Michael Kurth (born, 6 September 1978), better known as Curse, is a former hip hop artist from Minden, Germany.
Curse has had a long musical past. In his youth, he played songs like "Zwei Mal In Den Kopf" ("Twice into the head") in his former band Phat Kicks. In the 1990s, his band had gigs in the area of Stadthagen.
On his first album, Feuerwasser, (released in 2000), his lyrics were self-reflective and dealt with things that had happened in his life, but also contained classical hip hop tracks such as representing- and battle-tracks. He especially raps about abortive relationships and admits mistakes to himself. For that reason, he is something of an outsider in the hip hop scene.
The beats on Feuerwasser and many other releases are often produced by Sascha Bühren, aka Busy.
In 2001, he released his second album, Von Innen Nach Außen, which literally means "From the Inside to the Outside". On this album, Curse continued his style. The lead single "Lass uns doch Freunde sein" ("Let us be friends") was different from current rap clichés, and thus gained attention outside the hip hop scene. The German hip hop magazine Juice awarded this album with the title "Best National Album". It reached the German top-ten charts and was released in Japan.
On his third album, Innere Sicherheit, ("Inner Security") his style changed in many aspects. While the beats on his previous albums were mainly produced electronically, on this album they are produced with a wide range of instruments. The album covers a broad musical array from sophisticated instrumentals with classical transverse flutes ("Ich Versteh Dich") via the crossover song "Schocktherapie" to the very emotional "Und Was Ist Jetzt?", a piano ballad, which emphasizes and accompanies the deep lyrics. An increasing amount of political society-critical texts can be detected, although he is not ignoring his 'old' topics. Similarly, the single "Widerstand" originated with the German reggae artist Gentleman.
With the cooperation of up-and-coming talents he acquired renown. So, for instance, he gave Italo Reno & Germany as soon as Stress und Trauma the opportunity to present themselves to a general public with guest appearances on his releases and not least by his artist platform Alles Real Records. Over the years he collaborated with various German and international artists, including Kool Savas, Xavier Naidoo, Max Herre (Freundeskreis), Samy Deluxe, J-Luv, Braz (4Lyn), Patrice, Black Thought (The Roots), Pete Rock and RZA.
On December 2, 2005, Curse released his fourth album Sinnflut. The lead single, "Gangsta Rap", entered the German charts at number #25. On Sinnflut, Curse returns to his roots, as if the experimental album Innere Sicherheit had never existed. With deep and very private songs such as "Kein Weg zurück" ("No way back") or "Mein Leben" ("My life"), or the representative tracks like "Der Fluch" ("The Curse") or "Broken Language Reloaded" with the Samy Deluxe Feature (a remake of the classic "Broken Language" from Smoothe Da Hustler Feat. Trigger Tha Gambler from 1995) the record became homogeneous and multifaceted. Curse fulfilled for himself a childhood dream with the features with Black Thought (of The Roots) and the producer Pete Rock. The latter was persuaded to sing the hooks and shoutouts, which he had done for Nas. He names Nas as his big idol to whom he is often compared as one of Germany's greatest lyricists.
Curse released his new album called Freiheit (Freedom) in 2008. The first single released from the album was a sample of Marius Müller-Westernhagen's song "Freiheit".
On October 5, 2010, Curse announced that he would not continue his rap career. On August 4, 2014 he announced his comeback.