[With a new reality TV show called "One Shot” that’ll reward a lucky winner with $100,000 and an SMH Records deal, Kxng Crooked (formerly Crooked I) talks to SOHH about his big business venture.]
You’ve recently changed your moniker to Kxng Crooked. Why did you feel it was necessary and how have the fans adapted to the change?
Change is always necessary. Evolution is necessary. If I’m still expressing myself musically ten years from now whatever I create will sound nothing like 2014 KXNG CROOKED. Some fans wonder if I’m on some typical egomaniac rapper shit with the name change. No… I’m on some King Mansa Musa, King Ramesses II and King Hannibal shit. Do your homework. I’m never on what regular rappers are on. I could care less what today’s rappers are on or what they call themselves. All I care about is upgrading my contribution to the art and giving people dope music.
What can you tell us about your upcoming mixtape Sex, Money & Hip Hop?
It’s crazy! The end (laughs). But yea it’s a body of work with the kinds of collaborations I love to hear. I have live musicians, singers, emcees and dj’s all talented as hell coming together to make something dope! Not just a bunch of over-hyped celeb rap features that don’t even make sense. I know that’s today’s formula but I hate that shit. This is a mixtape experience and it’s genuine.
How did you come up with the concept for One Shot and how did you team up with Sway?
I just wanted to give back to the culture that gave me so much. I can’t help every up and coming rapper so I came up with a way to help as many as possible. I know firsthand how hard it is to get a foot in the door of this highly competitive business. It’s a struggle at times. If you’re a rapper looking to showcase your talent to the world and on a major platform – One Shot is your new home. And Sway? No brainer. He’s the voice of Hip Hop and nobody else comes close. Plus he’s fam so yeah I’m blessed to have him be a part of the show.
Do you think there’s room for another reality based TV show? What makes One Shot different from the other talent shows out there?
What other talent shows (laughs)? One Shot is strictly hip-hop. We may branch out into other genres later but our only focus right now is hip-hop. That’s the difference. This is for us and when I say us I mean the entire hip-hop culture. We are giving back. Unlike these major corporations who use hip-hop to sell everything and make billions, meanwhile the actual artists are barely making a living. Nah… We’re on a mission to reinvent how rap stars are discovered and we’re keeping shit 100 the whole time.
Will One Shot be completely unscripted?
Fuck a script.
You’ve been accepting audition videos via the One Shot website, have there been many submissions from female emcees?
We have a lot of femcees submitting but I want to see more and more! That’s one of the voids in today’s hip-hop market that needs to be filled. Not enough female’s in the spotlight. Dear label execs and producers, stop trying to put these female rappers on your casting couch and put them on the big stage!
What would you say were the main thing’s you’re looking for in the artists who submit?
Passion, hunger and originality.
When can we expect One Shot to hit our televisions screens?
We’re aiming for early 2015. Meanwhile keep the submissions coming to www.myoneshot.tv Take your shot! 100K in your pocket and a record deal with SMH Records. What more can I say?
-Interview & Words by Ayara Pommells