Kurupt (born Ricardo Emmanuel Brown on November 23, 1972 in Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania) is an American rapper and former Executive Vice President of Death Row Records. He is a member of the rap group Tha Dogg Pound, and is mostly known for his work with Death Row Records.
Also known as Young Gotti and The Kingpin, he is one half of the rap duo Tha Dogg Pound along with Daz Dillinger. He is also a member of underground supergroup The HRSMN along with: Canibus, Ras Kass, Killah Priest.
Kurupt was born in Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania and later moved to Hawthorne, California to live with his father. As a result, he has associated himself somewhat with Philadelphia and its rap scene, including Philly rappers such as Beanie Sigel. He currently resides in Hawthorne on his own.
After a rap battle with Snoop Dogg at a club one night, the two felt camaraderie, and agreed that if one of the two got a record deal they would put the other on. When Snoop was discovered by Dr. Dre and signed to Death Row Records, Kurupt was also signed to the label.
Snoop's cousin, Daz Dillinger, was also signed, and the three formed a group called Tha Dogg Pound. The pair had well-received appearances on the first two major Death Row releases, The Chronic and Doggystyle, and due to the successes of the albums, their debut Dogg Food was widely anticipated and did well, both critically and on the charts.
After the signing of Tupac Shakur to Death Row in September 1995, a rivalry was sparked between Death Row and Bad Boy Records. Kurupt and Daz became embroiled in it through the single "New York, New York" from Dogg Food. Queensbridge, New York duo's Capone-n-Noreaga and Mobb Deep would later respond with "L.A., L.A." along with Tragedy Khadafi.
When Tupac Shakur was later murdered, Kurupt was one of the first artists to leave Death Row. He signed with A&M Records, which in turn he started his own label Antra Records and released his debut album, entitled Kuruption! in 1998. It was a double-disc album, one drawing on the West Coast and the other on the East Coast. His second album, Tha Streetz Iz a Mutha, was released on Antra in 1999.
In 2001, Kurupt released his third solo album, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey. The album did relatively well, promoted by the single "It's Over." In the same year, Kurupt and Daz released the album Dillinger & Young Gotti under the D.P.G. moniker.
In 2002, Kurupt signed back on with Death Row Records as Vice President. Snoop Dogg and Daz, who have an ugly past with Death Row CEO Suge Knight, were shocked by the move and felt betrayed. This didn't sit well with them and a feud ignited between Kurupt and the Dogg Pound associates. Kurupt faded into the background on Death Row, working on the album that would be pushed back numerous times, fans heard from him only on guest appearances or disses to his former groupmates.
During his second stint on Death Row, Kurupt formed two separate groups, The Riflemen consisting of Kurupt, Mobb Deep, Jayo Felony, 40 Glocc, and The Alchemist.
When the album, Against Tha Grain, was finally released in 2005 to poor reviews and sales, Kurupt had already left the label a second time. The feud lasted about 3 years, until early 2005 when Daz acknowledged him and Kurupt were speaking again and had decided to put the past behind them and work together. Not too long after, Snoop Dogg put together a meeting called the "West Coast Conference", which rounded up a large amount of rappers from the West Coast. The press conference was for artists to squash any problems, so they could all work together and make money in the future.
Kurupt released "Same Day, Different Shit" in 2006. The CD was entirely produced by Daz. and was an independent release. Kurupt has a collaboration album with J. Wells, a West Coast artist, called Digital Smoke released on June 5, 2007 under Bonzi Records. Kurupt recently signed a 2 album deal with Babygrande Records in a joint venture with Gangsta Advisory. In a recent interview, he revealed working on several different projects, including a DJ Premier/Pete Rock/Kurupt album, a Pete Rock/Dogg Pound album, a DJ Quik/Kurupt album, a Fredwreck/Kurupt album and a QDT (Snoop Dogg, Teddy Riley and DJ Quik)/Kurupt project.
Kurupt has been nominated for one Grammy Award but has not yet won an award as of 2006.