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Crooked I reignites Hip Hop Weekly with a tribute to Gang Starr

L_78adc07ff1ae52fc43f93c546b14c351 Much of the hip-hop world didn't find out about Crooked I until he partnered with Royce Da 5'9'', Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz to form battle-rap supergroup Slaughterhouse. But on the West Coast, the Long Beach rapper has been an underground linchpin since the mid-'90s, when he was signed as a teenager to Noo Trybe/Virgin Records and collaborated with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Tha Eastsidaz and Luniz.

A perennial victim of label politics, Crooked lost his deal when Noo Trybe folded. After discussions with Daz Dillinger's DPG Records and Dr. Dre's Aftermath proved fruitless, he signed with Suge Knight's Death Row around the fin de si├Ęcle, appearing on various compilations and waiting in vain for his album to be released. 

When his contract expired, the rapper born Dominick Wickliffe hit the mixtape circuit hard, releasing a spate of acclaimed tapes notable for Crooked's unhinged lyrical assault and homicidal growl. Notoriously prolific, his greatest feat was his Hip Hop Weekly series, where he unleashed a "freestyle" every week for 52 consecutive weeks. The efforts led to him being named one of XXL's Top 10 Freshmen in December 2007.

After a lengthy hiatus, during which his freestyle-a-week scheme was re-appropriated by numerous other rappers, Crooked I has returned for another year-long experiment. Week 1 of "Hip Hop Weekly Reloaded" finds him crafting a tribute to the late Guru of Gang Starr. Rhyming over "Mass Appeal," Crooked I is at his best: witty punchlines, industry salvos, clever wordplay. It does the memory of his former label mate right.

Download: (via Nah Right)

MP3: Crooked I -- "Hip Hop Weekly No. 1 (Mass Appeal)" (left  click)

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: Crooked I; Credit: Crooked I MySpace

Comments () | Archives (2)

MASS APPEAL = SIIIIICK!!! Those rhymes are tight! And he's feeling that!! I'm not crazy about the beat, but who cares when you got lyrics and a flow like that right! Man Crooked if you ever read this stay flowin at this tempo or a Mid West tempo. This when you sound the best! That's Great Delivery. STAY AWAY from those lazy slow southern flows u been doin. My 10 year old cousin can do that! It sounds Horrible when Wayne does it, and even more horrible when some one as talented and with as much passion as you have, do it. AND STAY AWAY FROM KAT STACKS. makes me shutter just thinkin about her near you!!! ...... No Doubt Crooked is totally Ill!!! He should be well into the peak of his career right now! It's Artist's like him & Royce da 5'9" (Totally BOSS) that make Hip Hop fans like me think WTF is going on at these labels?? It's mind numbing! What do they not see, that we do! I didn't know that he was ever in talks with Dr. Dre, that's totally surprising he didn't end up there... smh... Might be for the best though, Dre takes For-Eva to release anything! I REALLY REALLY hope the SH deal with Shady Records went through. I think they can't do ALLOT of damage with them! That's where we definitely want them anyways!!

the best ever


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