Mobb Deep - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman
TMobb Deep is finally getting the recognition they deserve. With "Got It Twisted" getting heavy airplay on stations like MTV, the Mobb may very well be on the verge of their biggest album to date, "Amerikaz Nightmare". In the interview below, Havoc & Prodigy discuss their new album, as well as a variety of other issues, including derogatory comments made by Saigon and Cormega. The interview was conducted on July 26th, 2004, by DJ L.K. (Low-Key).
MVRemix: Let's start off by talking about the album, Amerikaz Nightmare, dropping August 10th. I see the album was pushed up from the end of August, so were you guys really pressing Jive to push the release date up? Because a lot of people were wondering why the album kept getting delayed for months.
Prodigy: Nah, we wasn't really pushing for anything. Actually to tell you the truth, we were just concentrating on getting the video straight and making sure they pick the right single.
MVRemix: Are you kind of surprised how well "Got It Twisted" is doing on stations like MTV, considering they don't usually play grimy ass songs like that?
Prodigy: Well, I figured that MTV would accept it because that hit came from MTV. That original beat, that Thomas Dolby. MTV really made that shit popular. Its only right that they accept it. They gotta accept it, like god damn, Mobb Deep flipped this shit like that. They can't hate on us.
MVRemix: What is going to be the second single off of the album?
Prodigy: This song called "Real Gangstas" featuring Lil Jon.
MVRemix: For the video, is it going to be a continuation from "Got It Twisted"?
Prodigy: Yeah, exactly.
MVRemix: What is the concept for video going to be?
Prodigy: Basically, we spending all that money, having a good time. That's what the whole concept of the video is about. Us having a good time, blowing free money.
MVRemix: Speaking of the Lil Jon track, did Jive kind of push you to do that track or was it something you guys wanted to do?
Prodigy: Nah, this is something we put together. We reached out to Lil Jon, and he was like "Hell yeah, I wanna do something with you". So we did it.
MVRemix: What about the track with Nelly, cause I know a lot of diehard Mobb fans were a little disappointed when they thought he was gonna be on the album?
Prodigy: Yeah, I don’t know why they would be disappointed, Nelly is hot. He got some hot joints out there. And we wouldn’t' do no bullshit songs, know what I mean? Shit that we did with him was hot! Nobody hear it yet though, so nobody would even know how to feel about it until they heard it. Basically, I was in the studio and I bumped into Nelly. So I was playing him some joints and he was like "yo, Mobb Deep is one of my favorite groups", so he wanted to do a joint with us. So we just did a song. We did something for him on his album and he did something for us. Basically, it was just street love. Love for each others music and respect for each others shit. That was a choice that we made, we reached out to dirty and made that happen.
MVRemix: Where is that track gonna end up?
Prodigy: One of the songs is on Nelly's album coming out soon. So you will hear that first.
Havoc: And it has Ashanti on it too.
MVRemix: What happened to that track you did with R.Kelly. That song is crazy, I think that could have been a big hit for you guys.
Prodigy: The R.Kelly joint, it never came out. You probably heard something else.
MVRemix: Yeah, I heard that on the Clue.
Prodigy: Yeah, that was a song we just looped up from R.Kelly's album and put some verses on it. But we got a different song with R.Kelly, but It just didn't make the cut. That shit came out gangsta and everything, but we just ain't put it on the album because everything don't make it all the time.
MVRemix: Havoc, a lot of people were surprised when they found out you produced Jadakiss' "Why". That beat is really different than what people have come to expect, so how did that go down? Did you reach out to Kiss like "Yo, I got something different for you", or did Kiss come to you?
Havoc: That is something I came to him with. I got a lot of tracks like that, but they just never get out. When it comes to producing, my skills are various, I just don’t make dark tracks all the time. I got a lot of tracks like that, and you gonna hear them out there in the future definitely.
MVRemix: Havoc, you also did a track on Bank's album, so who else have you been working with lately?
Havoc: Yeah, I'm working on a couple of tracks right now for a couple of other big artists. But I'm not going to name them yet, until everything really goes through. Cause you know how the game is, anything can fall through at any time. And I don’t want to be looking stupid, you know what I'm saying, being like "yo, I thought you was on the album". But there is definitely a couple of tracks lined up.
MVRemix: In the most recent Murda Dog magazine, Saigon did an interview and he said some things about you that go something like this, "I used to idolize Mobb Deep growing up as a kid, but then I met them, and they were pussies". So what is your reaction to that?
Havoc: Ay yo, check this out. We don't even acknowledge people that wanna talk like that. He don't know us and when you hear people talking like that, they are just looking for attention. You feel what I'm saying? So the bottom line is, we don't acknowledge that. We don't do it through interviews, we acknowledge it on the streets.
MVRemix: So no diss records or anything like that?
Prodigy: Hell no!
Havoc: We don't go back at nobody.
MVRemix: Not to keep on the beef tip, but there is also this situation with Cormega I wanna speak about. Basically, on his website he wrote some things about you P. He said that there is no beef between y'all but he did say this. "I didn't diss Prodigy, but I did tell him to watch his mouth cause he be saying slick shit in his rhymes about people, and me and my people was under the impression that he was talking about my friend Sherm". Then he went onto say other stuff and basically said "Havoc is cool, so don’t' think I got beef with Mobb Deep cause I don't, P should just keep his mouth under control". So P, what is your reaction to that?
MVRemix: Do you want to know what else he said?
Prodigy: Nah, my thoughts is, aight.
MVRemix: What happened between you and Bars & Hooks? Why the fallout?
Prodigy: They just went their separate ways. They wanted to do their own thing.
MVRemix: Why did they want to leave? Was their any conflict between you guys?
Prodigy: Nah, they just thought things their way and wanted to do different things.
MVRemix: Havoc, I know you stated in songs that you had a little problem with drinking. So how are you doing with that?
Havoc: I mean, everything is under control. That was four years ago, and I'm good now.
MVRemix: Are you still drinking a little, or are you completely done?
Havoc: Nah, I'm completely dry.
MVRemix: P, what about you? Have you quit drinking and smoking, or is it still something you
Prodigy: Yeah, that's still something I'm doing.
MVRemix: Has that had a big effect on you and your battle with sickle cell?
MVRemix: You guys are always portrayed as real serious, or dark. But what brings a smile to your face?
Prodigy: Good music from Mobb Deep. (laughter)
Havoc: When people acknowledge that we got that good music. When the fans come up to me and be like "yo, you niggas got that shit". That always makes me feel good and makes me smile.
MVRemix: People are always interested in hearing how the artists themselves rank their albums. So on a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rank your albums? Starting with Juvenile Hell.
Prodigy: I would say a 3.
MVRemix: What about The Infamous?
MVRemix: Hell On Earth?
Prodigy: 5. Yeah, everything after that is beyond a 5. 5 is too low.
MVRemix: How would you compare Amerikas Nightmare to your other albums then?
Prodigy: It's definitely up there, right up there with the hottest joints.
MVRemix: I ask this question to every QB artist I interview. So why does Queens Bridge have no unity?
Havoc: Cause Q.B. is like a whole borough in itself. Each block is like a whole borough. And everybody holds down their own block. So its pretty much like that.
MVRemix: Do you ever think everyone from Q.B. will reunite again?
Havoc: No doubt, hopefully in the future ya know.
MVRemix: If you could fight one celebrity who would it be?
Havoc: One celebrity? Hmmm, yo P who would you fight?
Prodigy: I would whoop Bill Gates ass! I'll beat some money out that niggas ass!
MVRemix: Are you guys going to be voting in this November's Presidential Election?
Havoc: Still gotta register.
MVRemix: What do you think about the current state of our country?
Prodigy: Shit is real fucked up over here!
MVRemix: Did you see Fahrenheit 9/11?
Prodigy: We seen all them shits.
MVRemix: What did you think about it?
Prodigy: It's just scratching the surface.
MVRemix: What's next for Mobb Deep and Infamous Records?
Prodigy: Just getting this Mobb Deep album out, that’s what we are basically concentrating on. We not even thinking about our next step, until we take this first giant step with this album.
MVRemix: What about Big Noyd and Littles? Are they gonna be dropping albums on Infamous Records?
Prodigy: Yeah, we got a whole roster full. But we ain't even gonna be telling people who's next or what's next, or how its going to be, until after this shit comes out and we solidify everything.
MVRemix: You guys going to be appearing on any up and coming albums?
Prodigy: You will probably hear us on a few soundtracks for a few movies. As far as anybody's albums, na we ain't do anything like that yet. The only thing is our team, like The Alchemist. He got an album coming out in September that we on.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Prodigy: Amerika's Nightmare, that’s what its about. Infamous Records!