By the age of 17, Long Beach, Calif., native Crooked I had a record deal with Noo Trybe/Virgin Records and was a burgeoning figure in the rap community. After his first two albums were shelved due to multiple complications with several labels, the rapper is back with his 'Million Dollar EP,' a precursor to his 'Million Dollar Story' full-length, a record for which he called all the shots.

"It's an album that I'm able to control the marketing for the first time in my career, control how I want it to look visually, control how I want it to sound," he tells Spinner. "It's a great album, man. It's got 17 cuts on there. The first single is going to be 'Everyday' ... so 'Million Dollar Story' is coming. I need all the fans to rally behind."

Crooked also discusses a passion that isn't exactly common in the rap world: Anime. "I was always into comic books when I was young," he says. "I was always into anime. It's kind of funny because a lot of people in the hood aren't into anime, but I was ... 'Ninja Scroll' is what hooked me. Once I saw 'Ninja Scroll,' it was over."

Watch the full interview with Crooked I below, and visit AOL Music's SXSW site for more Live from Austin video interviews.


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