Kurupt began his winding career with Death Row Records and rose to momentary fame alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, but struggled to establish himself as a successful solo artist. Born Ricardo Brown in Philadelphia on November 23, 1972, he moved to Hawthorne, CA, where he befriended Snoop and joined the roster of Death Row. He debuted on Dre's The Chronic album (1992) and continued to contribute guest appearances to successive Death Row releases, most notably Snoop's Doggystyle (1993). He ultimately debuted as one-half of Tha Dogg Pound, a partnership with rapper/producer Daz Dillinger spun off from Snoop's enormous success at that time. Together with Daz and Snoop, Kurupt enjoyed sizable success with Dogg Food (1995) and its hit singles: "Let's Play House" and "New York, New York." Three years later the then-A&M-affiliated Antra Records released Kuruption! (1998), the rapper's ambitious double-disc solo debut. The album met modest success but didn't make much of a commercial impact, nor did its tighter, more traditional follow-up, Tha Streetz Is a Mutha (1999). Kurupt's next release, Space Boogie: Smoke Oddessey (2001), aimed for crossover success, incorporating pop-rap elements as well as unlikely big-name guests like Fred Durst and Everlast, but again made little impact beyond the rapper's following. Meanwhile, Kurupt teamed with Daz for another Dogg Pound album, Dillinger & Young Gotti (2001), which presented a much more underground sound, released independently by D.P.G. Recordz. Meanwhile, Death Row released 2002 (2001), a collection of leftovers from Tha Dogg Pound's mid-'90s era. In the wake of these many releases and little accompanying commercial success, Kurupt returned to the long-quiet Death Row label in 2002 and helped Suge Knight revive the infamous label. Against the Grain, released in 2004, was the first fruits of the relationship. 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 star 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.