Mobb Deep
The infamous duo from Queens is back with a new label and a new album. “Blood Money” already debuted with dynamic reviews. Now signed to G-Unit, check out what these two emcees who have already brought us catalogs of hits have to tell WHO?MAG.
Interview by William Hernandez

WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the new album.
HAVOC:: Yeah! Blood Money; the album is fire! Our whole mindset while making this album was basically to put that good music out there; supply our fans with more music from Mobb Deep. They deserve it and Blood Money is a title that P came up with, because of all this money that we make. All this hard earned money is blood money.
PRODIGY:: The new album is incredible son. We’re bringing a lot of new stuff to the table. The album is real controversial. It’s got a lot of good music on there, hot beats, the lyrics is crazy! We just got Mobb Deep and G Unit working together so that alone is incredible.

WHO?MAG: It’s not any negative connotation to it like drug money, criminal money?
HAVOC:: (laughs) Nah it’s simple like this man: we work hard for this money. A lot of people died trying to get that money. Whether it was selling drugs or working their ass off to the point that they’re stressed out.
PRODIGY:: The meaning behind Blood Money is we are just putting the message out there through our music. That all money is blood money no matter how you make it. Even if you make it legally. I don’t give a fuck if you a nun and you got the collection plate in the church. The number one reason why it’s blood money is because the banking system is evil and the whole money system period is built off of evil shit. This whole world, when you really analyze things, this whole world is fucked up. It’s run by a bunch of demons. That’s what blood money means.

WHO?MAG: How did you guys get with 50 Cent and G Unit?
HAVOC:: We had a deal with Jive records. It didn’t work out right, so we got released from the label. I guess 50 must have caught wind of it and he gave me a call on my cell phone out of nowhere. A week later after we got released from our old label and expressed feelings that he wanted to do our next project, we meet up with him and had a meeting. Everything clicked. Next thing you know we were signed to G Unit and on tour.

WHO?MAG: I read he gave you guys some sports cars to entice the deal?
HAVOC:: He bought us two Porsches when he first signed us to G Unit before we even signed. Non-recoupable. A straight gift. You know what I’m saying? (laughs)

WHO?MAG: Besides yourself handling production on the album. Who else is working on it?
HAVOC:: We got Alchemist, Sha Money XL, JR, of course myself. It’s a pretty real tight album.

WHO?MAG: Who do have guest appearance wise on this album?
HAVOC:: As far as guest appearances on the album, we kept it G Unit family. 50 of course, Yayo, Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and we have a special feature with Mary J. Blige. That track is hot.

WHO?MAG: Of all the Mobb Deep albums, which is your favorite and why?
HAVOC:: I would have to go with the Infamous album because that really brought us to the forefront and solidified our position in hip-hop. We had an album out before that one that no one really knew about. Our backs were against the wall and we made Infamous and here we are today.

WHO?MAG: Production wise, what equipment do you use?
HAVOC:: As far as equipment, I use the standard equipment: Phantom 4000, Innovation base station stuff like that. I still use the MPC. I got the 4000 now. I switched it up.

WHO?MAG: I read an interview with Prodigy a couple of years ago and he mentioned you were working on a solo project. What’s the status of that?
HAVOC:: Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I’ve been trying to work on a solo project for a minute. How I was going to do it? I wasn’t always sure, but I always had to be doing the Mobb Deep albums. They always came first. I’m definitely trying to put a Havoc solo album out there soon.

WHO?MAG: How did you guys hook up with Rakim for the song you did together on the Hoodlum soundtrack back in 1997?
HAVOC:: I guess somebody that was handling that project. I guess they had connections with Rakim and it just happened. It was crazy because we look up to him. It was an honor with him for sure.

WHO?MAG: How was it working with Dr. Dre in the studio?
PRODIGY:: It was good to work with somebody like Dre. He’s a veteran. Just to watch him work and be in the same room with him. It feels good to know that we’re working together now. Basically it was us just watch him do his thing. It makes us go hard.

WHO?MAG: Going to the past for a minute. How did you guys get your deal with Loud records back in the days?
PRODIGY:: We hooked up with Loud when they were just starting building the company. They had a little corner office in Manhattan. There was this dude Matty C who used to work for The Source magazine for the Unsigned Hype column. He was the one who actually heard our music and put us in the Unsigned Hype for The Source. Once we did that, we built a relationship with him going up there and talking to him all the time. He was the one who told us about Loud. And how they had just hired him as an A&R. He wanted to sign us to Loud.

WHO?MAG: I read when Murda Musik came out it got bootlegged and you guys couldn’t get an Al Green sample cleared. Can you talk about that?
PRODIGY:: When Murda Musik came out it got bootlegged too much before the album dropped. So what we did was we went in there and did 3 or 4 extra songs. We always got some songs we can’t clear because of samples or something. On that album there was a song called “Three from the NYC” that we couldn’t clear so we put it on the mixtapes.

WHO?MAG: Speaking of that album. How did you guys hook up with Kool G. Rap for the song “The Realest”?
PRODIGY:: Basically we were hanging out in the club one night and we saw Kool G. Rap in the club. We were kicking it with him. We were like “Yo! man let’s do a song together.” So we just did it.

WHO?MAG: How do you feel about bootlegging and MP3’s?
PRODIGY:: I mean it’s cool because a lot of people can’t afford the album or they’re bootlegging it because they’re too lazy to go buy the album or maybe because they just don’t want to spend money on the album. It’s all good because if they’re downloading our album that means they like us. By them downloading the album, their friends are going to hear it and their people around them are going to hear it and them playing it. That’s just bringing more fans to us. At the end of the day, they’re going to have to buy something that we do because you can’t bootleg everything. Not only that, the bootleg versions the sound quality is not good. You’re not getting the official sound quality. You got 50% of the real sound quality. That’ll make people go by the album regardless if they bootlegged it or not so just they can have the real version crystal clear. You know what I’m saying? With the artwork and everything.

WHO?MAG: Any last words?
PRODIGY:: Go get that Blood Money album. It’s crazy we changing the game right now. We got Mobb Deep bringing new shit to the table. That’s about it.