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
Full Interview In Audio :
(The Recording quality is a little low so turn down the bass while
listening to hear it good)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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.
PART 2 COMING NEXT WEEK...........
STAY TUNED TO DUBCNN!
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