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TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE: Crooked I

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Crooked I does not get the just respect he is due. Just admit that fact.

 

The Long Beach, California rapper is a beast on the mic and a street General of the West Coast. Lyrically, he is as sharp as anything on the rap playing field right now, despite his underdog status.

 

In recognizing his status, AllHipHop.com got Crooked I to give us his Top 5 Dead or Alive. But, when he gave his list, we had to get him to expound on it, because it almost seems like Crook tried to cut corners on us.AllHipHop.com: Let’s get your top 5 Dead or Alive. I don’t think anybody has publically heard your list before.

 

Crooked I: My Top 5 always changes. Unfortunately, some of my old school top 5 MC’s get knocked down because some of the guys out now are doing a crazy job with the lyrics. Me, I don’t go by record sales or by how many Phantoms or Bentleys that you’ve got.

 

I go by the structure of a song, how you put metaphors in line, and how you use your punch lines. If you use too many similes in one verse, I can’t f**k with you. I have my own report card that I’ll give to an MC. Right now, my Top 5 MC’s – and everybody is going to think that this is some egotistical sh*t but it’s not.

 

I am going to let Eminem and Jay-Z be tied for number one. Then in no particular order, every member of Slaughterhouse. Em and Jay are top and then Slaughterhouse (Royce Da 5′ 9″, Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz) is going to be 2, 3, 4 and 5. We’ll be in no particular order because everybody has their strengths. I don’t care – people can say that I’m just saying this because it’s my group but f**k that sh*t! I am a student of Hip-Hop. I listen to what dudes say, how they say it, their cadence, their patterns, rhyme scheme, and rhyme flow. I study poetry – I’m an Almanac on this sh*t. I don’t say that because it’s my group. I don’t think that anybody is f**king with the dudes in my group. Nobody except those two that I just named.

 

AllHipHop.com: Any particular reason why Eminem and Jay-Z are tied?

 

Crooked I: Those two dudes are the greatest breathing right now. I love Lil Wayne – I give that n***a credit beyond credit. To bump those two off though is going to be a task for anybody.

 

Eminem is a rhyming robot. He puts words together like he’s a computer. These dudes don’t even understand when it comes to him. He becomes a part of the beat when he raps. It’s like his voice is an instrument and he’s rhyming compound rhymes over and over – and he’s killing it. He can also tell a story and do the psycho crazy sh*t. He can do choruses on his own! Eminem doesn’t have to bring somebody in to the studio to do a hook for him – he can do a hit hook on his own.

 

The same thing with Jay – he can tell a story like no other. He understands rhyme flows, patters and schemes. If he has to do a “Jigga What” in double time, that’s what it is. If he has to tell a story on “I Never Change” about the streets, it’s going to be so on point that you can touch it. It’s so real that you can feel it. When those two did “Renegade” together, I had them dead even. Those two are the best breathing.

 

I don’t even put 2Pac on the list because he was something of a different nature. He’s too big for any list. People don’t understand that he was touched by a higher power.

 

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