Saturday, June 19, 2010

MyDailyJoe Exclusive: Darren Vegas Opens Up About Crooked I

MyDailyJoe is here with Darren Vegas, a mutli-platinum producer who has worked with too many of the top recording artists to name here in this brief introduction. This concise discussion sheds light on Crooked I when he was a struggling artist, who ultimately turned his back on Darren Vegas.

The main objective of the interview isn’t intended to expose a form of betrayal, but to develop more of the history of one of the most popular and prolific hip-hop artists today named Crooked I.

The debut retail album by Crooked I titled “Hood Star” which was mostly produced by Darren Vegas, just became available through WIDEawake/Death Row Records.

MyDailyJoe: When was the last time you spoke to Crooked I?

Darren Vegas: I haven’t talked to Crooked I in a few years. It was crazy because I helped him get a deal at a certain label and things fell apart between us. He got caught up in some bullshit and sort of lost sight of what was important to him at that time. This is when he was starving. He would do anything to get out of the situation he was in. I don’t hold any grudges.

Treacherous Records came up to me at a nightclub. This was in 2004 when they were a brand new label. They asked me to work with them because they loved my music and knew a bunch of songs I had produced. They knew about all of my shit with 2Pac, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Crooked I and so on.

When I met with them, they had said that they wanted me to be an in-house producer at their label. We got to talking and I mentioned Crooked I. They weren’t aware that he was looking for a new deal until I brought it up. They had said if I could make something happen, they could bring both me and Crooked I over to Treacherous and have me work on a new Crooked I record for them to release, since they had already wanted me as an in-house producer anyways.

I set it up and we met with a guy named Tico and Joe Isgro. They asked me and Crooked what we needed [monetarily] to do the record. At that time, we had told them a certain figure and they said it sounded good and that we could talk again next week.

After our meeting, me and Crooked I went to a coffee shop around the corner to talk about it. We talked about how we would split up the money and that me and him could get, and possibly Jim Gittum could be involved and all of us could produce a new record together. We even mentioned we could get some other producers involved as well.

I had told Crooked at the time, I just want to see you make it. We were both stuck in our careers but I told him that I believed in him and we could make a dope record right now. I wasn’t starving at all as far as money goes. I had been well paid for the records I appeared on.

Crooked had no money at all at this time. I even remember him parking around the corner from the building we met Treacherous at because he didn’t want them to see the car he was driving. We agreed to do the deal and it all sounded cool. I told him I just wanted it to be fair to him, I told him to tell me what he wanted because it was his record more than anything. I just wanted to be apart of his record and what was happening.

After that, I didn’t hear from Crooked for at least a week. I was on my way to Las Vegas the next time I got a call about it. It was from Tico, the CEO of Treacherous and he told me him and Crooked I had just struck up a deal. I said what do you mean? I contacted Crooked I about it and he said that he had no control over it and that they [Treacherous] wanted to use their own people.

MyDailyJoe: So Treacherous Records cut you out of the deal?

Yes and that’s the truth behind why me and Crooked I haven’t spoken. I told him right then and there, I think your making a bad decision and your record is not going to come out. These people are showing what type of business they do and if that’s how they do it, your record won’t come out if you can’t even control who is producing on it. A lot of labels try and do that so they can own the publishing on the record. They use producers who already signed as in-house producers to the label. They didn’t even sit down with me to work it out, neither did Crooked. I think Crooked just got a figure broken off to him and he had to take it. His family depended on him to be the main breadwinner and he was starving at the time.

They feared my business savvy when I went over there. They didn’t act like it was on that level though. It was all about cool, let’s make it happen. They shook my hand and gave me their word. They had to battle with Suge [Knight] to get Crooked off Death Row; they were stuck from the beginning.

But there were words exchanged between myself and Treacherous Records. I figured if that’s how they’re gonna’ act, then these people all deserve each other. Let them do it. I had hoped he [Crooked I] would come back to me and apologize and say let’s do it. But to be honest, I still rooted for him to make it because we had been through so much together.

MyDailyJoe: Wow, that’s really interesting.

Darren Vegas: I just think the fans should truly know what happened between me and Crooked I. I still feel for him that he made that decision and his record never came out, but it’s all water under the bridge to me. I just get tired of people asking me what’s up with you and Crooked I? He went from stranded on Death Row to stranded on Treacherous.

MyDailyJoe: Thank you for that profound narrative on Crooked I.

Darren Vegas: Thank you. People need to know the truth and I also want everyone to go out and pick up that Hood Star album. We put a lot of work into that many years ago.

Pick Up Hood Star by Crooked I today!