Crooked I Says Death Row Records Owes Him $1 Million
These days, Crooked I is recognized as one of the game’s best. As a member of Slaughterhouse and the backing of Shady Records, the west coast spitter has risen above his Internet fame and is reaching a much larger audience. But, for those who have followed his career, things haven’t always been easy.
In the early 2000s, the rapper was touted as the next generation of the Death Row Records dynasty. However, things didn’t pan out and he sat on the shelf for four years without an album release. Crooked would eventually leave the label, and in the years following, he endured backlash and blackballin’ for his past link to notorious Los Angeles label. It would take years to break from that stigma.
In a recent interview with AllHipHop.com, the rapper revisited his Death Row days, and the future of the re-formed label.
Crooked I says he severed ties with Death Row years ago, but the WIDEawake Entertainment incarnation of Death Row has been using much of his past discography in recent projects. He even reveals that the label has asked him to sanction a release of some of his old music, but he requested $1 million to support any Crooked I/Death Row project.
“I know that the people that bought Death Row Records put out some sh** called Hoodstar, and they used a few [of my] songs off of that album,” the rapper tells AllHipHop.com. “I’ve seen a few songs pop up on pirate websites… I was watching [Eddie Griffin's] Dysfunktional Family the other day, and I had nine songs on that soundtrack.
“[Death Row] called me and they wanted me to support it. I told them, ‘If you want me to do some sh**, cut me a check for $1 million, and I’ll come over there for some solo sh**,’ ” Crooked continued. “I told them if they weren’t going to do anything like that, then I wasn’t going to support anything. It’s reminding people of a past that no longer exists. There is no real Death Row Records anymore. Once Suge was removed from the picture, there was no Death Row. You can’t be Death Row without Suge. My terms were to have me do a brand new album for a $1 million. They gave me the run around, and I told them I was cool.”
As far as any Crooked I material released by WIDEawake, he says it’s all old. But, says if any music from the Death Row vaults were released correctly, it could sell. Of course, it’d need the right marketing.
“They are trying to put out old sh**, and they don’t know how to market it,” Crooked explained. “They just think that the catalog is going to sit around and sell itself — and it will — but not the part of the catalog that people haven’t heard. You have to market that. You can sell All Eyes On Me forever and a day. What about the unheard music, though? That has to be marketed to the people. They don’t know how to do that in my opinion. So when they read this, all I have to say is $1 million (laughter). As a matter of fact, it was $1 million back then. I want $1.5 now.”
Read the full interview with Crooked I at AllHipHop.com, where he talks Shady Records, Eminem, the Slaughterhouse album, and his latest mixtape Psalm 82:V6, among other things.