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by
1 January, 2001@12:00 am
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        On the real, are heads even looking forward to the new album from Kurupt? First and foremost, the single, “It’s Over”, couldn’t be worse, and with an album title as corny as Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey one would think the label would have stepped in and at least have spelled the word “odyssey” correctly. Given Young Gotti s track record of his awful debut and equally blahzay sophomore release, a third album from Kurupt in just over three years is hardly anything to break the doors down for.

     On his debut, Kurupt tried to separate the music into East Coast and West Coast discs, little did he realize that this segregation of the music went over about as well as black and white drinking fountains. With his thrown out sophomore release, the girls all paused for the single, but Kurupt still struggled to get the amount of attention he did in his Dogg Pound days on Death Row.

     But things are different this time around. With Fredwreck handling the majority of the album’s production, as well as holding an executive producer credit, Space Boogie is easily Kurupt’s strongest solo project to date, even though he does stray off course at times.

    As a student of the good doctor, and also a silent co-producer of 2001, Fredwreck’s production compliments Kurupt and his DPG brethren well throughout the album. The reinvented west coast sound is present here, with several tracks that built off of the 2001 blueprint. Each “Space Boogie”, “Bring Back That G Shit” (feat. Snoop Dogg), and “The Hardest…” (feat. Xzibit, MC Ren, & Nate Dogg ) are potentially classic wessyde joints, with Fredwreck’s beats capturing the fresh new sound doctored by Dre. These and other tracks prove that Kurupt is at his best when teamed up with Fred, and with the added help of Nate Dogg, the trio creates material worthy of historical placement in the reincarnation of the west coast. Other moments of coastal triumph include the DJ Quik laced “Can’t Go Wrong” , as well as Soopafly’s egomaniacal “Hate On Me”.

     But while Fred’s production helps define Kurupt, when teamed with outside producers, Young Gotti still has a hard time finding himself, as he delves into awful commercial tracks, and forced collaborations. While “Sunshine” (w/ Jon B. ) is a somewhat excusable track, the lead single “It’s Over”, featuring his boo of the moment, Natina Reed, and other roads-to-nowhere like “At It Again” and “On Da Grind” drip with disgusting, corporate influenced evil. Even stranger are tracks like “Kuruption”, where the dogg all of a sudden decides to get political with folk-rap singer, Everlast, and a questionable collabo with Fred Durst, which is only saved once again by the combined efforts of Kurupt, Fredwreck, and Nate Dogg.

     But unfortunately, Kurupt still rhymes “bitch” with “bitch” and “gangsta talk” with “gangsta walk”, and it s entirely evident when he gets lost in a sloppy freestyle session, when he really should be rehearsing more. In fact, this is the exact reason that he is forced to do these aforementioned questionable tracks, because the overall public notices these inconsistencies, and decides not to check for him because of them. Until Kurupt decides to tighten his own flows up, and pick a definitive musical style, he may be forever arguing with the masses to buy his albums by making these kinds of awful, uncharacteristic songs, resulting in a never ending, vicious cycle. Nevertheless, when he is on point, and keeping it in the family, he sounds natural as ever. If he could simply stay a little more focused with his full-length releases, he might achieve the platinum success he strives for.

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