CrookedI

EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Says “If You’re Not A Rapper Then Get The F*ck Out Of Hip Hop”


(AllHipHop News) Long Beach native Kxng Crooked is ready to return with his latest music project. The Slaughterhouse member partnered with Statik Selektah for the collaborative album Statik KXNG which is set to drop this Friday. The LP is an unabashed collection of lyrical Hip Hop cuts, and Crooked would like to see the culture shine more light on rappers with bars.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Collaborating With Statik Selektah, Modern Hip Hop Beef & Refusing To Sell His Soul]

In an interview with AllHipHop.com, Crooked spoke about his appreciation for the original elements of Hip Hop – emceeing, b-boying, DJing, and graffiti. He also took issue with entertainers that only use rap music as just an outlet to get wealthy and not as a form of artistic expression.

“I hate when people say ‘I’m not a rapper’ or ‘I’m just a street dude with a talent.’ Well, if you’re not a rapper then get the f*ck out of Hip Hop,” says Crooked. “I won’t compromise those things I believe in and stand for when I’m making music, even to my own detriment sometimes. But it is what it is. I’m not going to do it.”

There have been a lot of critics of modern rap. One of those critiques is that the content of much of today’s mainstream music is not as thought provoking or constructive as it once was in the past. In Crooked’s eyes, supporting “wack” songs is causing a perpetual breakdown of exceptional Hip Hop music.

“I do believe in focusing on the positive. I don’t like being the bearer of bad news. But guess what? It’s a lot of wack sh*t that’s going to spawn new wack sh*t, because the kids listening to the wack sh*t thinks this is the way to craft his own sh*t,” states Crooked. “So now I’m listening to 16 and 17 year olds’ Soundcloud pages, and they sound wack. It’s a domino effect that needs to be stopped.”

The California representative also adds, “At the end of the day, artists are supposed to have some sort of voice, and the music is supposed to reflect the times. So when you have all these protests over kids getting killed by police officers, the terrorism, and all this sh*t going on, and none of the Hip Hop music reflects the times – if you put it in a time capsule, no one would know what the f*ck was going on in 2015-2016.”

Kxng Crooked & Statik Selektah’s Statik KXNG is scheduled for release on February 12. Pre-order the album on iTunes. Read the full first part of Kxng Crooked’s AllHipHop.com interview HERE.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Statik Selektah Explains Why He Is Not Impressed By Bobby Shmurda’s “Hot N*gga”]

  • Q.

    True spit. The Millennials are most likely a lost generation. The Founders still have hope if their minds can be stimulated by intelligent artists. Garbage in, garbage out…somebody gotta break the cycle.

    • Malik

      To be honest, it didn’t start with the Millennials and it didn’t just pop out of nowhere either.

      I vividly recall when your favourite Emcees where co-opted to start endorsing wackness. That move is what started the domino effect Crooked speaks of.

      And those that didn’t partake in that BS back then were those the machine didn’t push.

      So, it’s not just the Millennials, 90’s rappers gave wackness life by their co-signs and it’s spiralled downwards from there.

      • Q.

        True. It started in the 90s, but my favorite emcees aren’t to blame. A lot of these so-called OGs in the game are culpable though: the Puffys, the Master Ps, the Birdmans, the Sean Carters, the Dame Dashes were major players in steering the culture towards degeneracy. Even though the music of the late 90s still sh!ts all over today’s rap, the decline was evident back in the bling-bling days: the celebration of excess, hedonism, recklessness and debauchery overshadowed the revolutionary aspect of Hip-Hop. This has been a 20 year spiral of death.

      • BIG MIKE SOMETHING SERIOUS

        Well said.

      • ZUBU

        I feel what you saying, but I take exception with Master P…. His first national album “The Ghettos Tryin To Kill Me” I had it on cassette. Dude is laying on a bed fat ass chick riding him and a masked goon is coming through the window. P was describing his reality at that time. I think he was still living in Calif when he put that album out.
        —————-
        Now the rest of the dudes you named were just rapping about how much money they had.

      • Anthony Mason

        Well said…

      • RapItUp

        You know, people will place a lot of that pop-shift blame on Puff, and Jay.. but Diddy was still signing Black Rob, G-Dep.. he still had HIP-HOP acts on board. Jay, well.. Jay rapped his ass off well into the 2000’s.. He did some pop-transitional ish, some features w/ Mya, whatever. But he was still rapping. Subject matter is another thing altogether. But these guys today who are ‘rapping’, about aforementioned topics you brought up, they don’t even RAP. They just get all high’d up in the booth and say ‘whatever the fxck they feel like’ **TIP Trap Muzik voice

      • Q.

        Right, the crossover music was listenable–that’s what I meant by the “music of the late 90s still sh!ts all over today’s rap” but let me ask you this, do you think that if the consciousness of mainstream Hip-Hop had remained at a high (or at least balanced) level, that the standards for artists would’ve fallen so low to even allow mushmouth/lean rap to take over?

      • RapItUp

        lol not even (in response to your question).. I got what you meant too, and I do understand that even though the hip-hop pop of the late 90’s, etc. was pointing in the direction of hedonism/debauchery/etc., while maintaining it’s listenable-factor.. was still damaging in the long run.. the butterfly that beat its wings in Japan, if you will.. But while the artists are partly to blame, the true blame really falls on corporate execs, the corporate greed, and the manipulation of young hungry brothas with a means to escape. Look at NBA/NFL. They can’t really toy w/ them on that type of platform, they are only doing 1 (or 2-3) things. Playing. Interviews. Endorsing. Stay in shape. Rappers do walk-throughs, concerts, signings, collaborations with other artists, some of them actually WRITE LYRICS (lol) and etc. So these guys get whacked over the head way harder than others fleeing that urban demographic for a way up.. Long story short, I feel they played us when we were getting hot, making something that really mattered, and now what you see is a product of that.

      • Q.

        Most def–corporate control definitely had a lot to do with the devolution of Hip-Hop. The big difference between athletics and music is that athletes can’t really speak out politically without being financially punished in some immediate way, like fines or losing endorsements. The sports world hasn’t had any real outspoken, socially conscious figures since Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown. Those guys were unapologetically Black and stood on their principles in the face of hate. Hip-Hop threw the whole system for a loop–there was too much messaging being thrown out too fast, and a lot of it was coded language. It took the Black youth by storm and the consciousness levels were rising rapidly. The early 90s was so rife with Afrocentrism and Black rebellion against the corrupt system, that music literally became dangerous. They had to figure out a way to derail some of that energy. They used money to engineer the music culture towards more gang and hustling culture. Instead of just reporting on it, more rappers started celebrating it. Beefs were generated and stoked to the point where we had coasts beefing, when just a few years earlier we had PSA songs like “Self-Destruction,” “Stop the Violence,” and “We’re All in the Same Gang” which were unifying artists from different regions. The school to prison pipeline, the implementation of unfair drug laws, and rap music have all been used as weapons to maintain the power structure. Hip-Hop sold its soul for a dirty dollar.

      • RapItUp

        Killed it.. Salute. The only thing I’d challenge is, do artists today have any more freedom to speak, as opposed to a very confined, contractually obligated athlete? In the digital age, that freedom has left musicians as well.. (Molly in champagne, nappy headed ho’s, Paula seen, etc.) Nobody is safe. And even if you don’t say something critically damaging to your career like lil Wayne on karate chop, somebody talking like Muhammad Ali will just end up as a YouTube rapper, unfortunately.. Those guys don’t get the acclaim. You gotta work your way in and ‘formation’ ’em at halftime (although her motives might not be in the right place, the message stands) it’s shaky ground!

      • Q.

        The music and comedy worlds are the two commercial spaces where artists typically have the most headroom for honest expression. If artists can’t feel free to express truth and thrive in those spaces then something is terribly wrong. There’s a fine balancing act happening in American culture between honesty, political correctness, and commercial viabilty, but at the end of the day, no artist should be compromising his/her truth for a dollar, especially from a corporation. Black artists have the most truth to tell about this country, so we should be more adamant than anybody about keeping it real. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. We’re so desperate for a dollar, and now in the social media age, so thirsty for fame/recognition, that we tend to compromise ourselves at every turn. This is the reason why an artist like Kendrick Lamar is thriving: he bravely dove head-first into the truth with his music, and it’s paying off major dividends for him; his fans love him more, and even commercially he’s thriving. If more artists followed that model being: 1)hone your craft 2)do you/be yourself and 3)have the courage to tell the truth, then we would see a dramatic positive shift in the Culture. IMO

      • RapItUp

        Agree 100 bruh.. Kendrick of course was the shining example of diving headfirst into self expression with his craft and being embraced on a mainstream platform.. I haven’t heard a lot of J. Cole after sideline story, but I get the impression he isn’t tackling those black issues in the manner K. is. I could be wrong though, Born Sinner and FHD are on my wish list. Very well spoken/written points!

      • Q.

        I gave FHD a fair listen. I thought it was pretty solid, though not as impactful as Kendrick’s TPAB. Cole’s a good emcee, though it took me a minute to warm up to his artistry. I think his strategy was to become as radio-friendly as possible, then bridge some consciousness in slowly. I can appreciate some of his messaging.

      • RapItUp

        yea I know Cole got some heat.. first album wasn’t bad, reminded me in a way of Wale’s Ambition, radio friendly as hell.. Same era. But I’ll check out FHD, he’s pushing the hell out of that thing

      • Malik

        On point.

      • Malik

        I agree, but to a certain extent. It wasn’t just the Hip-Hop moguls like your post suggests, the emcees are culpable too – almost all of them.

        The case of KRS readily comes to mind. On one hand, he was telling us to not support Nelly, calling him wack while on the other, he was featuring on records with Puff. What is the difference between Nelly and Puff?

        Nas, Jay, Dre, etc…they all co-signed wackness by one action or another and labelled it business while someone like Chuck D remained steadfast.

        PS: This is in no way a diss to The Blastmasta, I just called it as it happened. No disrespect intended whatsoever.

      • Q.

        First, no man is 100% good nor evil. And even heroes are capable of fault. I never looked up to Jay or even Dre, beyond respect for his beat-making. And I’m not saying the degeneration of the music culture was just the moguls’ fault, but they are the main ones who are still walking around today, after having sacrificed so many people’s careers and having stepped on so many heads to get their slice of wealth. The biggest sellouts are easy to tell, because they are usually the ones still thriving, while the people around them fall to the wayside. I would disagree that most emcees in general were complicit with the selling out of the music, but were most of the mainstream ones? Yes.

        I can’t justify KRS working with Puff, or any other righteous acts for that matter. Puffy has been a devil in the game for over 20 years, and everybody from that era knows it. But I also know from years of observation, that Puffy is a slick-tongued shyster who knows how to work people. I’m sure when he sees a lot of NY rappers in the streets, it’s all love on a personal level. So, I can kinda see how different peope would fvck with him. With that being said, I suspect that when he worked with guys like KRS or Monch, they were mainly business arrangements. I can understand your argument about KRS. It smacks of hypocrisy. Nas has been guilty of straddling the line too. When you assess the worth of a man, you have to weigh the goods against the bads. In terms of contribution to the culture and upliftment, I can see more good in the actions of KRS and Nas, even though some of their past moves were questionable. We can hear their efforts to feed the youth with knowledge and inspiration as opposed to the nonstop celebration of reckless hedonism by others. They had a mostly positive impact on the Culture. But definitely everybody has had a role to play in where the music is at today–good and bad.

      • Malik

        The overall contributions of emcees like Nas, KRS and their likes is etched in stone and I never questioned it, hence the post script on Kris.

        This back and forth is just to show the OGs played a not so favourable part in what the music has become albeit while still contributing positively, nothing more.

        And, I fully grasp the fallibility of man as inherent in his actions. I struggle everyday with my own inconsistencies.

        Peace.

  • Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Says “If You’re Not A Rapper Then Get The F*ck Out Of Hip Hop” – HUEY mix wit RILEY()

  • THISIS50

    real talk

  • Live Well

    A lotta these dudes were never official dudes in the first place. They just run that line because it worked for Jay Z.

  • Pingback: Hip Hop News | Hip Hop News()

  • In Black America Radio

    ““If You’re Not A Rapper Then Get The F*ck Out Of Hip Hop””

    i wish this was his response when the question was posed to Slaughter House on ghost writing and is there a place for that.

    • Butch Magnus Milosevic

      had the exact same thought…

  • Anthony Mason

    I don’t think statik is official either. I don’t like his beats. Crooked is good though. I’ve been listening to him for a minute…

  • JerZeBoy

    Crooked spits fire!

  • big brain

    People trying to get out of the street life use rap, they don’t think about being hip-hop they just want to make money

  • Pingback: Hip-Hop News, Rumors, Rap Music & Videos |AllHipHop » EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Drake’s Ghostwriter Allegations & Slaughterhouse’s 3rd Album()

  • Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Drake’s Ghostwriter Allegations & Slaughterhouse’s 3rd Album | Festival Gear()

  • Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Drake’s Ghostwriter Allegations & Slaughterhouse’s 3rd Album | HoodStarMagazine.Com()

  • Pingback: EXCLUSIVE: Kxng Crooked Talks Drake’s Ghostwriter Allegations & Slaughterhouse’s 3rd Album | Hip Hop Magazine()

  • Pingback: Kxng Crooked Says “If You’re Not A Rapper Then Get The F*ck Out Of Hip Hop!” | Home of Hip Hop Videos & Rap Music, News, Video, Mixtapes & more()