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Crooked I - New Years Reflections (Hip Hop DX)

Quote:HipHopDX's Andres Vasquez asked several key Rap figures from 2011 about the lessons learned, changes made and projects to a new year, including members of Black Star, Slaughterhouse and Living Legends.

Every year at around this time, it’s a tradition of many to sit back and reflect. People analyze their year, their successes, their struggles, their accomplishments and everything in between. Why? Most people do this to prepare for a new year, to get ready for personal and professional improvements and to reach new goals or milestones. It’s crucial for many to look back before moving forward. Understanding this, HipHopDX decided to track down several emcees to discuss the year that was and preview the year that will be.

Crooked I, Phonte, Saigon, J-Zone, Fashawn, Brother Ali, The Grouch, Eligh and Talib Kweli took time out to speak about all of this. They discussed their challenges and triumphs of 2011, both personally and professionally. They also candidly shared their greatest lessons of the year, courageous enough to be as personal in interviews as they are in their rhymes. Now, while looking back is helpful and insightful, looking forward is also vital. So, each emcee took time to preview the year that is to come, sharing what fans can expect from 2012.

Crooked I New Years Resolution

HipHopDX: Describe this last year for yourself (both professionally and personally). What thoughts stand out most for you?

Crooked I: This past year has been a great year for me. Obviously, securing the Shady [Records] deal was monstrous. The movement Slaughterhouse had and my C.O.B. movement growing legs, it has been a year to set up things, lining ducks up in a row to knock them down in 2012. Getting my websites together, making sure my manufacturers are in line for my merchandise and apparel and putting together a killer Slaughterhouse album to try to reshape Hip Hop next year, it’s all been wonderful, man. It’s been a blessing.

DX: What has been your greatest lesson or lessons learned this year? What helped teach you that those lessons?

Crooked I: The greatest lesson I learned this year is to never give up.  That’s a lesson I learn constantly but this year especially, I learned you have to keep going, no matter what. Everybody’s story is not going to be the same in this industry. Some people are going to have overnight success and for some people, it may take 10 years. You know what I’m saying? You’ve just gotta always strive and work hard. I think a lot of my theories when it comes to Hip Hop and music business as a whole, some of them were proved right when I’d get a chance to sit down with Eminem and talk to him one-on-one on certain things. He let me know what I’m saying is on the right path. So, that confirmation from somebody who’s been to the mountaintop, it just feels good. You’ve also gotta constantly learn. I would say that to any emcee, any rapper, any producer, any graf artist, any fashion designer, anybody part of this Hip Hop culture. It’s a constant learning experience every day.

DX: How do you use the lessons from this year to prepare you for the next one and what can we all expect from you in 2012?

Crooked I: You take that right into 2012 with momentum and take it into 2012 with a vengeance, really. We can really do some damage in 2012. When I say “we,” I mean all of our movements. Slaughterhouse will drop an album in the first quarter of 2012, smother the game, go on the road, kill as many stages as we can, come back home and then drop individual projects and support each other and kill the game. Then, go hit them stages individually and then put on the people in our crew that are coming out next from our crews individually. Royce [Da 5'9] has Kid Vishis, I got Horseshoe G.A.N.G., Sauce, Cognac, the whole C.O.B. and I know Joell [Ortiz] and Joe [Budden] got people they’re working with. So, 2012 could really be the year of a Slaughter movement, from January to December.

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