Crooked ILong Beach native and former Death Row inmate, Crooked I, created an enormous buzz over the past year with his innovative Hip-Hop Weekly freestyle series. Now with the final 52nd freestyle out, the rapper looks to the future.

But how do you follow-up such a unique idea that brought your buzz up tremendously? Crooked has a few things up his sleeve. One of the immediate things is his online video show called New West TV, the leak of the first single from his long awaited debut album, and an upcoming mixtape called The Dream Tapes.

According to the rapper, his upcoming mixtape is “weird.” He revealed that it will comprised of acapellas he’s been recording for quite some time immediately upon waking up in the middle of the night. Crooked I dreams about raps, he says.

“Sometimes, as weird as this sounds — I know this sounds weird — I dream verses sometimes,” Crooked I told “I keep a tape recorder on the dresser and I wake up in the middle of the night and I record some of the verses that I dream about …  some of the songs, the hooks, or whatever it is.”

Like dreams, the verses the rapper dreams about are abstract and don’t make sense. Some of the bars from those dreams even made some of the Hip-Hop Weeklies you’ve heard over the past 52 weeks too.

“A lot of times, it’s like weird sh**. It’s like strange or abstract. Some of the Weeklies, some of the verses or bars… it might be 8 bars from a dream in the Weekly,” explained the rapper. “I’m gonna put the tapes out. It’s gonna be strictly acapella, strictly what I wake up and say into the tape recorder…

“I’m just putting it out there to kind of see what people think about that. I’m trying to be open on every level and let the average person out there who listens to Crooked I know who Crooked I is. He’s a motherf***er that dreams about raps,” he continued.

The Dream Tapes is expected to hit the internet sometime this summer.

Aside from that tape, Crooked is also preparing a new mixtape with DJ Strong and DJ Whoo Kid called The Block Obama: Hood Poltics, which is due out in May.

As for his long awaited solo debut, Crooked I did not give a date for its release, but did say it would definitely drop this year, now that he’s in the clear completely from any legal restrictions.

The first single is a track with Akon called “Look At Me Now.” The rapper told us that it’s currently in the mixing stages and will hit radio and the internet soon. From the single’s response, he’ll decide on a release date for B.O.S.S.

“I’mma hit the radio with that, then I’m gonna gauge, off the response from the single, when… the right timing to go ahead and set a date for release,” Crooked revealed. “It’s an ’08 release without a doubt though. It’s tricky with these dates though. I’ve waited long enough, so I wanna make sure when I hit em, I hit em like a nuclear bomb. It’s definitely ’08.”

In the meantime, if you’re not checking out his latest mixtapes — he has a few in the works — he said say in tune with his New West TV online video series, where he will drop five to seven minute short videos of everything West Coast — from artists, entertainers and sports figures to fashion, gadgets and video games.

“It’s just lil stuff just to keep fans up to speed with what I’m doing, visually,” said the rapper. “It’s gonna be all over the internet, so you’ll see it. We’re just gonna introduce the world to the New West.”

For anything else Crooked I, visit him on Myspace at