Kurupt, "Streetlights"

Riding high on the critical success of "BlaQKout," his 2009 collaboration with DJ Quik, rapper Kurupt called on his West Coast brethren to help him maintain the momentum with "Streetlights," his first solo album since 2001. Kurupt uses the spotlight to contemplate his long and storied career, taking frequent breaks to revel in his insobriety. The tracks "I'm Burnt" and "I'm Drunk" celebrate weed and alcohol with the former employing club-ready bass and claps. In contrast, Kurupt addresses a career's worth of controversy on "Questions," while "Yessir" features a soul-searching piano loop courtesy of East Coast legend Pete Rock. Snoop Dogg joins Kurupt on the warmhearted yet vividly vulgar "All That I Want," on which Kurupt raps, "Bounce rocks, skate, dip on and drift on/ Give her something nice, fat and long to kiss on." Kurupt's distinct slurred-barking cadence lends itself well to the anthems on "Streetlights," an impressive albeit uneven release. --Evan J. Nabavian