After Making Peace, Kurupt Finds Peace In Space

Third solo album, Space Boogie, due in late July.

Even though Kurupt just dropped the LP Dillinger & Young Gotti with his longtime road dog Daz as the group D.P.G., the Cali-by-way-of-Philadelphia rapper says the more things stay the same, the more things change.

"Everybody is calling it a D.P.G. album, but it's not a D.P.G. album," Kurupt insisted. "D.P.G. is really ... it's time to go on. Dogg Pound, we had a ball. We always gonna be Dogg Pound Gangstas, but when it comes to dropping these albums, D.P.G. is pretty much on halt. There's only D.P.G.C. (Dogg Pound Gangsta Clique) and the Gang.

"D.P.G.C. is me, Snoop, Daz and Nate Dogg. You could look forward to that album with all of us," Kurupt continued. "Then it's the Gang album, that's what the Dillinger and Gotti album is — the millennium Dogg Pound. Just the way we're coming off, we on fire. We ain't on fire in a negative way, we ain't dissing nobody. We're on fire as far as making these records."

A year and a half ago, Kurupt was a virtual four-alarm blaze, spitting flames on half of the industry with "Calling Out Names," off of his second solo LP, Tha Streets Iz a Mutha. Kurupt accused his then-girlfriend Foxy Brown (both now say they have no ill feelings toward each other) of having an affair with DMX, and he retaliated by not only dousing those two with venom, but he also called out members of the Ruff Ryders camp and Ja Rule.

"Everything is on the cool out," Kurupt said. "Snoopy stepped in and had a talk with me and brought me back down to earth. Everybody goes in their own zone where they lose their brain for a minute. The good thing about it is that people didn't respond to it. That was a good thing for hip-hop itself. There could've been a gang of casualties and bullsh-- off of it. I commend certain n---as for the way they handled it and realized what was going on."

Kurupt's backlash proved to the industry that gangstas need love too. The MC, who oozed machismo, asserting that "bitches ain't sh--," had fallen in love and had his heart broken.

"Before me and [Foxy Brown] can do anything, we have to become friends first," he said. "We became intimate before we became friends. I'll be real about it, a n---a was hurt. For [me] to call anybody my woman, that's against the house laws. But the problem was that you can't force anybody to be anything. If your woman wants to go do this and that, you just have to let her go.

"Don't get mad at the player, get mad at the game. You can't get mad at the game, so it's a no-win situation. A n---a forgot he's turning 28 with four kids and can't be doing the things you do when you a youngster. My mind was clouded with so many thunderclouds."

Kurupt, who's engaged to Natina Reed of Blaque, insists that he's enjoying some of his most blissful days now by dividing his time between family and studio, but he's still somewhat confused about life. He tried to find himself when making his third solo album, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey, which drops in late July.

"It's a mind frame for me," Kurupt said. "You ever felt like you ain't got no ground beneath you? You're not too sure about anything? That was the mindset I was in when I was making this particular album. I didn't know where I wanted to go, and I just decided that I'm not going to make an album, I'm going to be just like I'm up in space. No format, just smoke and record, smoke and record. I've been taken off of planet Earth, ya know? Too much bullsh-- on earth."

For inspiration, Kurupt made frequent runs to the local chronic spot as well as to Blockbuster Video. "All I been watching for the past year is space movies," said Kurupt, whose muses include "The Matrix," "The Cell" and "Starship Troopers."

"I'm watching a gang of that sh-- now. It seems like there's so much cracking out there. It seems so peaceful. That's really where a n---a wanna go. I want to go to a place where you can't be criticized, where you can just relax at, just me and the homies. That's really where I felt like I took it on this album."

His wifey helped him out on the album's first single, "It's Over." "I been knowing Tina for a taste," he said. "She's really independent. She ain't all on my back, worrying about what I'm doing. [Recording the song,] we just went in there to have fun. People started to like it, but we was just bullsh--ting, having a ball. 'I'm 'a write your rap, you write my rap.' I was like, 'Cool.' I wrote the verse she said, she wrote my first verse."

Also onboard Kurupt's great space coaster are Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, DJ Quik, Daz, Nate Dogg, Butch Cassidy, MC Ren, Jon B., and Limp Bizkit's DJ Lethal and Fred Durst.

"I always wanted to f--- with Fred," Kurupt said of his collaborator on "Lay It on Back." "He's a raw n---a. I wanted to take Fred from the page he's on and take him to gangsta land. The song I did with him, it's like Limp Bizkit and N.W.A."

Kurupt brought his G mentality to the movie set when he filmed "The Plague Season" with his onscreen adversaries Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames earlier this year. Due next April to coincide with the 10-year anniversary of the riots that came in the wake of the Rodney King verdict, Kurupt plays a member of a team of thugs hired by crooked police officers to plunder, murder and steal.

"I just did it to test it out," said Kurupt, who will also appear in the film "The Wash" with Dr. Dre and Snoop. "I like that they let me do my thing."