Kurse Krew
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Kurse Krew

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop R&B

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
27
Kurse Krew @ Oakland City Hall

Oakland, California, USA

Oakland, California, USA

Aug
21
Kurse Krew @ Oakland's Art

Oakland, California, USA

Oakland, California, USA

Aug
06
Kurse Krew @ La Pena Cultural Center

Berkeley, California, USA

Berkeley, California, USA

Music

Press


These days, the only real difference between a mixtape and an official album release is that the first is usually a promotional tool and often for free download. Oakland, California’s Kurse Krew has blessed the Internet with their latest mixtape, Population: 3, a collection of vibrant rhymes and soulful production that you wouldn’t mind paying for. The trio of S.K.A.L.A., Prophet, and 21 Stylez are a prime example of the bubbling creativity within the Bay Area’s hip-hop scene. They can be light-hearted and unflinchingly honest in their wordplay all at once, chasing after the ladies one minute and taking brothers to task for not handling their business the next.

The beats combine the percussive punch of East Coast drums with the breezy vibes of the West Coast. S.K.A.L.A. handles a majority of the production, proving to be as potent behind the mixing boards as he is behind the microphone. “Baby” opens with fat, fuzzy bass synths and melodic keyboard riffs as the Kurse Krew kick their best pick-up lines, one member at a time. While there is a slight nod to the ‘80s on this song in terms of its overall mood, “Go Girl” capitalizes on the warm harmonies of ‘60s and ‘70s soul. The backbeat remains subtle, allowing slices of chopped piano and vocal tracks to accent the rhythm. Finger snaps act as the metronome while the Krew delivers more verses regarding their smooth swagger with the ladies. It’s an often revisited topic on this release, but the beats are so engaging and the subject is addressed in a slightly different manner each time so that the listener never feels like they’re hearing the same old song over and over again.

For a group with a name like Kurse Krew, their lyrics are noticeably short on profanity. This becomes a topic of interest on “Call Me,” a song that’s bound to become a conversation starter amongst hip-hop fans as well as the music’s detractors. It’s a startling reminder of what happens when females are so used to being addressed with contempt by rappers that it seems strange (or even alarming) when emcees approach them the right way. Such lyrical content is even more effective when juxtaposed against the booty bass of the backing track, as if the music itself is trying to sway the consciousness of the Krew. “I’m Fo’ Real” continues to chip away at the thug aesthetic so commonly associated with this music. Over dreamy doo-wop samples and sustained strings, the trio represents for the real with their words, no matter what the cost. Consider this line: “I’m a man, I cry and I masturbate / if you say you don’t, then you’re super fake.”

S.K.A.L.A. flips some Philly soul for “Leader” as guitar loops get wrapped around snares and hand claps. Do Dat makes the most of his guest spot on this one with a tight and intricate rhyme, verbally gliding over the beat with the greatest of ease. The last line of “Leader” is a politically-charged one (“Black or White President, still F the system”), serving as the perfect lead-in for “Mutiny.” Featuring stark drum programming and an arrangement that’s noticeably darker than the other cuts on the album, the Krew takes time to speak out against drug-infested communities, the love of materialism, and police brutality. The last point hits close to home for the Krew as they acknowledge the shooting of Oscar Grant by Oakland police officers in song, then stepping back from the microphone to let the sampled outrage of Oscar’s mother have the last word.

Population: 3 is so good that you almost feel guilty about getting it for free. With intelligent introspection and topical diversity, the Kurse Krew is a ray of sunshine within hip-hop’s darkest corners. - Jason Randall Smith


Although the bulk of it’s material centers on girls - and it’s not particularly inspired - Oakland rap trio Kurse Krew shows promise. Most of the emcees’ talent lies in their delivery. They rap at fast tempos, do triplet figures, use odd bar flows, and manhandle the beat, rather than merely “ride” it. Songs like “Call Me” and “Go Girl”, inspided as they may be, are also immediately catchy, thanks to S.K.A.L.A.’s sample-driven production. - East Bay Express


Discography

"A PErfect Prophecy", 2012
"Population: 3", 2011
"Blessing of the Kurse", 2010

Photos

Bio

With empowering sounds coming out of Oakland, CA beyond noise it self Kurse Krew delivers digital dialect for all ages! Come discover the new sound of the next generation of hip-hop as they display witty wordplay with thought provoking rhymes!

These days, the only real difference between a mixtape and an official album release is that the first is usually a promotional tool and often for free download. Oakland, California’s Kurse Krew has blessed the Internet with their latest mixtape, Population: 3, a collection of vibrant rhymes and soulful production that you wouldn’t mind paying for. The trio of S.K.A.L.A., Prophet, and 21 Stylez are a prime example of the bubbling creativity within the Bay Area’s hip-hop scene.