Mobb Deep literally went through an infamous beef last year when the two briefly disbanded in a very public spat. But, not even a few Twitter jabs would keep the Queensbridge rap duo from celebrating a 20-year run in the game. Reconciled and reunited, Prodigy and Havoc are now preparing to commemorate two decades in hip-hop with a 17-city 20th Anniversary Tour. VIBE talked with Havoc about Mobb Deep’s long journey and what the two have in store as they return to the stage.
VIBE: Nowadays, you can’t talk about Mobb Deep without referring to last year’s beef. It’s been talked about and reported on, but is there anything that was said that may have gotten misconstrued?
Havoc: I mean, a couple of unfortunate events happened. Me and P had a falling out. Later on I went on a Twitter rant like most artists do, and then retracted my statements like most of us do. So I bare the full brunt of that; I’m not gonna back off of that now. But, I would just say that me and him are in a real cool space right now.
Did you guys just need to handle things amongst yourselves to get to where you are now?
Definitely. It wasn’t a technical handling of things, all it was, was time. Time healed the situation. My peoples speak to his peoples, we have the same peoples, and they were all like “Come on now, it’s time to get this show on the road. Stop bullshitting.”
What part did the music play? Did being Mobb Deep help you guys fix things faster because there were disappointed fans?
I know it definitely pushed me. I can’t speak on P’s behalf but I’m pretty sure he feels the same way if I know him like I do. To see fans upset after all these years of building up our status of where we are right now, was really kind of fucked up. In due time we had to get it back together. It was never something that was going to be permanent.
Moving into now, how does having a 20th anniversary feel?
[Laughs] It just seems like a lifetime ago, it’s crazy. It seems so long ago, but yet it happened so fast. Because one day, I was shooting my first video, and now I’m here talking to you 20 years later. It’s just fucking weird.
So it doesn’t feel like 20 years?
I mean it feels like I’ve been doing this for a long time, it really does. ‘Cause I’ve been doing this since I was like 14 or 15, professionally. Now, the next thing I know it’s 20 years later and I’m like “Damn, where did all the years go?” It’s definitely a eye-opener. I feel blessed. I would tell anybody just to appreciate every day. Live it like it’s not gonna be another one because time flies fast.
Looking back, what was one of your fondest Mobb Deep memories?
One of my best Mobb Deep memories was kind of early on when we came out with the ‘Infamous’ album. I remember Loud had set up a dinner for us. We didn’t know what it was, we just thought everybody was going to the dinner, we was just chilling. And towards the middle of the dinner, they presented us with a gold plaque. I can’t even describe the feeling ’til this day. To go gold at that time was like almost like a miracle for us because we just came from nowhere, off the heels of an album that didn’t sell no records.
Did it even feel real?
Nah, I felt like I was on top of the world. Like “Wow.” Little did I know that I had a long road to go before I really was on top of the world.
So you guys are about to celebrate this 20-year anniversary with a 17-city tour. How did you get back in shape for a tour?
I mean, you just gotta get on that treadmill and start putting down that bread. Gotta start eating salads, carrots and greens, start juicing [laughs]. So we in the gym right now. It’s gonna happen; I’ll be running across that stage like I’m 20.
What does a 2013 Mobb Deep tour look like? Are you guys sticking to the basics with just a DJ, or will you get technical with it at all?
I think we might mix it up a little bit with a band in some spots, but for most part, or attack is back-to-back hits non-stop. It’s crazy, like the music don’t stop, it just keeps going, keeps going, keeps going until we have to catch our breath and be like “Okay, iight here we go. Y’all ready for the next batch of hits?” [Laughs] It’s gonna be a dope show.
You guys said that you would be performing some tracks that have never been performed on-stage before. Can you give us a few of the tracks that the fans can look forward to?
Okay, I could say “Illustrious,” “Stole Something,” it’s a couple of them. When P first came up with the idea I was kind of mad at him ’cause I was like “Fuck, I gotta remember these lyrics now.” Nah, but I’m happy about it. It made me step my game up, so I’m happy to be doing it.
Is there any chance it will be documented for TV or DVD?
Oh, that’s without question. We’re gonna document the whole thing, package it, and put it out there for the fans so they can share that moment with us for the 20-year anniversary.
Dope. And do you guys plan on any guest appearances for the tour?
Nothing has been planned as far as cameos is concerned because a lot of people got different conflicting schedules. But, I’m pretty sure in certain cities, we’ll have some of our peoples come out that we’re cool with.
Is there new Mobb Deep music on the way?
I can’t tell you that right now; if I tell ya, I’ll have to kill ya [laughs]. But that’s a little clue right there. Things are looking good.