotti, is who I be/and you’re a nothing, ass bitch to me.”
Thankfully, the majority of the disc falls in line with the former rather than the latter with plenty of compositions worthy of a spot on any Hip-Hop fans’ playlist. The couple times Mr. Martin steps away from the boards lengthen the album’s diversity noticeably. The legendary Pete Rock sprinkles a bit of sampled soul as Kurupt touches an array of topics ranging from his roots as a West Coast pioneer to his future, which he still justifiably views as bright. The second is a busy, erratic arrangement provided by Lil’ Jon that finds the Dogg Pound Gangsta riffing off the hostile environment that can be sometimes encountered in the nightlife on “Riot In The Club.”
Overall, Streetlights is a step in the right direction for the former Death Row artist as he moves towards a more universally appealing style that is sure to find him new fans while maintaining the ones who grew up on his music. Like every journey outside of one’s comfort zone, missteps are taken, but in the end, the project is gleams bright amongst his ever expanding discography and shows that he’s not ready to be forgotten quite yet.