Crooked Stilo is a hip-hop duo formed by brothers Victor and Johnny Lopez.
The duo spent their early years in El Salvador, a Central American nation that was torn apart by civil war. In their youth, they immigrated with their parents to the United States in search of a new beginning and a better future. They settled in a housing project in East Los Angeles, a new environment that came with its own unique challenges.
In East Los Angeles, the brothers faced difficulties of gang warfare, drugs, alcohol, and criminal elements. They focused on their music as a protection from the gangs and fights that occurred outside of their home. The confrontations between other young immigrants and the police turned into music and the stories of their lives became their lyrics.
The boys were ambitious and planned a future for themselves that would help them get out of their poor neighborhood. They wanted to become music stars, so the brothers began to toy with a musical style of their own. They quickly found that their musical interests differed; Victor had always preferred the music of his roots, with lyrics in Spanish while Johnny loved American rap music. Representing their new reality as Salvadorans living in Los Angeles, they developed a fusion of their two musical interests.
The brothers combined the Latin music that they heard from their parents with the new sounds they encountered in Los Angeles. They combined the sounds of Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Vico C, Gilberto Santa Rosa, NWA, Gangstarr, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, Mellow Man Ace, Biz Markie, Cypress Hill, A.L.T., Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, and Notorious BIG.
They christened their new style as "crooked" because "it consists of combining the old Spanish music and new hip hop music," stated Johnny. After defining their sound and style, the group began recording in 1993.
They initially recorded their work independently, and discovered an audience for their music, becoming popular in the urban regional music scene. Crooked Stilo has worked and performed with artists such as P. Diddy, Daddy Yankee ("Salud y Vida" from the 2004 multi-platinum album "Barrio Fino"), Don Chezina, Dyablo, and others.
The duo left Fonovisa/Univision and started their own record label, Mi Estilo Records. They have released 3 albums through the newly formed label: "Cumbia Urbana - The Album", "Los Titulares", and "Sin Fronteras".