DX: Switching gears a bit, fans are waiting on this Slaughterhouse project. When we spoke in March, you said a few things. I just wanted to get an update on that. You first mentioned that you’ve been getting life music from producers. How’s the process progressed from then, in terms of the overall direction of the album?
Crooked I: Aw, man. It’s just a great progression. It’s funny because people know each one of us for a certain thing. They’ll say, “I know [Joe Budden] for being introspective from his Mood Muzik thing. I know Royce [Da 5’9] for being violent and talking about shooting m’fuckers all the time. I know him for this and him for that.” But, really, we’re all pretty much well rounded, man. It’s just that people might not get a chance to see certain sides. So, on this album, you will see an introspective side of Royce. You’ll see a shooting every mothafucka side of Joe Budden, you know what I’m saying [laughs]? It’s really an interesting thing. Now, when I say “life music,” I mean that in life, you get happy, sad, you mad, and it’s just a range of emotions. They’re all covered creatively on this album. I really believe people will be able to relate to this album, whether they’re Slaughterhouse fans or not. There are going to be songs on there that I know they’ll be able to say, “I can relate to that.” Musically, producers brought it to the table. We just had to go in there and do what we do lyrically and conceptually to match the producers’ energy. Producers went crazy. Then, at the end of the day, [Eminem] walks in. A lot of people don’t give Em credit as a producer but I get to sit there and watch him produce. We all know that he’s such a great lyricist. That may be what’s overshadowing his production but dude is ill as a producer. I mean, the whole package of the producer, not just, “Here’s a beat, fellas. Go rap.” No. I’m talking about, after the raps are done, live instruments being added, mixing the vocals and sitting in there for eight hours on one song, just producing the song. Then, he comes back the next day and does the same thing. Then, the next time you come in there to hear the song, it’s been taken to a whole ‘nother planet.
DX: So, Em was able to provide beats but also act as an executive producer, correct?
Crooked I: Yeah, with Em, he’s in there with us. That’s a big thing. I know some people tell me, “I wouldn’t want to be recording with Em all the time. It’s good that you guys are over there but I wouldn’t want to be recording with Em all the time. I would want my space to be the kind of artist that I am.” I look at that and that sounds crazy as fuck to me, man. That’s like the [Chicago] Bulls back in the day saying, “I don’t want to practice with Michael Jordan.” You know what I’m sayin’? I don’t get that shit. So, every opportunity that I have to be in Detroit in Eminem’s studio, I’m fucking there. I almost thought about buying a condo out there just so I could go in and learn and make music under the umbrella that he created. He’s a fucking genius with that shit. It’s been a great ride and hopefully we can take it all the way.
DX: It sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience with that, observing but also collaborating. What’s been something surprising that you’ve encountered in your time with him in the studio or as a crew with him in the studio?
Crooked I: Um, what’s been surprising? He’s got a crazy sense of humor but that didn’t really surprise me because, just listen to his music and you’ll know there’s some kind of comedian in him [Laughs]. But, what’s been surprising? [Pauses for a second] You know what? It’s how much he knows each Slaughterhouse member. Obviously he knows Royce but I’m saying musically, how much he knows about our music before Slaughterhouse came to Shady [Records]. Sometimes when you don’t hang around a lot of these super-celebs, you don’t know if they’re listening to your shit or not. So, coming over to Shady, we find out Em bought our album the first day it came out. He was in the know about songs we did on the Internet, individually. That was surprising to me. And he’s real easy to work with. That was another thing. Dude is down to fuckin’ Earth. He’s real down to Earth and easy to work with. He could be a straight asshole if he wanted to be. Believe me, there’s a lot of fuckin’ assholes that sold less records than Eminem in this industry. That was real surprising. That first time I met him, I was like, “This dude is real humble. He’s a cool cat.”