FEATURE: Crooked I, Homage to Dr. Dre, Pt. 5 of 5

Once signed to Dr. Dre’s former label, Death Row, under Suge Knight’s regime, Crooked I never got to work hands on with the super producer on an album. Still, as one of the West Coast’s premiere lyricists, Crooked understands the impact Dre has had on the game. From the birth of gangsta rap as part of N.W.A to the Death Row hey days to Aftermath’s musical empire, the O.G. beatsmith is responsible for launching the careers of stars like Eminem, Game and 50 Cent and producing a catalog of classic material.

Crooked I, along with newcomers Jay Rock and Kida, recently jumped on producer Focus’ “Homage to Dr. Dre,” in a salute to Andre Young’s genius. As XXLMag.com’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of Dre’s seminal release, 2001, concludes (be sure to read Game‘s, Jay Rock’s, Warren G‘s and Nipsey Hussle‘s interviews) Crooked I shares his thoughts on the Dre’s outstanding legacy.

I used to go watch Dre DJ when I was a kid and my older brother used to take me to see him DJ. He used to use three turntables and get crazy. That was right when N.W.A was starting and ever since then he’s had a big impact on my career. I been following him.

To me, Dr. Dre is an icon, which is something more than a superstar… He went to Ruthless and he helped build an empire. He went to Death Row, he built an empire. He went to Aftermath, built and empire. How many people have three rings, so to speak, in hip-hop? Some people only get one run in this industry. He’s on his third run, so that’s highly inspirational.

I was in the studio a while back with Irv Gotti and you know they had their little differences—Aftermath and Murder Inc. and all that—but Irv told me, “Yo, man, if I saw Dr. Dre walking down the street I would salute him.” He was like, “Matter of fact, if Detox came out I would go and buy the first copy available and sit like an old hip-hop kid and open it up and read all the credits and who did what and what the production is, who mixed what…”

What Dr. Dre needs to know is, people, even the ones that you think are the least likely to be waiting on Detox, are waiting on Detox. That album is like a myth but I’ve been inside the studio and I’ve heard some of the bangers. Right now, he could drop 10 Detox’s. (Laughs).

You know what’s so interesting to me? Dre’s a perfectionist and I don’t know if he’s not comfortable with all of the heat that he has but the work is there. The stuff I heard is bangin’. If he didn’t want to use it, he could give it to me and I’ll go 20x platinum with it (Laughs). 2001 was phenomenal and I just want to hear some more of that good music coming from the West. —As told to Brooklyne Gipson

  • Enlightened

    Respect to Crooked. That had to be awkward for him sittin’ on Death Row when 2001 came out…not being able to bump it around them niggas…probably actin’ like he ain’t have it in the car.

    To me, Crooked I’s career is the perfect example of what’s wrong with the industry. Everybody knows the nigga can spit ridiculously, he has “back story” to tell, he’s connected to some of the greatest, but where is his (real major label) album?

    It used to be so simple. Come up with a tight ass single. Push it to radio. Put the album out a month later. Either it swim or sink. I don’t understand all this other shit.

    Fuck mixtapes. I like albums.

    • sb

      a man with some damn sense….

    • fuck the radio

      big up big up fuck the radio. crooked i niggaz is the future. well said.

  • caino

    l hear you man, and l totally agree, this man right here is a beast on the mic, yet whereis his album?

    The industry needs to change, and we as the people who the product need to push for this change!

    ps – good lookin on this drop ! tho l do think you should get X to tha Z to speak on this as well !! and maybe Hitman & Mel man

  • caique silva

    i agree with u Enlightened. royce da 59 is an example too. that dude is crazy on the mic. one of the best out there and still he only managed to sell bout 4 thousand in his first week. the album streetHop is a classic i bang that album everyday in my house. crazy lyrics.

  • Emperor Doom

    co-sign on Enlightened post. Royce is sick too tho. I would love if him and Em made a album with them two. Bad meets Evil is still a fucking classic

  • ThaTruth

    Man y is xxl paying tribute 2 dr.dre?Man they need 2 pay homage 2 eazy muthaphuccing e

    • Mr. 306

      Fuck Sleezy E. He was a piece of shit and robbed money from his team for years. He fucking died of aids cause he was a man whore. Big salute to your greasy ass

  • Lunatikstwocents

    “Fuck mixtapes. I like albums.”
    Hell yea thats how i feel, mixtapes are cool, but i ratha hear a full album with good cuts on it..not that half ass shit. I was bumpin 2001 today..shit is still hard.

  • kedordu

    WELL I HOPE DRE HAS THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN HIS EAR CAUSE CROOKED I AND HORSE SHOR GANG , SLAUGTERHOUSE NEED TO BE ALL OVER DETOX . IT JUST WONT SELL . NOT EVEN BEATS WILL SAVE DETOX IF THE LYRICS ARENT THAT NEXT LEVEL SHIT . NO ONE ELSE IS REALLY SPITTING THAT LYRICAL MURDER SHIT ANYMORE . IF DETOX ISNT HARDER THAN SLAUGHTERHOUSE ALBUM LYRIC WISE ITS NOT GONNA BE IMPACTFUL . IF ITS NOT HARDER THAN STREET HOP , BLOCK OBAMA 2 ITS NOT GONNA CHANGE SHIT .. HM IM BEGINING TO THINK FUCK DETOX .. LOOK OUT FOR THAT NEXT OUTKAST ALBUM CAUSE DUNGEON FAM HAVE BEEN HOLDING IT DOWN MOVEMENT WISE SINCE SPEAKERBOXX/LOVE BELOW

  • http://www.myspace.com/idonthavearapname Mika

    Crooked is wicked with the lyrics,the wordplay,the methaphor game,the punchiles and all that.but i dont really like his flow,i feel it just dont got that smooth flow….its like he squeezes too many words in a bar…and im aware that its nice if one can squeeze in more words per bar,making it more elaborate….but with crooked,it kinda feels outta line,outta rhythm. No HATE just my opinion…what y’all think ?

  • dgutta

    ^^^^ i totally disagree with u. Crooked is the nicest MC i done heard in a long a** time.
    I think he’s the best out of Slaughterhouse.

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