Kulprit D is a rising, unstoppable force in hip-hop and rap. He formally started his career in late 2010 after making a handful of parody raps for class projects and YouTube, and then realized he had the potential to do it seriously.
Although he was reared just outside Music City USA, the strains of rap have always been an important factor in Kulprit's life.
"I remember my first exposure to true rap and hip-hop was the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. Some of the first artists I had been exposed to were Naughty By Nature, Gangstarr, Public Enemy, Del The Funkee Homosapien, N.W.A. and others like them," Kulprit said. "And at the same time, I was discovering House Of Pain, Heavy D and other pioneers from the earlier part of the '90s.
"I think early exposure to the guys who laid the groundwork for the genre is part of what has helped me be ahead of most of my peers," he added. "At points in my style, be it my clothing or my flow or even one of my productions, you can definitely hear the influence, which is really cool at points, because it clashes with my new school influences."
Kulprit was born in Lewisville, Texas, but moved to Nashville when was barely 2. He believes if not for moving to Nashville, he wouldn't pursue music to passionate extent he does today.
"I grew up in the music capital of the world with a mom who was an award-winning music journalist and publicist; she was from Denton, Texas, another town that has impacted music significantly. And to add to this, my distant cousins are Ernest Tubb and Buck Owens, so it's kind of destiny I do music and it feels anything that isn't the (music) industry is alien to me."
At a young age, Kulprit was mesmerized by the strong charisma of such entertainers as David Lee Roth, Gary Cherone and Michael Jackson. But the real group that gave him the spark to do instead of watch was the Backstreet Boys. Kulprit lists them as his No. 1 musical influence, saying, "Those are my guys! Love 'em. If I can do a song with them before I pass, I will consider my career a success."
Nonetheless, Kulprit D's skills extend beyond rapping and beat-making ; his talents are just as diverse as his musical tastes. He can sing, act, edit video, photography, write scripts, perform stand-up comedy and play a handful of instruments, including guitar, trumpet and bass.
Regarding the scope of his talents, Kulprit said, "People often ask me 'What can't you do?' I often answer with 'Nothing,' because there is so much more I want to tackle and I believe I can do it. But I know I didn't create the talents given to me, I just used the outlets provided by my family and friends so I could polish them. I'm very blessed and try to utilize every gift I have been given."
In late summer 2010, Kulprit said he really began immersing himself in rap and hip-hop, including creating parody raps for YouTube. Among them was "Pretty Boy Snug," a song about Snuggies that plays off the popular Soulja Boy song titled "Pretty Boy Swag,” and "March (If Ya Wanna)," which was a spin on single by New York rapper MIMS about being in marching band.
"I didn't think anything of these songs,” he shared. “I was just trying to get a laugh out of people, or in a couple cases, a good grade from a teacher. But after they kind of spread around school I had people tell me, 'You have a good flow! You should try doin’ a couple serious songs.' So I tried, and that was all she wrote. I was writing to instrumentals on YouTube. I got tired of just remixes so I downloaded a product a friend had told me about called FL Studio and started making my own beats. And at the time I thought I was dope but when I listen to my first productions or read my first rap I just cringe."
Although Kulprit left his beloved Tennessee to attend college, he didn't let straying from Nashville hold back his musical ambition. He made sure to build up enough hype and take his time for his debut mixtape, "Stay Working At Greatness," which was released Nov. 15, 2012.
Says Kulprit: "I didn't want to rush it. I wanted to make sure when I released it, it made a statement and I was confident with it. Though the actual recording only took a handful of months, it was more like a two-year project. There was the songwriting, finding the right, or in some cases, making the right beat, making sure the artwork fit, practicing, rewriting. It was tedious."
Although the “SWAG” project is still fresh, already Kulprit has begun work on his sophomore mixtape, which has "Summer Nights In Highland" as its working title. He continues to evolve and reach for the stars each day, and believes he can leave a big mark on not just rap, but the entertainment world as a whole.