The conversation includes Crooked discussing the practice of ghostwriting in Hip Hop and dealing with fan’s criticism of his public statements.
In addition, the Long Beach lyricist gives an update on the forthcoming third studio album from Slaughterhouse. The Shady Records rap supergroup – consisting of Crooked, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, and Royce da 5’9’’ – is expected to release a project tentatively titled Glass House later this year.
‘Statik KXNG’ Album Cover
The track “Stop Playing” opens with a critique of rappers using ghostwriters. Obviously, the most famous story of a recent rapper using a ghostwriter has been Drake with Quentin Miller. Some people argue that if a rapper is found to use a ghostwriter, then you can’t put them in the same category of emcees like a Nas, Eminem, or KRS-One. Do you think if Drake did use a ghostwriter then that diminishes him in the ranking of emcees?
Once you have ghostwriters, that level is forever gone. That conversation should be forever gone. But we are in the future right now, and you have these younger generation of fans that don’t really know that you have to pen your own sh*t and the importance of that to an emcee. So they’ll disagree with everything I’m saying.
As they read this they’ll say, “He’s just hating” or “That’s why he’s not on the same level as certain people.” But on some emcee sh*t, you have to pen your own sh*t. If you don’t, you can make great music or hit records, you can enjoy a great lifestyle – nobody can take that away from you, because you still have to put in the work.
Whether Drake wrote those songs or not, he has to perform it, sell it, and go on tour. He has to put in the work. He’s an artist. You can’t take work away from a man. But if I’m in the barber shop and we’re talking about the greatest emcees of all time, nobody that had a ghostwriter is mentioned.
On your song “Lost A Fan,” you didn’t seem to be concerned about how the general public looks at you as far as where you rank.
I really don’t. At the end of the day, you can’t please everybody. It’s impossible. That’s the fastest way to be unhappy. So when you look to do that, you’re already failing.
It’s funny to me, because I’m on Shady Records with Slaughterhouse. I don’t think all of the Shady fans get me. I post sh*t on my Instagram, and they get pissed. I might say something like, “F*ck Donald Trump. He’s a racist.” They get pissed. [laughs]
I probably lose a fan with every post. I don’t know what they want from us. We are humans. We have our own opinions. We have our beliefs. They like the music, but they can’t separate the music and the actual person. They want everything to be how they want it to be.
That’s why I lose fans, but I don’t care. I make music. I focus on those people who support it. For those who don’t or got mad about something I said in an interview, f*ck them.
Was there any particular thing that sparked you to write the song “Gift Rap”?
Yeah, I travel around and people just want to know is Slaughterhouse over – “Is Em shelving you guys?” I just felt like saying something like, “Let me put something out there, so people will know and not get it twisted.”
First of all, Em is the biggest Slaughterhouse supporter. I was just in Detroit with Em, and we were talking about different things. He’s excited about putting out Slaughterhouse. When he’s talking to you, there’s nothing in your mind that makes you think, “He doesn’t support Slaughterhouse.” He’s the biggest supporter.
As far as the gang, we go our separate ways, but we’re doing this. This is something that’s going to get done. We’re about to release our third album. That’s phenomenal for a group, because a lot of groups don’t make it pass one or two albums.
We can’t leave right now. There’s too much of an important moment happening for us right now in Hip Hop. I believe the Trap music – which I’m not knocking – it’s a lot of it, and I believe it’s starting to fizzle down some. So this is an important moment for lyricists. We can’t remove ourselves from this moment.
So you’re saying Glass House is on the way?
Yeah, but I want to change the name. I don’t like that name.
Have you guys discussed changing the name?
I told Joell, “We got to change the name. I hate that name.” [laughs]
So we should just be looking out for “untitled” third Slaughterhouse album?
Untitled! [laughs] It’s a dope album though. I know I’m doing the Statik KXNG thing, and I’m grateful for this opportunity just to stay putting music out. It’s a great feeling, but the Slaughterhouse sh*t is a dope album.
We hit some roadblocks, so we had to figure some things out. They’re all figured out. I’m going to just let the label tell the people what’s going on, because I’m definitely not trying to.
I look forward to the Slaughterhouse album, but this Statik KXNG is dope. It’s good to hear some really powerful lyrics over great tracks. We don’t get that too often.
Thank you. That’s what I’m talking about, going back to that. I didn’t want some over-produced sh*t. I don’t think Statik did either. You know, where people bring in full on bands, opera singers, and harp players. It was just like, “Yo, Statik make a hard ass beat. I’m going to just start rapping.” That’s just what it was. It’s dope to be part of it. We’re shooting videos. I just love it. What can I say? I’m a lucky man. [laughs]
Stream Statik KXNG via Spotify below.