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Hip-Hop News: Crooked I Wants To Bring Back The West
"Tha Row" rapper 'Crooked I', says he wants to bring rap back to the west, speaks on 'Snoop Dogg', new album & more.
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By Paul Russell
3/11/2003 1:31:13 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Crooked I.

For the most part, the West Coast has held fast to its heroes like 2Pac, Dr. Dre, Xzibit and Snoop Dogg, however Crooked I of 'Tha Row', Suge Knight's label, aims to usher in a new crop of artists representing the left side of the nation.

"It's on my mind to carry the West Coast on my back," Crooked I told BET.com. "I don't think it's on a lot of these other cat's minds. They are just trying to get theirs. It's on my mind to kick the door in for other cats."

The Long Beach-bred "ghetto emcee" said that he acknowledges both the benefits and drawbacks from hailing from the same neighborhood as Snoop Dogg. "That's how I got in, I got my first deal with Virgin Records and I would love to tell you they signed me purely on my skills, but I was from Long Beach and Snoop was hot," he admited.

"That's how the game goes, so if Crooked come through and kick the door wide open then other people will be able to eat out here doing this. That's in my heart, these other dudes they don't give an fuck, they all about their selves. It's time for a new look so we're going to do that, it's a done deal," he stated emphatically.

However, the Crooked I said he and the Doggfather aren't friends - it's quite the contrary. With "The Slap Back", Crook has retorted to Snoop's "Pimp Slapped," summer diss record of Suge Knight, former friend Kurupt and Tha Row.

But Crooked adamantly maintained there was no personal friction between the two, but Snoop allowed his beef with Knight to spill over to other members at Tha Row. "I don't know what kind of cat he thinks I am, so I went back in the studio and he's going to say hi to the real bad guy now. He keeps throwing rocks from behind his security so we are going to throw some back."

After the founding artists exited from Death Row, Crooked I was recruited by Knight when the mogul heard of the youth upstart whose name echoed throughout the Los Angeles region. Daz Dillinger, a former Death Row rapper and now a vocal enemy of Tha Row, introduced Crooked to his future boss and he has patiently waited for years to release his first album.

"As long as I'm straight financially and my paper is right, I'm straight," he said confessing he signed to the label while Knight was still jailed on 1996 parole violations.

Now that Knight is out, Crooked I is the first rapper Tha Row will release, but his work can already be experienced on DysFunkTional Family, the soundtrack to the movie of the same name.

Praised as a battle lyricist, Crooked I said he would offer fans a diverse collection of tunes on 'Say Hi To The Bad Guy', not only intricate rhyme schemes. "You don't really want to hear a dude getting to technical in the strip club because it's not about that," he said. "I'm going to make my music according to my mood, my emotions and how I want to put it down."

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