Crooked I recently released his album, Apex Predator. The Treacherous Records release is the latest in a series of albums, compilations, and efforts that the Slaughterhouse member has made available to the public in a career that spans over 15 years.
Speaking with HipHopDX recently, Crooked I was asked about his proudest verse. Through groups like 19th Street, his time with Death Row Records and Sway & King Tech, and countless soundtrack and feature appearances, Crooked I has a staggering catalog, despite dismissing the fact that he feels he’s never released what he considers to be a studio solo debut.
Looking for his proudest moments, the Long Beach, California emcee reacted strongly. “That’s a great question right there, bro. ‘Cause, let me tell you, once I did that ‘Hip-Hop Weekly’ shit, giving folks a verse a week—some of them shits was 32 [bars], some of them shits was longer—fuck dog; I never knew that would have to rap this much to be recognized.” The trend-setting Hip-Hop Weekly series featured a full 52 weeks of verses, freestyles and songs released between late 2007 and 2008. He continued, “You would have never fuckin’ convinced me that I’d have to rap as much as I’ve rapped to be recognized. At the same token though, it just left a big paper trail of verses—well, I don’t really write—so not really a ‘paper’ trail.”
“Which one would be the best? You know what: I was proud of that ‘Loud Noises’ verse,” Crooked said of his feature on the gold-selling Hell: The Sequel album from his Shady Records family Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce Da 5’9). Recalling the 2011 collaboration with his Slaughterhouse band-mate and the group’s employer, he says, “I fucks with that.”
Crook then pointed back to the series that helped revive a career that was winded by a fruitless tenure at the notorious Death Row imprint. “I had a ‘Hip-Hop Weekly’ called ‘Imagine’ on the Dr. Dre ‘Imagine’ beat, that touched a lot of people to the point where they got tattooes of the verse on them. So that one right there, definitely.”
However, it was a recent song from a 2012 album that Crooked pointed to with affirmation. “My verse on ‘Goodbye,’ on the Slaughterhouse [welcome to: Our House] album.” The Boi-1da-produced single was deeply special to one of its writers. “I spoke on my Uncle LeRoy, who passed [from] cancer. That verse was very hard to get out because it was absolutely true. He was one of my biggest supporters. I’m talkin’ about [when] you don’t have no fuckin’ money and somebody wants to meet and give you an opportunity at a recording studio, he would let me use his Acura Legend. He would fill the tank up, and I’d drive it. [He would say], ‘You need money for an outfit? I don’t want you out there doing wild shit. Here, take some money for an outfit and go get ’em!'”
The C.O.B. leader reflected, “When he passed, that was a point in my life that was really dark. I had to get over it. That verse was my celebration of him.”
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