interview CROOKED I (January 2005) | Interview By: Nima

Dubcnn.com hooked up a second time with Crooked I. This time, he is off Deathrow, on Treacherous/Universal, and ready to blaze the rap game with some of his lyrical heat! He told us about him hooked up back up with Bad Azz, Techniec & Lil C-Style for a group, the Suge situation, his mixtapes Vol. 1 & 2, his upcoming album "Mama's Boy Got A Loaded Gun", his DVD and everything else you might want to know about Young Crooked. As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: nima@dubcnn.com

Huge thanks to Crooked I for taking time out to answer the questions fans wanted to know! (Interview was done by phone on on January 18th 2005)

Questions Asked By : Nima

Crooked I Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here


dubcnn.com: Crooked I is in the house! How you feeling man?

Oh I'm feelin' great, I'm blessed, it's gonna be a good year!

dubcnn.com: So what do you have planned?

Oh man, first of all, for those who don't know, I got off Death Row Records, and it's no hard feelings on my side of the fence. It was a business move, I stayed down, I did my work over there, I did everything I could do. It was time for me to start my own thing, time for me to be own boss. This is why I started Dynasty Entertainment, you know? Dynasty Entertainment man, right now, I got a company deal through Treacherous/Universal. So it's like the company deal is like I come in through Treacherous, I got a offer, I sat down at my office and I tried to figure out how I'ma put things together in the HipHop Industry as far as my albums, other artists and all that. Treacherous they had a distribution deal through Universal Music Group.

dubcnn.com: Yeah I think Jayo Felony got the same deal too.

Yeah, he got a similar deal. He got a similar deal, I don't know the mechanics of his deal, but I know that one of my homeboys was representing Jayo, and they came to the table and I spoke to some CEO's over there, I said "Hey, Jayo got skills", we had a meeting about it, and I told them "Ay, he got skills, you might wanna grab that dude before somebody else does" you know? That's how it went down, I believe he got a similar deal, I don't know the whole mechanics of it though.
But yeah I got a company deal over there. Treacherous has other artists too, Treachous got Big Syke, 1-2, they got Jayo, they workin' on some other artists that they gettin', so Treacherous has artists on that label. But me, I come in as a company. They gave my company a deal, I'm signed with my company, with Dynasty. They gave my company a deal, which means that on the back end, I can get some company knowledge you feel me? A normal artists record deal, where you gotta fight, negotiate back and forth to get a dollar of record sales! But this is one of those deals where you can walk away with somethin' for what you bringin' to the table. So I'm fortunate about that.

Also, we got a film division, so we shootin' DVD's right now ourselves. We got one scheduled to drop sometime March or late February, we're trying to figure it all out, set it up nicely. It's untitled right now, but it's very informative especially for young artists, they get to see the ups and downs, the ins and outs of the industry. They get to see what I went through on Death Row, they get to see what Loon went through on Bad Boy, they get to see what different artists and different CEO's got to say, Master P is on it, he gives us some game on how to start your own independent label. And the DVD is real cool man, we real excited about the film projects, we excited about the music, we trying to hit them hard from the W!

dubcnn.com: Yeah we gonna get into all details later on. Have you been in the studio the last weeks?

Yeah I just left the studio last night, I just got out at 3 this morning as a matter of fact.

dubcnn.com: What have you been recording on?

Man I'm puttin' some things together you know, I'm gettin' some calls to do some ghostwriting, stuff like that. I'm puttin' some ghost writing stuff down, and you know how it go when you ghost writing, people don't want to necessarily put the business out there about who's penning for them. So I can't really talk about what artists I'm working with. But it's kinda hot man, I went in there and put in some good work, we knocked out 3 songs. And that's always a good thing for me when I can go in there and knock out three song. I feel like I put in work.

dubcnn.com: You hooked back up with the homie Bad Azz... That was some really really great news, tell us all about that!

Yeah man! So basically, I'ma be real. Cause I feel like when people look at or hear interviews, they should hear the real shit. I don't feel like we should be always be twistin' up shit. And the truth is that, there was an interview on the internet somewhere [talking about our DubCNN interview HERE], that stated that I was present on that night Bad Azz got into it with his lil misshapes with Death Row. And there was some interview that said I was there! I was never there! When I was coming into Vegas, I'm on 15 man, I'm pushin' a CL5 on the 15, I'm lookin' at the light show and all that comin' in to Vegas, I'm happy. And then I get a phone call from my homie Big C-Style, he tells me "Hey! Why you let Bad Azz.. Why you didn't, you know, tell them to.. You know, why did you let that go down like that?" I'm like shit! I'm just getting there! And when I got there I found out that somethin' had went down between the Death Row guys and Bad Azz a day before I was there! So there was a little animosity, problems, between me and Bad Azz, because my thing was, if I'm there, I'm rolling with you on that Long Beach shit, you know? And I'ma try to, you know, be like "ay, you can't be goin' out like this!" I'ma do what I can, to try and ride with you!

So it really hurt my feelings that it got out there that I was supposed to be there and I supposedly just stood by! And watched somebody from Long Beach get jumped on or whatever happened. I don't know what happened, I wasn't there. But I seen Bad Azz, and he didn't have no urge, because I felt that he said this in some interview, I saw this... So we went through that, it was some songs made, whatever, I didn't make no songs about him, but he made some songs where he was expressin' his anger towards Death Row or whatever, and you know, I ran into Big C-Style, and he said "You know what, we need to holla at Bad Azz cause I need to get to the bottom of this. Cause we started out doin' this shit together."
So we got at him, he met us up downtown Long Beach you know, we had a drink and I told him "Look homie, we started this shit together." I was disappointed when I said that shit. He said "You know what I never said that you were there". From the interview, he said those weren't his exact words.

dubcnn.com: Well it was his exact words, cause he said it in my interview, but it was probably in his anger that he said that, and he said that it was like 30-40 people all the Death Row cats so he probably figured you were there too..

Oh word? That's wild bro. Yeah maybe he was angered, but for real now, I was not present! I was in Long Beach at the time! By the time I got there it was the next day, you feel me? My whole thing was, that right there it upset me, because my thing is, I'm a stand up guy! I'm a stand up guy, and if that was going down, I'd be like "Hold up hold up hold up, we can't let it go down like this, c'mon Bad, let's go!" you know what I mean? That's just how I do it. It ain't like I woulda went against them Death Row dudes, but I think I could have influenced them to behave differently. So I'm like "Comon man!" And then when I talked to him about it, we squashed it, it was cool, he understood that I wasn't there, and I shook his hand, we had drinks and had fun the whole night you feel me? Like it's supposed to go down! Like I said man we started this shit together man. With Bad Azz, with the Low Lifes, in 96, 95, all that other shit. We was all together!

dubcnn.com: Exactly, and it was some classic music put together back then too!

Yeah you know, so that right there, me hooking back up with Bad Azz, made me happy. Cause really I'm not lookin' to like try to mend no relationships. When I was on Tha Row, alot of people did shit, alotta people said shit that wasn't cool to me. Just because I'm off Death Row don't mean I'm lookin' to go shake hands with everybody. Because I feel like I was just handling my business, trying to feed my kids, and alot of muthafuckas were like "Oh fuck Crooked cause he on Death Row" and I'm like "What you mean man? I'm trying to feed my family out here!" You know? So I'm not lookin' to go shake hands with a whole bunch of niggaz like that or be like "Yo I'm off Death Row, be my friend!" But that dude Bad Azz, I always had love for Bad, and even when I was on Death Row, he tried to get me on his project on DoggHouse, but the higher ups were like "Nah!". So we was always cool and we just squashed that shit man. He called me for a 16, I'ma jump on the freeway and give it to him you know?

dubcnn.com: And apparently you, Techniec, Lil C-Style and Bad Azz are gonna be doin' some songs together! What's the deal wit that?

Yeah man! We bringing it back man, we bringing it back! Alot of people don't know we used to work together for the longest. And we always stressin' the Long Beach shit, I mean we got love across the border, world wide. But alot of people don't know that we put in years and years and years of work for Long Beach in the underground! We stay movin' doin' shows, a nigga representin' from Long Beach, representin' for the West Coast. Whether we in Germany kickin' it with you, or with Bad in New York, we representin' the West man. We representin' Long Beach and alot of people don't know. Me, Lil Style, Bad Azz and Techniec, that's a whole lot of representation right there man. So we just bringin' it together, we homeboys. And we got chemistry cause we've been doin' this shit together forever man.

dubcnn.com: It's like having the old crew back together, are you trying to recreate that classic sound?

Well you know it's gonna have a twist on it because everything evolves man. And right now it's gotta have that twist on it cause that was then and this is now. We got something to prove, we gotta be even better than we was back then. And if we work hard and put in the work man, it'll be better than it was back then!

dubcnn.com: Even better than ya'll was spittin' on 19th Street Compilation?

Aw man, even better! Let me tell you something man, we was hungry back then. So fuckin' hungry. On that 19th Street Compilation man, and alot of people on my DVD they gonna get an inside look on what went on. Cause I got alot of footage from the 19th Street situation. You gonna see the difference, you gonna see alot of funny lookin' niggaz because we looked funny! We was skinny, we was hungry, didn't have shit, you know what I'm sayin! *laughs* It's gonna be alotta niggaz like "Damn, look at this nigga Crooked!" But that's gonna be the fun part, to show the stages that we took and the steps that we made to get where we are now. So it's gonna be a good DVD. But yeah we was hungry back then, but we just as hungry now. I'm twice as hungry now because I understand why I should be twice as hungry. Back then I didn't know I was just a hungry young cat. Now I understand that shit, and I'm more hungry than I was, so I think we gonna make that shit even better!

dubcnn.com: Have ya'll recorded anything yet?

You know what, everybody movin' around, we just movin' this way and that way. Bad, like a week ago, he wanted me to come down to the studio but I had to leave outta town real quick. So once we get this schedule thing together, we gonna knock it out.

dubcnn.com: Is this gonna be a complete record that ya'll trying to do or just songs?

I think it'll be a complete record man, it's gonna be a complete record. That's just a statement. We've been through alot, alot, we got good music, we still got the skills up, and we still love what we doin' so we still need to put it on the streets. So I say it'll be it's own project.

dubcnn.com: That's gonna real hot. What kind of producers ya'll trying to get at?

Oh man, each of us, we have different people that we deal with. So we probably gonna bring everybody that we deal with together. Like Bad, he might deal with Jellyroll, you know, different producers, and me I might deal with Rick Rock, deal with different producers, Lil Style might deal with Battlecat, and we just put it all together, put all of our relationships together to make a hot project.

dubcnn.com: What's Big C-Styles role in this?

Well Big C-Style man, his role is whatever he wants his role to be. That shits real cause I got so much respect for him. Thats another guy that people need to understand the importance of. This dude right now put in alotta work now. Every artist that you ever seen from Long Beach has gone through this guy to get put on! Whether it's the Dove Shack, Tray Deee, Bo Roc, me, Lil Style Bad Azz, Snoop Dogg, the list goes on and on. They all had some dealings with Big C-Style. And he's helped different artists from Long Beach to get some ways over the years! And I got alot of repect for Big Style, I got respect for whatever title he wants, whatever position he wants. He got that from me. So it's like whatever.

dubcnn.com: Do you still work with Darren Vegas?

Well you know what, I talked to Darren Vegas the other day man, and he's working on a few things right now, we might try to do some work together in the future. We definitely don't have any problems with each other, we still support each other, and when it comes to them, Darren Vegas and all the other guys, it's just basically wild man. Me, Darren and Jim Getum we put together some helluva projects over there on Death Row. And you will probably hear it, they'll probably release some shit. But we put together some helluva songs. So I believe I'll always work with Darren. Just on the strength of the shit we went through over there.

dubcnn.com: How's your relation with Eastwood? Do you still fuck with him?

Young Wood! I talk to him all the time man, Young Wood. That's possible too! That's possible that's very possible!

dubcnn.com: And will we see you working wit the Riflemen?

The Riflemen? Well I mean, I don't really know. I know 40 Glocc of course, you know what I'm sayin', 40 Glocc is a cool cat. I know Kurupt obviously. But I don't think that as long as Kurupt is affiliated with Death Row, I don't think that he will be cleared to do music with me. I just don't think that. I could be totally wrong! But right now from where I stand, I believe that he will never be cleared to do music with me.

dubcnn.com: When did you last speak to Suge?

Last time I talked to Suge man, you know what? I ain't talked to Suge for like... whoo... for like 12, 13 months!

dubcnn.com: Damn!

I talked to Suge in December man... Of 2003! He was locked up, I holla'd at him and shit. I was supposed to go up there and see him, we was supposed to talk. And I wanted to tell him that I wanted to leave, I wanted to start my own thing you know what I mean. I'm ready to move on. And I kept callin', and his assistance kept me waiting, he was in jail, I was fightin' my own case, and it just got to the point where I was like "Yo, I just gotta move on, holla at my lawyers, handle all the conversations from now on.". Cause I can't get the runaround, I'm trying to sit down this is my life. I need to sit down with this dude and cut the terms for my departure, and I can't even get on the phone with him! I can't get up there and see him because the people in control at his offices, they're not picking up his phone when I'm calling!

So I coulda been patient sit up there call up for a whole year and never get a contact with him! I can't do that. I gotta take action, you know? So it's like shit, it just got to the point where I had holla'd at my lawyers, for them to deal with it. And then, I reached out to him a couple times this year, to try talk this shit out, I reached out, but with no success. So basically I ain't talked to him in about 13 months.

dubcnn.com: Is Suge as evil as he's made out to be in the media?

Nah. I wouldn't say that man.

dubcnn.com: They make him look like the devil and shit.

Yeah, they do, but the thing about it is, alotta times it's a few things. You got people that's intimidated by the guy, and his reputation. So they gone try to rally to get that nigga outta there. "We need to get this nigga outta here, this nigga right here, he gotto go" and that's how they feel. But when they see him they like "Oh how you doin' I love you" and shit, so it's like, it's alotta two faced shit goin on in his reputation. But at the same time, he flexing, and he's from the streets! So it's like a very thin line man. I mean I was at offices when some guys, other record executives, have behaved the same way, but they on different labels, and I think he got a good side just like everybody else. You make him hot you make him upset, ain't no tellin' what's gone happen. But I definitely know the man has a charitable side, I seen him give to people who died in compton, pay for their funerals, I seen him rebuild nurseries. We spent 20,000 dollas on Christmas on Toys to give them out. So the man does have that side. He's got a charitable side but at the same time man, I just don't know. I kept myself separate from drama and I let him know that from the gate. I separated myself from the drama so I don't know what went on. I be right in the middle of some shit, and police just bust in and lay everybody on the ground and take computers and shit, and I don't know what's going on. And I ain't askin no questions, you know?

dubcnn.com: Ok so we won't see Crooked I dissin' Death Row now, will we?


dubcnn.com: Ok good, we don't need another beef on the West Coast!

Nah, we not gonna see that man. I ain't with all that. The only way that you will see that.. I wouldn't even diss them, cause I'm hearing things. I'm hearing that it's some artists on Death Row sayin' "Fuck Crooked" and shit. But I wouldn't even diss them man, cause we don't need another beef. But if a artist that just got signed to Death Row, disses me in a song, I'm just gonna check him. Like "You don't even know me! You got a problem with me? We can talk about it, but you don't know me." So it ain't gone be no back and forth disses and that, I'm just gonna be like "Hey you don't know me homie so what's the problem?" But I don't think it'll come to that cause I stay clear of that kinda shit man, I'm sick of that shit myself. Everybody is shitting on everybody. That's just wack.

dubcnn.com: I'm not sure if you can speak on this... but can you shed some light on the legal situation? There was an article on the internet saying you're completely free.... How true is that?

Well you know, on our side of things, we are free. To us. My whole thing is, I'm movin' on, I got skills, I'm making music, I'm moving on. Now Death Row might not see it that way. We do got some legal things that we gotta click up, but they gonna be cleared by the end of this month. So I'm really looking forward to me and you talking again on February 1st sometime so I can tell you the REAL DEAL.

dubcnn.com: Yeah, fo sho, we gonna make that happen. One last thing about Suge, what's your take on the Vibe Awards incident?

Yeah man... I heard about it on the radio this morning... See that right there, I don't know if it's true, cause I could walk in a house, walk somewhere and punch anybody I wanted to, and tell them Suge told me to do it and people would probably believe it!

dubcnn.com: That's what I was thinking too... It would really be stupid of Suge to do that, being on parole and all.

Yeah! And I'm like shit... I don't know! I don't know. I didn't go to the Vibe Awards. It's somethin' about them Vibe Awards. I mean Biggie died after a Vibe Party, Vibe put that Eastcoast Westcoast shit really out there with that cover they made, it's somethin' about them Vibe Awards. I'm kinda cool on them. But when it comes down to it, that incident is a terrible thing for West Coast HipHop. Cause really, it's alotta people with alot of power that would love to do shit with us, West Coast artists, but they always see this type of shit go on, and they don't want no parts of it! They don't wanna do it over here. And that's the sad part, because all the people that got that money right now, they got they feet kicked up in the air right now and they don't give a fuck.

But us, young artists, trying to bring new companys off the ground and trying to hustle and grind, every time somethin' like that happens, it knocks us back a step. That typa shit upsets me, because I'm still out here trying to get my money man, it's a hustle. I love HipHop, I put my whole life into this shit, but at the end of the day I need my bread. And ya'll fuckin' up the bread by havin' muthafuckas get socked up in music awards! Cause now, who wanna come over here and have awards! Who wanna come over here and do shit? I heard a cat tell me the other day, he's at a big office on one of the biggest labels on the East Coast, and he heard the executive say "Hey, we don't wanna do shit on the West, because they tearing shit up! And everytime we do somethin', let's try to not include them" And that's the mind state now.

dubcnn.com: That's fucked up.

Yeah, we gotta change that. That's the thing about me and my company man, we straight solid street, we trying to get our bread, we making good music, but we got principles and we not on some old "It's the West Coast fuck everybody else" shit. We're hustlers, and hustlers know your hustle gotta spread. If you wanna make that real cheese, you gotta have relationships to everywhere. And the world is a ghetto, so we understand that whole concept, we gettin' busy in the midwest, we gettin' busy in the south, we gettin' busy in the east. Let them know "Hey! Ya'll got some California homies over here! When ya'll come through Cali, yall got some people you can get down with! And we can get down wit ya'll when we out here." So we trying to pull it back together man.

dubcnn.com: Yep, let's get back to the music, tell us about your label Dynasty Records. So it's you, the Horse Shoe Gang, anyone else?

Yeah I got a group called the On One Squad. And the On One Squad, in itself, the group is making a statement. They from Watts, they representing Watts. And it's one Grape Street Crip and a Bounty Hunter in the same group so it kinda represents unity. They got some shit comin' they gonna appear on my album and we got that going. We trying to get this female MC signed too, I'm waiting for that to come through so I can't really say names. But other than that I'm really focusing on putting out a bomb ass album man. I want a 5 Mic'er! I want a album over here that we can put right next to the Death Certificates, Me Against The World, Makaveli, D.O.C., Straight outta Compton, I want you to be able to put the Crooked I album right there in that collection.

dubcnn.com: Right, and until your album comes, you hooked up with the Cali Untouchable DJ's to re-release your Young Boss mixtape. How did that happen?

Oh yeah man, Warrior is the homie, Hideo is the homie, and they were like you only released this shit on the internet, we can put it on the streets and I said "go for it! Ya'll can put it on the streets? Take it! Do what you do with it!" So they went and next thing i know that shit was on the streets! *laughs*

dubcnn.com: That's how it's supposed to be! Are you working on a new mixtape too?

Yeah I got that Young Boss Vol. 2 that I'ma start working on, I ain't even started on it yet but I'ma put somethin' in effect and probably have that shit up by the 15th of February. I don't know man I did Young Boss 1 in three days. So this one right here, I'm sayin 15th to myself, but I'll probably be on one and lay it out earlier. The mixtape scene is getting bigger on the West Coast, I used to rip instrumentals and send them to Irv Gotti and Irv would spread them throughout New York on the mixtapes and nobody would hear the shit out here cause mixtapes wasn't big! Now mixtapes getting big out here so it's cool cause we can do it ourselves right here.

dubcnn.com: And you released a song called My Life on your website. That song was amazing man, who produced it?

Oh, Jim Gettum did that.

dubcnn.com: Yeah I was really feelin' that!

Ay thank you man, that song meant alot to me, alot of the shit on my album is emotional for me, I'm putting it all out there.

dubcnn.com: Let's talk a little more about Young Boss Vol. 2. When is it coming out? What type of beats you rapping over? Who you rapping with?

Yeah man, we ain't even gotten started on it yet, but we about to. Really I got this one joint that I did on that new Ashanti single, I can't remember the name of it right now...

dubcnn.com: I know which one you mean.

Yeah I did one over that shit and it came out pretty hot, and I did a song with Dylan, that was from Da Band... But that's it for now cause we just getting started. But I'm trying to put that shit out in February and let the streets know that it's really official. My departure of Death Row and all is really official, I wanna let them know that. Young Boss Vol. 2 we gonna hit the streets pretty hard with it and I'ma go out there where you at and hit the streets out there with it as well.

dubcnn.com: And it's gonna fo sho be on Dubcnn too.

Oh yeah fo sho, that's how we gotta do it, you guys are connected, you're bringing artists together that haven't bumped into each other for months and months, so that's a very valuable thing for us artists out here, to be able to network. And you're connecting people together, and it can make some historical music happen!

dubcnn.com: You gonna be hooking up with the Cali Untouchables again to put it in the streets or is it gonna be yourself?

Yup, Cali Untouchables most likely, Warrior is the homie! He always has been, even before!

dubcnn.com: Yeah, we're connected with them too, gonna be selling their CD's on the site.

See, there we go, it's all coming together man. And that's the whole thing that's really gotta happen on the West Coast people don't understand. Alotta cats out here they wanna go for they self and they wanna do things for self at all times, but really, they gotta start connecting with each other man and making it even bigger than life. It's enough room for all of us, we ain't gotta hate on each other we ain't gotta do none of that. We can all get this money, it's enough money for everybody to get some, it's enough space for everybody to be successful. So that's what's it's all about, connecting.

dubcnn.com: Okay, and I just spoke to 40 Glocc and he thinks that Kurupt would actually do some shit with you...

Yeah, well you know, my thing about it is, I would do it, no doubt! I have no problems doing something with Kurupt! I have no problems with that! The thing about it is, if it can happen, hey, let's make it happen! But I'm just dealing with the reality of his CEO, whether he is going to allow something like that. Cause at the end of the day, he gotta sign the clearances if it's something official. Now we can probably go mixtape all day if we wanted to.




Crooked I Gave Dubcnn.com A Shoutout! Check That Here

Full Interview In Audio : Here


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