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Kutmasta Kurt - conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Funky Redneck

March 2005

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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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!

MVRemix: How long did it take you to record it?

Kutmasta Kurt: 6 years!

MVRemix: What is your favorite song on the album?

Kutmasta Kurt: ‘1,2,3,4 (remix)’ by Titan featuring Motion Man.

MVRemix: 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!”

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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!

MVRemix: What is the meaning behind the title?

Kutmasta Kurt: I’m The Funky Redneck and my songs are all gold medal winners!

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.

MVRemix: 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.


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"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...."