PDA

View Full Version : Kurupt and J.wells album


tragedykhadafi12
05-03-2007, 12:10 AM
West Coast lyrical great Kurupt and his newest partner in musical crime J. Wells are no strangers to a group situation. Kurupt, best known as one-half of the multi-platinum rap group Tha Dogg Pound teams with artist/producer J. Wells, a member of LA’s legendary Likwit crew (King Tee, Tha Alkaholiks, others) for their debut effort “Digital Smoke”. In stores June 5, “Digital Smoke” pays homage to Kurupt and J. Wells’ beloved city of Los Angeles with special guest appearances by Goodie Mob, Tha Alkaholiks, Kokane, Roscoe, James DeBarge and Kurupt’s fiancée, Gail Gotti.

“This is a different flavor,” Kurupt says. “This is along the lines of what J. Wells is doing and we’re letting people know that this generation of West Coast is coming with that fire.” That fire has been set ablaze with their horn-propelled lead single “All We Smoke”. J. Wells, in particular, uses the song as a way to explain his rap heritage. “I’m talking about how I came in the game and about cats that influenced me, like DJ Quik, like Battlecat, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and N.W.A,” J. Wells explains. “I talk about my addition to the West Coast and to hip-hop, period. Kurupt is on there spitting, killing it.”

The single is available for download on iTunes and will have an accompanied video in May.

Biography
In order for any art form to progress, its leaders have to encourage, cultivate and showcase emerging talent. Super OG lyrical great Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound fame has just done that on Digital Smoke, his debut collaborative album with J. Wells, a producer and rapper primed for superstardom.

J. Wells, a member of the Likwit Crew (King Tee, Tha Alkaholiks, others), toured with Tha Alkaholiks in 2001. While on the road, he and Kurupt bonded over J. Wells’ diverse production. The friendship and mutual respect resulted in what would become Digital Smoke (released on J. Wells’ Bonzi Records, through Fontana), a well-rounded project that displays J. Wells’ stellar production and vivid rhymes, as well as Kurupt’s always potent rhymes.

“This is a different flavor,” Kurupt says. “This is along the lines of what J. Wells is doing and we’re letting people know that this generation of West Coast is coming with that fire. He’s an up-and-coming producer, so I’ve got to show my support as well. This is his time to shine, his light for him to do what he’s got to do.”

Kurupt and J. Wells deliver autobiographical rhymes over the horn-propelled thump of “All We Smoke.” J. Wells, in particular, uses the song as a way to explain his rap heritage. “I’m talking about how I came in the game and about cats that influenced me, like DJ Quik, like Battlecat, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and N.W.A,” J. Wells explains. “I talk about my addition to the West Coast and to hip-hop, period. Kurupt is on there spitting, killing it.”

Even though these two pay homage to their region throughout Digital Smoke, that doesn’t make the album a one-dimensional affair. Case in point: “Get It,” a hypnotic cut that features Atlanta’s Goodie Mob and showcases J. Wells’ sonic range. “We feel like spreading our wings and creating a broader sound for the West Coast is the thing to do,” reveals J. Wells, who produced the Goodie Mob’s “Play Yo Flutes” single a few years ago. “It’s still a West Coast track. It’s just got more bass in it so the Southern cats can play it in their cars. That’s one thing that Kurupt was always telling me to do anyway.”

Kurupt is also a die-hard Rakim fan, so when Kurupt and J. Wells’ cohort Kokane came up with the idea to revisit Rakim on the funk-drenched “I Came In The Door,” they jumped at the chance. “I am totally Rakim,” Kurupt says. “I was all in with that. He was one of the greatest, so when Koka had that cracking, I just fell directly in pocket. I was really already there.”

Kurupt and J. Wells then team with guests Gail Gotti and Styliztik Jones to deliver the bone-crushing slugfest “I’m Too Gangsta,” while Y.A. & James DeBarge join the duo for “Smokin,” a classic laid-back West Coast, keyboard-driven cut that salutes one of the crew’s favorite pastimes.

The pair’s relationship comes full circle on “Let Em Know,” a lyrical free-for-all featuring Tha Alkaholiks. Working with Tha Liks on this project makes perfect sense for J. Wells, who was mentored in the music industry by Tha Liks’ J-Ro. J-Ro gave J. Wells pointers on how to construct songs and the importance of having memorable melodies in his compositions.

Impressed with J. Wells’ sonic output and his work ethic, J-Ro offered him a place in the highly regarded Likwit Crew. J-Ro then enlisted J. Wells to compile a mixtape for his Wolfpac Records. That release, J. Wells Presents: The Wolfpac Mixtape, became one of the West Coast’s most revered mixtapes of all time thanks to its fiery performance from Tha Liks, Kurupt, Roscoe and others.

By this time, Kurupt had long been established as one of the most important and respected rappers. His work with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg helped usher in Death Row’s music industry dominance in the early 1990s, and Tha Dogg Pound, his group with partner-in-rhyme Daz Dillinger, is regarded as one of the best groups in rap history.

So when J. Wells and Kurupt toured together, game recognized game and the two became quick friends and collaborators. In 2005, J. Wells enlisted Kurupt to appear on his highly regarded Digital Master album, a collection released on J. Wells’ Bonzi Records that also featured Method Man, Aftermath Entertainment’s Bishop Lamont and Tha Liks, among others. The album’s street acclaim and retail buzz set the stage for J. Wells’ deal with Fontana, Universal Music Group’s independent distribution arm that has also distributed tremendously successful albums from DJ Muggs and the GZA/Genius, DJ Quik and Tech N9ne.

Through his work with J-Ro and Wolfpac, J. Wells quickly learned how to put an album together. He also realized that he wanted to be more than a producer putting out compilations. He wanted to be an artist respected as both a rapper and a producer. “A lot of people got beats,” J. Wells says, “but it’s about being able to put together full albums and full songs and full projects.”

J. Wells provides an intimate look at his burgeoning career on Digital Smoke standout “Los Angeles.” The song stands as affirmation of J. Wells’ emergence as a star in the making, as well as his relationship with Kurupt. “When we make music, it’s a fellowship because we’ve been working on music for so long,” J. Wells explains. “It’s a natural experience to get in there and make records.”

And now, with Digital Smoke, Kurupt and J. Wells have instantly established themselves as rap’s next great one-two punch. “It’s just a chemistry,” Kurupt says. “J. Wells is my lil homie and I’ve been messing with him. He’s got those hammer beats. He had an idea to do this album and I supported him. We made some good West Coast music.”

Now that’s an understatement.