Operation: WordSoundVision
Code Word: Crooked

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About Crooked
Crooked trailer (heavy - 14 MB)
Behind the Scenes Clips
Crooked Credits
Crooked Director/Producer/Writer
Crooked Poster: download a PDF (large -10MB)
Mentol Nomad


Colin Julius Bobb, better known as Sensational (a.k.a. Perfection a.k.a. The Skripper) came to Crooklyn via Georgetown, Guyana as a young child. Growing up in the heavily-Caribbean Crown Heights area, he was soaked in the sounds of reggae and hip-hop, receiving his baptism with blunts at the age of 13. A chance meeting with cutting-edge rap act the Jungle Brothers (Afrika, Mike G., and Sammy B.) got him a gig as a dancer at their live shows, but Colin soon impressed the JB's with his wigged-out, 4-track beats and raw lyrical flows, earning him the name Torture.

It was Torture, an uninhibited 17-year-old, who would steer the crew in the direction of wild experimentation and mayhem on their third full-length for Warner Brothers--Jbeez Wit Da Remedy--a release both controversial in its creative content and the manner it was suppressed from the public. As producer Bill Laswell, who had worked on that now legendary lost transmission, recalls, "They [the JBs] used to be in my apartment listening to records and when Torture pulled out a [avant-garde German composer] Stockhausen record and started cutting it up and rhyming to it, the other guys looked at each other like, 'He's onto some shit.'" Though the original Remedy album never surfaced (deemed too experimental by the people at Warner Bros.) some more acidic fragments bubbled up as a Black Hoodz 10-inch under the title, Crazy Wisdom Masters, in 1997.

Word of Torture's exploits filtered through to WordSound head Skiz Fernando from Laswell. When Skiz first met Torture at a Greene Street Studios recording session in Manhattan where the JB's were working on their follow-up album, the first words out of the free-spirited 21 year-old's mouth were, "You got some chronic [marijuana]?" Smoking copious amounts of weed, in fact, is as much a part of Torture's daily operation as making beats that his production company is called Chunk 'O Bliss. "Rarely have I seen Torch sober," says Skiz, "I think he spends so much time in the zone that he really lives in his own world. That's why his sound is so unique."

In 1996, Skiz collaborated with Torture on his first release for WordSound, a ground-breaking album called Loaded With Power, which the College Music Journal hailed as "one of the most bold and experimental releases of the last few years." Most of that album was recorded on a battered 8-track cassette mixer that Afrika had given him, with vocals recorded through a pair of old headphones. Right before the record went to press, Torture changed his name to Sensational. "I was kind of bummed out that he changed his name," says Skiz, "because Torture seemed to fit his vibe so well, but far be it for me to argue with a true artist. As far as music is concerned, he knows exactly what he's doing."

With a new name and a renewed quest to further push the envelope as a solo artist, Sensational recorded another album for WordSound in 1997, Corner The Market, before going on tour in Europe the following summer. Here he both amazed and puzzled audiences with a totally unpredictable live show which found him deejaying for himself, bringing audience members on stage to smoke with him, and winning even more fans with his down-to-earth charm and charisma. Anyone who has seen a Sensational performance will not soon forget the experience.

In 1999, Sensational recorded his third album for WordSound, this time using some of the royalties from his last album to purchase a digital multi-track, drum machine and a real microphone. Despite this upgrade, Heavyweighter sounds as dusted as his first two releases with the exception that Sensational's vocals are more intelligible in the mix. Songs from this last album feature prominently in Crooked, which follows Sensational's evolution as an artist.

"In the script, the character of Sensational is true to life," says Skiz, "but knowing him as well as I do, I had my concerns about him being able to pull off the job and all the demands involved. But Torch really surprised me with his commitment, attentiveness, and showing up on time for stuff. He's a natural performer." Despite all the chaos in Sensational's personal life--not having a place to live, always having to hustle for money (all of which is depicted in the film as well)--Sensational was able to complete the 25 day shoot like a true professional, and contribute new music to the soundtrack. Crooked is as much about his real-life personal struggle and his music as it is about the corruption in the music industry.