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Kutmasta Kurt - “The Funky Redneck: The Alter Ego Of Kutmasta Kurt”
Posted on: March 3, 2005 11:34 MST
Filed under: Rap

kutmasta kurt

Do you smell that? Ewww! Smells like manure from The Funky Redneck’s farm. It has a deep funk to the smell. You can tell it is The Funky Redneck but the Mexican wrestling mask or the long, black, fake beard. Kutmasta Kurt is a white producer from California but he is also known as The Funky Redneck. On the farm, he is used to that manure smell. The bat guano, along with the chickens, all add to the atmosphere of his recording studio, he calls The Barn. For years, Kutmasta Kurt has been producing classic hip-hop songs for Kool Keith. With the x-rated “Sex Style” album by Kool Keith, Kutmasta Kurt proved his production skills on songs like “Don’t Crush It”, “Keep It Real… Represent”, and “Plastic World”. Kurt started Threshold Records and began releasing other Kool Keith projects under different names. Dr. Dooom’s “First Come, First Served” was the antithesis of Dr. Octagon. Friend of Kool Keith, Motion Man played a major role in Threshold Records too. The collaboration album “Masters Of Illusion” consisted of Motion Man and Kool Keith on the mic and Kutmasta Kurt on production. Eventually, Motion Man released his debut solo album “Clearing The Field”, which was entirely produced by Kutmasta Kurt. After Kool Keith’s “Spankmaster” LP was released, Kool Keith had a problem with Kutmasta and he let his animosity heard. Fans thought the two would never work together again. Since their chemistry was so prolific and intense, they teamed up in 2004 to release “The Diesel Truckers” album. The link was reformed. Through these years, Kutmasta Kurt has been remixing and producing music for some of the most respected emcees. The Funky Redneck did production and remixes for PMD (from EPMD), Del The Funky Homosapian, Mos Def, Beastie Boys, and many more. In 2005, Threshold Records and Waxploitation released “Redneck Games”, a compilation of the best remixes and collaborations of Kutmasta Kurt. The variety of styles is only surpassed by the variety of guests. West Coast emcees like Del, Planet Asia, and Kool Keith make appearances but so do East Coast artists like Mos Def, Diverse, and PMD. The rap/rock group Linkin Park even has a song on “Redneck Games”. While many white producers have been making a name for themselves, Kutmasta’s production has diversity and the intensity of such hip-hop legends as DJ Premier, Buckwild, and Da Beatminerz. Get a hold of your gutbucket, feed the chickens, huff the gas, date your sister, and smell of bat guano. The Funky Redneck (aka Kutmasta Kurt) is growing something dope on his hip-hop farm.

T.JONES: “What goes on?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The hip-hop I grew up with is slowly coming to an end. Just like we are born, we all eventually die. It is a natural cycle no one or nothing is exempt from. Other than that, I’m in the middle of working on Motion Man’s new album. I’ve also been traveling a bit. I just came back from DJ-ing in Thailand of all places. Pretty cool place. Heading to Australia with Kool Keith beginning of March for a tour.”

T.JONES: “Your new album ‘Redneck Games’ just came out. Tell us about it.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “It’s called ‘The Redneck Olympics’ but was changed for the USA release to ‘Redneck Games’ because the US Olympic Committee are a bunch of dis-likers. It features remixes, rarities, and b-sides I produced for the Beastie Boys, Del, Mos Def, Blackalicious, Rasco, Planet Asia, Motion Man, PMD (of EPMD), Linkin Park, Dilated Peoples, and of course, Kool Keith. It’s an awesome collection of some of my life’s best work. Go buy it. You won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it or I’ll send you a jug of my Pappy’s Special Elixer!”

T.JONES: “How long did it take you to record it?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “6 years!”

T.JONES: “What is your favorite song on the album?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “‘1,2,3,4 (remix)’ by Titan featuring Motion Man.”

T.JONES: “Can you explain the production process?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I work in my barn, and use the gutbucket as the foundation for my sound. Sometimes, you hear chickens in the background of my music. It adds flavor!”

T.JONES: “What song took you the longest to do? Why?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “‘Redemption (remix)’. It took me 2 whole hours. I usually do a song in 20 minutes or so. For the remix for Blackalicious, I wanted to take my time with that one because they’re one of my favs.”

T.JONES: “What song took you the shortest to do? Why?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The Linkin Park remix because it was already finished the first time I heard the song. It took me about 36 seconds because sometimes, things just click like that.”

T.JONES: “Why did you choose those specific songs?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Because I think they reflect some of my best work to date. Plus, I was high on Glue at the time!”

T.JONES: “What is the meaning behind the title?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I’m The Funky Redneck and my songs are all gold medal winners!”

T.JONES: “When writing, do you produce the beat first or do you have a set theme or already?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “It’s usually the mood I’m in, or the artists I’m working with. Sometimes, if I go and milk the cows before I make a track, it gives remarkable results.”

T.JONES: “How did you start Threshold Records?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “One day, I said to myself, why am I helping to build someone else’s label? I should start my own! I called my lawyer and told him to make my sh*t legal. Then, went to the county of Los Angeles and filed a D/B/A. Then, I opened a Bank Account at Wells Fargo with some of the earnings I’d made over the years. I had to take a shower before I went to the bank. I hate Showers, unless they are with Bessy.”

T.JONES: “How did you meet Kool Keith?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “At a truck stop. I used to do hauls up and down California. It was weird. I was taking a leak in the bathroom, and looked to my left and there he was, mutha freakin Kool Keith! I gave him a beat tape and we traded CB handles.”

T.JONES: “How is Kool Keith different than other emcees you produced for?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “He’s high maintenance, and writes his rhymes on yellow legal pads. He makes me buy him Diesel Fuel to sniff between takes too. It was a lot different working with him than I even imagined that’s for sure, but all good. I like the smell of Diesel Fuel now too.”

T.JONES: “When producing an entire album, do you have a specific strategy?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “One love song, one sex song, one kill you song, one club song, one down south song, one comedy song, one story song, etc, etc, and the type of track to go with it. Unfortunately, sometimes, the emcees have a different idea of what to do, but it can sometimes be kind of cool that way too. Almost like a mosh up of sorts.”

T.JONES: “There was some tension between you and Keith there for a while. What happened? How was it solved?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I needed a break from him to focus more on farming, and that hurt his feelings. So, he lashed out at me like Jason with a chainsaw. It’s ok now. I told him that I needed to take a break and do some other things for a while. Wow! Sounds like some weird soap opera, eh? Anyway, things have never been the same since, but we both know that we work well (creatively) together so we’ll still work together from time to time, like on The Diesel Truckers album. Just when people thought we wouldn’t do something together again…BAM!”

T.JONES: “What hurdles or problems have you encountered being white?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Lot’s of reverse racism back in the day. That’s why I made a joke out of it by calling myself The Funky Redneck. Now, rap is dominated by white guys. Eminem is the modern day Elvis, but he can’t sing as good.”

T.JONES: “What equipment do you use?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The Casio td3 4xp. They only made a few of them. I wired to my Commodore 64. It makes ill tracks! Also use the Jew’s Harp a bit too, synced with an old tractor muffler.”

T.JONES: “Which instruments are your favorites?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The oboe, gutbucket, and ukulele. Oh, and Jew’s harp.”

T.JONES: “When did you first begin making music? What was it like?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I played around with my dads DMX drum machine and Yamaha DX 7 Keyboard. Then, I made some retarded sounding track and recorded it to the Tascam cassette four track. From there, I even laid probably the worst rap you’ve ever heard in your life, but heck, I was 13 at the time in 1984. I dropped out of school at 6th grade. Hey, I can spell pretty good though.”

T.JONES: “How were you making a living before or outside music?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I used to deliver pizza for Dominoes and DJ frat party’s. Once, I worked at 7-Eleven but got fired after a week for drinking on the job. I drank the nacho cheese straight from the dispenser! That was in between working on the family farm. We grew corn but hid green plants in there too!”

T.JONES: “How has your live show evolved? What is your favorite part of your live show?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I like making the crowd yell ‘Yeeeeehhaaawwww’. That’s the best. Evolved, well I guess it’s just a natural thing really. It’s kind of like when you leave food out too long. It just grows on it’s own. That is unless the pig eats it, they eat anything.”

T.JONES: “What is your favorite way to smoke weed? Blunts, bongs, etc?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Mixed with opium, but I had to quit that a while back. Now I just smoke catnip. For real, you ever try it? It’s kind of harsh, but great!”

T.JONES: “Favorite kind of weed?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Orange Purple Crab Grass.”

T.JONES: “What is it like living in California?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Mostly warm and sunny. Sometimes, it rains or gets chilly but then, I turn on the TV and laugh at all the dummies back in my hometown of Kansastucky. Other then that, I prefer to call it by its original name Atzlan. You know California was originally part of Mexico. I like to go and dig for records, eat at Pinks on Fairfaix, and try to avoid the nasty traffic we have here. People are so rude when I drive my tractor in Hollywood! Oh, the smog kind of bites, but it’s much better since they started putting more chemicals in the gas. But that makes our gas a little more expensive here too.”

T.JONES: “Who are your biggest influences?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Mike Tyson for sports. Bill Clinton for Presidents. DJ EZ Rock for DJ’s. He was Rob Base’s DJ. Timbaland for Music production and Mase for rapping.”

T.JONES: “Abortion. Pro-life or pro-choice?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Pro Bowling.”

T.JONES: “Death penalty. For or against?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Death Row Records.”

T.JONES: “Where were you on the September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it? How has it affected the music industry?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I was watching TV in my underwear. It was f*cked up because I was supposed to go to CMJ for a gig, and it got cancelled. It made everyone in music scared to speak out on the wackness, but now it’s starting to wear off.”

T.JONES: “How do you feel about the US involvement in the Middle East?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “It’s Imperialism at it’s finest. Only problem is that all empires eventually crumble. They say that one day, the US Dollar will equal the Indian Rupee. Right now, it’s 46 rupees to 1 dollar. I wonder if it’ll be the dollar that crashes or the rupee that jumps. Either way, the US is slowly turning into a 3rd world country. Glad I got my shot guns!”

T.JONES: “Word association. I am going to say the name of a group or artist or person and you say the first word that pops into your head. So, if I said ‘Public Enemy’, you may say ‘Revolution’ or ‘Fight The Power’. If I said ‘The Beatles’, you may say ‘Revolver’ or ‘Yoko Ono’. Okay?”

T.JONES: “Jurassic 5.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Park.”

T.JONES: “50 Cent.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Taco.”

T.JONES: “Eminem.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Great white hope.”

T.JONES: “Jay-Z.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Hawaiian Sophie.”

T.JONES: “Atmosphere.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Kurt Cobain of rap.”

T.JONES: “Dead Prez.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I wish he was.”

T.JONES: “Pharycde.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Cali comm. 2001.”

T.JONES: “Phife Dawg.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Him asking me at the subway station, ‘Hey man I like your shirt, where can I get one?’”

T.JONES: “Jamiroqaui.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “White Stevie Wonder.”

T.JONES: “Gil-Scott Heron.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Loves heroin?”

T.JONES: “George Bush.”
KUTMASTA KURT: “We are so stupid!”

T.JONES: “What artists would you like to work with in the future who you haven’t worked with yet?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, The Pet Shop Boys, The Human League, Bananarama, C&C Music Factory, and Dolly Parton, of course.”

T.JONES: “What is the biggest mistake you have made in your career?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Not working with Linkin Park on their demos when they were called Hybrid Theory. Doh!”

T.JONES: “What advice would you give to an up and coming hip-hop producer?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Quit now!”

T.JONES: “What do you think hip-hop needs these days? What is it lacking?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Head Cheese.”

T.JONES: “What remix are you most proud of?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The Butthole Surfers remix that never came out, but gets mentioned. My publicist has it on my bio in almost every article! How can you talk about something no one’s ever heard?”

T.JONES: “What CDs or LPs have been in your CD player or on your turntable recently?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Alchemist’s ‘1st Infantry’, The new Edan album and The Deep Throat Soundtrack Re-Issue.”

T.JONES: “Favorite movies?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “They only wear black sk39.”

T.JONES: “If you could remake any classic hip-hop song, what would it be?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “’Can’t Touch This’.”

T.JONES: “What do you do when you are incredibly stressed out?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Take a Xanax, cut it up, and snort it! Yeeehhaaawww!”

T.JONES: “What are some major misconceptions that people have of you?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “’Hey that’s the guy who works with Kool Keith.’”

T.JONES: “How do you think that you have matured, evolved, or changed?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “I haven’t matured much but I’ve manure’d bat guano actually. It grows great crops.”

T.JONES: “In hip-hop, what kind of styles of production do you see coming in the future?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The Foreign styles expanding. I’d like to hear Uzbekistan Rap over Eskimo Music.”

T.JONES: “What is in the future for Kutmasta Kurt or Threshold Records? Collaborations? Tours?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “The Threshold tour this fall feat James Brown, Pat Benatar, and Kurt Cobain. We’re going to dig him up! Also, all the groups on the label too.”

T.JONES: “Any final words for the people who will be reading this?”
KUTMASTA KURT: “Don’t try this at home!”

Thank you very much!!!
Todd E. Jones
toddejones@yahoo.com

Kutmasta Kurt
http://www.kutmastakurt.com/

Threshold Records:
http://www.threshrecs.com/home.html


"1,2,3,4" by Kutmasta Kurt & Titan (f/ Motion Man)
http://www.waxploitation.com/html/KutMas.mp3

"Body Movin (remix by Kutmasta Kurt)" -Beastie Boys
http://www.waxploitation.com/mp3/bodymovin.mp3

The Kutmasta Kurt movie:
http://www.threshrecs.com/Kurt.mov

Video for “Straight Flowin On Em” by Motion Man (f/ Kutmasta Kurt)
http://www.threshrecs.com/straightflowin.htm
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