Crooked I: They learned how to be full of shit.
Royce Da 5’9: With me, I obviously learned some leadership qualities from Crooked. Like, I look at the way he handles certain situations. He’s definitely one of the more mature people that I’ve met in the business around my same age range. Just looking at the response that he gets from his individual verses! A lot of times his verse just sounds like a totally separate entity from the song. So what I do is I’ll listen to him and try to figure out how is his verse always standing out like that, and what I was able to come up with: it’s the lines. I could be wrong, I could be right, I don’t know. So what I do is, I’ll listen to his verse like a nerd and be like okay, he got three stingers in there. So then I’ll be like okay from now on, I’ma put three stingers. You know, I just follow his verse blueprint and I feel like if I could implement that into some of the other tools that I feel like I got, I can make myself more complete. The same way with Joell, and the same way with Joey. The same way with what I said about Joey. You know it’s almost like I’m taking a piece of each of them and building like, this transformer that’s going to take over the world…with the people who I stole pieces from.
Joell Ortiz: Crooked I is a unique individual, bro. He’s very true to his sign too, man. You’re a Libra, right Crook?
Crooked I: Yeah.
Joell Ortiz: Yeah I mean, just a well-balanced person, man. I see everybody in the group, it’s not just me, whenever you want to talk to somebody? Crook is just that dude you go over there to because he’s always going to give you just the most logical… He can just calm a situation; tell you what’s the good, the bad. And you know what’s so crazy man? He’s so true to his sign because even in the music, when I approach certain verses and I was approaching it with certain angles, I thought that his angle was… When I do something, when I say you know what, this is going to be something ill where it’s just punchlined out, I approach it like, “Yo give the punchline head on, get ready for your metaphors, it’s about to go down.” And then when I approach something like, “Yo this is going to be personal, I darken the lights, I turn the beat up and I get there.” But Crooked I just has that balance! Even when he’s talking about something that might be touching, that nigga’s nice! I learned from him that just because you’re talking about real shit, you don’t got to compromise your pen. And that’s very, very, very hard to do. That’s something I’m learning still as we speak and I got to say that Crooked I taught me that.
Royce Da 5’9: Yeah because it’s like most rappers, I call them punchline rappers. A lot of guys that sound like Crook, they’re punchline rappers and what they do is they come up with punchlines real easy, and they put themselves in a box so where when they do verses, they just have a bunch of punchlines lined up. See something about Crooked I and Eminem, they figure out ways to build the punchline up. Like they’ll rhyme the same syllable for six bars in a row to set up this ultimate punchline. A lot of punchline rappers, they say the wackest shit in the world to get to the dopest punchline ever. [Eminem and Crooked I] don’t do that. The lines setting up the punchline be crazy, it coincides with what they’re talking about, they don’t jump off the subject. It’s a talent, man, that people don’t really hear, so when I hear Crook do that type of shit, I just be glad that he’s on my team. And then I steal it.