Another new beginning...
posted: 12-26-05
interview : adrian schraeder
 
 
 
 
 
After years of dealing with label problems and being heavy in the streets but weak in sales, Mobb Deep, the infamous duo from Queensbridge, is back in full effect. Urban Smarts talked to the new members of the G-Unit crew this autumn during their short stay in Zurich.
Let's start directly with the question that's on top of everybody's head: Why did Jive drop you?
Prodigy: Basically, Jive is used to acts like R.Kelly, Britney Spears, N'Sync, Justin Timberlake. They're used to the big R'n'B acts selling top, top records and they not used to a group like Mobb Deep that's heavy on the street. They're not used to having a street promotion team. In fact, there is no street promotion team. It doesn't even exist, nahmean? And they ain't wanna give us the budget to do it. So it ain't really worked. We only sold like 400 [thousand], close to gold. That wasn't up to their expectations, so they dropped us, naahmean? So when they dropped us, Fif' heard about it and he gave Hav' a call. And what he offered us, was bigger than a record deal. We in business together to do everything: Clothes, sneakers, books, movies - everything. So it made sense and we was like: let's do it. We workin' on a Mobb Deep book right now, which will turn to a feature film later on. But the first thing you gonna see out of us is gonna be the new album "Blood Money" and it be out in February. And then you'll see everything else just take place.
But you don't have your own label imprint on G-Unit?
Prodigy: Naaah, we signed to G-Unit Records, nahmean? It's not like our own label. We don't need our own label no more. It's bigger than that, you know I sayin'? It's so much money to be made and it's so much to do. We don't have time to run our own label. All we got time for is to go on tour, work on the music and work on whatever else businesses that we gonn' do to make money.
Even with all these label problems, Mobb Deep never really disappeared, like so many other hip hop artists. Why?
Prodigy: Labels never made Mobb Deep, Mobb Deep made the labels. We was always poppin'. Even if we ain't had a record deal, we'd still work on music. We never stopped. The music always comes first to us.
Your album "The Infamous" is a classic. What happened since then, in terms of success? Tell me, from your point of view, why did an album like "Infamy" didn't have that much success?
Havoc: You know I mean, first of all, that was when Loud was going down. The record label folded a couple of months after the record came out. They went out of business. If you listen to the album, it's good, if not better than all of our albums. To me, "Infamy" is one of my favourite albums. So to ask, why that album wasn't that successful is a good question. And the answer to that question is 'cause the record company was going down. So they tried to bring us down with them, you know what I mean? But we didn't go down with them, just that album went down with them. Not Mobb Deep.
Prodigy: Loud was at their height of success when "The Infamous" came out. They just started. They had successful Wu-Tang, and then when we brought a whole new sound to rap music, nahmean? So they was going hard. But as time went on, they started changin' their distributors, started changin' their deals, they started changin' their priorities too. The artists on the label weren't important anymore. The only important thing was for them to sell the label and make money. That's all they cared about.
50 Cent not only signed you, he recently signed M.O.P. and Mase too. Are you worried of not being priority over at G-Unit?
Prodigy: Naah, naah, we not worried, 'cause Mobb Deep, we our own energy, you know I'm sayin'? It's not like we not all of a part of a big group. Mobb Deep is Mobb Deep, M.O.P. is M.O.P., Mase is Mase, Yayo is Yayo, everybody's individual. Everybody's gonna get taking care of one at a time. It's not like we're doing everything at once. There's an order of how things is going down. The albums gonna come out in a certain order, so the priority is in a certain order. And basically, we self contained. We be doing albums for years. That's why Fitty wanted to do the deal with us, 'cause he was like: "Ya easy."
How close are you two working together?
Prodigy: We're together everyday, you knowimsayin'? Everyday we're in the studio just workin'. We used to have a crib all together with a studio in the basement. As soon as we woke up, we went downstairs and started doing music. Now we bought our own studio outside of the crib. So we just meet up there and work on some music.
You talked about your next album "Blood Money". How far are you with the album?
Havoc: The album was almost finished before we even signed to G-Unit, you know what I mean? We was already doin' songs with Fifty. Once the thought was in the air, that we was going to sign with G-Unit, we just started doing songs together. Us, Fifty, Banks, Yayo, Young Buck, whoever. I'll still be rockin' most of the beats, but on the album you gonna hear stuff from other producers as well. I don't really care who those guys are and how they work. As long it's a bangin' track, we gonna spit over it.
Is "Out Of Control" already like a teaser for the album?
Havoc: Naah. That's actually a remix to a song of the "Massacre"-album. He sent that to us, produced by Dr.Dre. We did it, sent it back to Fifty, and two weeks later we were shooting the video to this.
It really sounds like a typical Mobb Deep track to me.
Havoc: That's what I'm sayin', we not changin'. We're going with the formula, you know I'm sayin'? When people work with Mobb Deep, they really become us. They follow our format. That's what we're here for, to be us, you know what I'm sayin'?
 
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