The latest guest on People’s Party With Talib Kweli is veteran Long Beach, California battle rapper Crooked I, who brings decades of stories to the show to share with Kweli and co-host/producer Jasmin Leigh. From how his Hip-Hop Weekly freestyles led to the formation of supergroup Slaughterhouse to his unique history with the infamous Death Row Records, Crooked I turns out to be a wealth of smart observations and lived experiences with hip-hop culture.
The latter experience also naturally brought him into contact with a West Coast rap icon, Tupac — an experience Crook says he couldn’t fully appreciate at the time. “I’m a teenager, bro,” he says. “At the time, I didn’t understand how blessed I was to be in that room.” That room turned out to be the set of a St. Ides malt liquor ad. Crook explains that this would be his “first experience with anything Death Row,” but that he had been connected with fellow Long Beach native Snoop Dogg for a while.
“I’m a big Tupac fan,” he explains. “I’m like, ‘Damn, there go ‘Pac.'” He admits to this day he considers Tupac to be his personal greatest of all time, “because his music just spoke to me more so on a personal level than anyone else’s.” That experience would be one of Crook’s first with the label that would eventually become his recording home before he eventually moved to Shady Aftermath and branched out to become an accomplished podcaster (on his show Crook’s Corner), television writer (for Hulu’s Wu-Tang: An American Saga), and headliner of his own rap group, Horseshoe Gang.
People’s Party is a weekly interview show hosted by Talib Kweli with big-name guests exploring hip-hop, culture, and politics. You can subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and/or Uproxx Video on Youtube.