Rapper Kurupt the Kingpin was one half of Tha Dogg Pound, the hip-hop act known for its 1995 Dogg Food album and for its work with Death Row Records groups such as Snoop Doggy Dogg.

Kurupt was born Ricardo Brown on Nov. 23, 1972, in Philadelphia. He moved to Long Beach, Calif., when he was a teenager, where he attended a party to mark the formation of rapper Dr. Dre's Death Row Records.

At the party, Kurupt did a freestyle rap that impressed Dr. Dre. Death Row signed the rapper and he began appearing, often with his rap partner Daz Dillinger (Snoop Dogg's cousin), on many of the label's albums. Kurupt and Daz adopted the moniker Tha Dogg Pound and also served as producers on works by some of their labelmates.

Tha Dogg Pound debuted on Snoop Doggy Dogg's first effort, the #1 Doggystyle (1993). The duo issued their own Dogg Food debut two years later. It featured "Dogg Pound Gangstaz," "Ridin', Slipin' and Slidin," "I Don't Like to Dream About Gettin' Paid" (featuring Nate Dogg) and "A Doggz Day Afternoon." The LP showcased Tha Pound's cocky brand of gangsta-funk rap.

In 1997 Kurupt decided to split with Daz and leave Death Row Records. He returned to Philadelphia and formed Wall Street Records, which was distributed through A&M Records. Last year, Kurupt issued Kuruption, featuring "Fresh" (RealAudio excerpt), "If You See Me," and "Ho's a Housewife." Daz rejoined Kurupt to do some production work on the album.

Kurupt issued his follow-up last week. The LP, Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, featured appearances by Daz, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, KRS-One, Warren G, Nate Dogg, Soopafly, Roscoe, Xzibit and Organized Noise.

He was in the news last week when his recent single "Callin' Out Names" was cited by many to be an attack on DMX and the Ruff Ryders. Kurupt called a Los Angeles radio station to announce that he would organize a meeting with those artists to make amends for the song and that he would remove it from Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha. But Kurupt's record label, now called Antra, was, at last report, fighting the decision to remove the controversial cut.

Rumors are floating that the song provoked a recent drive-by shooting at Echo Studios that killed one of Kurupt's security guards.

Other birthdays on Tuesday: Betty Everett, 60; Bruce Hornsby, 45; Ken Block (Sister Hazel), 33; and Charlie Grover (Sponge), 33.