(January 2005) | Interview By:
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:
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 :
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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,
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 :