It’s official — Eminem has officially sat down with KXNG Crooked for a conversation on Crook’s Corner. The opening moments find the two lyricists nerding out over each other’s bars, with Em marveling at Crook’s “Abraham Lincoln” scheme and Crook returning the favor with Em’s “Ohio/Since-An-Addy” scheme. As the conversation progresses, Em reveals that Dre originally sent him a link to Alfred Hitchock’s original Music To Be Murdered By record, which Em proceeded to use as the inspiration for his own project. He even confirms that there were a few moments that had to be cut over sample clearance issues, leaving us all wondering whether a deluxe version is indeed in the cards.
Despite being an elite emcee, Em tells Crooked that he and Royce make “untoppable” verses. “I can only hope to tie at best,” marvels Em, reflecting on Crook’s scheme from “Our House.” “Being able to keep it going is something the average listens might not understand,” explains Em. “Some people might not catch the syllables.” On that note, he reveals that he first discovered Young M.A. through “OUUUU,” and proceeded to keep a watchful eye on her trajectory. “She carried herself like a star. Charisma, but she also had the bars. She’s really got bars. I just went down the wormhole.”
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On Black Thought, Em explains that he never quite felt he had the right song to send the legendary Roots lyricist. Breaking down the process of “Yah Yah,” Em reveals that Q-Tip‘s “my era” hook might be enough to lure Black Thought into the fold. “I hit him up through Royce, asked Royce to send him the track. His Funk Flex freestyle was…Oh My God. It’s what we love about this music. Especially as a competitive rapper — It’s inspiring to hear that shit, but it also gets you like aw fuck. It gives you anxiety and it pumps you up at the same time.”
Marveling at how his career has led him to meet many childhood idols, Em remembers driving around with LL Cool J, showing him Relapse in its entirety. “Before he got out the truck I was like yo man, I just want to say what you mean to me,” reflects Em. “I’m a Stan of you.” One has to wonder how LL Cool J reacted to “Stay Wide Awake.” Later, Em maintains that he thoroughly enjoyed watching J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar rise to greatness, confirming that he does indeed keep an eye on the game at large. “All the new shit, I try to stay up on,” he says. “Whose doing what. Flow patterns. Like DaBaby — I never know where his rhymes are gonna land. That shit is so interesting to me cause he does it so well.”
Without saying his name, Crook inquires about Lord Jamar’s infamous “guest in the house” of hip-hop accusation. “I don’t know if I’ve got a chance to say this yet, but the funny shit is with the whole beef with a certain person, I never said I wasn’t a guest,” responds Em. “I’m absolutely a guest. I never said I wasn’t. I never said I was king of anything…I never want to be the king of hip-hop. Who the fuck is the king of hip-hop?” Bringing things full circle, Em claims that he judges hip-hop greatness through lyricism above all.
Check out the full interview below — plenty of gems to be found here.