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Mobb Deep: Getting Mobbed in Mumbai

By Shridevi Keshavan | November 4, 2006

Mobb DeepYou can catch them hurling their street life-fueled lyrics on “Creep” featuring 50 Cent, from their new album ‘Blood Money’ on television. Grabbing extensive airplay on music channels, Mobb Deep arrived in Mumbai as a part of Vh1′s Hip Hop Hustle. While they geared up for their gig, we caught up with the hustlers from 50 Cent‘s record label G-Unit for an exclusive interview.

After a long wait, Havoc arrived without his partner Prodigy who had fallen ill. Despite the rumours of Prodigy being unable to perform in the city, Havoc continued giving interviews to the eager press. His miniature built is more than compensated by his bodyguard, always in tow. With an imposing height of six-feet-eleven-inches, he boasts an expansive list of stars he guards, including rapper Eminem. While Havoc was engaged in his media interactions, his posse who followed him soon enough were busy checking out the girls in the room and enjoying all the attention.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Is it true that you and Prodigy formed Mobb Deep after a robbing incident?

It’s part of the real story. We were together in high school and I would always see Prodigy walking around in the hallways wearing a lot of jewellery. So I was kinda scheming against him, but since we had mutual friends I gave up the thought (laughs). Rapping was something common to both of us. We would be just sitting around banging on the tables and rapping and that’s how Mobb Deep was born.

What is ‘Blood Money’ all about? We hear elements of Bollywood music in your songs “Creep” and “Give it to me”. Are you a Bollywood junkie?

Yes, I’ve a used a little bit of Indian elements in a couple of tracks. I happened to hear a few Indian records and have tried to incorporate it in rap. With ‘Blood Money’ the intention is to make history. People should remember us for this album.

Tell us about your association with 50 Cent and getting signed on to G-Unit?

I was friends with 50 Cent before he became a star. Once he just called up and asked if we wanted to be a part of G-unit since I wasn’t signed on to any other label and I was absolutely thrilled. G-Unit is like family to me.

Rapping was something common to both of us. We would be just sitting around banging on the tables and rapping and that’s how Mobb Deep was born.

What’s the story behind you and 50 Cent getting a Mobb Deep tattoo?

We were touring last summer and 50 Cent came up to my room and said he’s gotta show me something. I was overwhelmed to see a Mobb Deep tattoo on his wrist. Subsequently Prodigy and I went and got G-Unit tattoos on our wrists.

What was the whole controversy about Mobb Deep and Tupac Shakur having a tussle before he passed away?

I don’t know how it all started and we never got to meet him. But when he tried to say bad things about us -– I don’t know for what reason, we gave it back. But that’s all past now and I really respect him as an artiste.

From the streets of Queen Bridge to hip-hopping across the globe, how has your life changed after attaining star status?

I had people shooting at me though I never actually got shot; it’s a very serious thing. Through my music I express my street life and try to take the harsh realities of life into a completely different level. Life for me has still not changed much though I’ve evolved a lot travelling to various countries and experiencing diverse cultures has taught me a lot about what human beings go through. Competition among hip-hop artistes is extreme — a prime reason for gang wars and when someone trashes you, you have to give it back (laughs).

What are your thoughts on the commercialisation of hip-hop and the whole bling culture?

When the reach of your music grows it’s bound to get commercialised. The packaging is taken into consideration and there are a lot of other things. It does erode the freshness of your music but it’s a given.

How is your rapport with your fans? Do you have a huge female fan following?

I’m flattered by the attention I get from my fans. They are very loyal; a lot of them show up for our gigs with Mobb Deep tattoos and that humbles me. It’s good to know that our music inspires people. As far as groupies go, I’ve had a lot of them (laughs).

Comments

4 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. November 20, 2006, 7:26 am Nirav Sheth

    Mobb Deep started out as a very conscious lyric hip hop duo in the early 90′s. Their first album “Juvenile Hell” was very representative of it, even though it sold only 40,000 copies. Also, songs like ‘Quiet Storm’ and ‘Shook Ones Pt.1 & 2′ had this beat and lyrical flow that Hip Hop fans maintain high respect for the group to this day.

    Its unfortunate to see that cash flow and pop culture has gotten them to sign with such an unconscious record label…..

  2. February 9, 2009, 5:45 am fernando

    Mobb Deep started out as a very conscious lyric hip hop duo in the early 90’s. Their first album “Juvenile Hell” was very representative of it, even though it sold only 40,000 copies. Also, songs like ‘Quiet Storm’ and ‘Shook Ones Pt.1 & 2′ had this beat and lyrical flow that Hip Hop fans maintain high respect for the group to this day.

    Its unfortunate to see that cash flow and pop culture has gotten them to sign with such an unconscious record label…..
    espero recivir canciones de moob deep

  3. September 10, 2009, 4:12 pm corey

    mobb deep are the sickest rappers

  4. October 14, 2009, 12:13 pm alex

    mobb deep,you mother@@@kers are da s@@t keep ya headz up. don worry bout da haterz,they hav shit to say,even bout mother teresa(r.i.p)

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