Considering the recent release of Havoc’s 13 album and the positive feedback that it is generating, AllHipHop.com thought it was an appropriate time to acknowledge Havoc’s board work with other artists beyond what he is most frequently associated with, Mobb Deep. And while one of the items on this list does feature the duo, they were merely guests on a song for a rap icon.
Havoc might not be a household name, but that doesn’t negate the fact that he makes beats that are on par with, or even better than, material from producers who are.
Here is AllHipHop.com’s list of Havoc’s 10 Best Non-Mobb Deep Productions.
10). “The Future” by Diddy: “The Future” doesn’t sound like a beat its producer would typically make. It’s unrelenting and makes for a very unusual almost techno/pop vibe. Diddy’s delivery of the words from Pharoahe Monch’s pen is unique on this song too. It pushes both people out of their comfort zone, and yet works well with the experimental sounds of Diddy’s Press Play.
9). “Shoot ‘Em Up” by Nas: For the most part Nastradamus was a bust, but there’s still definitely something to be said for Havoc’s ability to take “Carol of the Bells” and make a beat out of it with Nas delivering the vivid and violent lyrics atop of it that he does here.
8). “Don’t Need Your Love” by The Game: Havoc can definitely make moody beats, and he gave the Dr. Dre protege one for “Don’t Need Your Love” and The Game takes full advantage. From rapping about being left in a foster home to getting passed over for a record deal, a lot of ground is covered. It’s a good emotional song on a gangsta rap album and that is a rarity.
7). “Untitled” by Eminem: Recovery was a helluva comeback album for Eminem. But after 16 tracks filled with mostly mature and deep writing, Em ended by just rhyming for the sport of it. Eminem seemingly took a cue from his B Rabbit character and closed out the show spitting over a Havoc instrumental. Clearly, it worked out really well for both of them.
6). “Welcome 2 Hell” by Bad Meets Evil: Considering how powerful Recovery ended, why not start the next project the same way and add another Detroit rapper with outstanding lyrical abilities and flows for days? The back-and-forth between Eminem and Royce Da 5’9” is masterfully executed here over Havoc’s beat. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just make it better.
5). “Beef” by The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Mobb Deep: One of the few redeeming qualities of Biggie’s Duets: The Final Chapter album is Havoc’s take on the King of New York’s “What’s Beef?” Unlike many of the then-contemporary artists who never actually worked with Big that appear on Duets, it is very easy to tell that Havoc did. The beat sounds like something Biggie would of rapped on (without sounding dated) and Havoc and Prodigy rhyme with that same tough East Coast vibe of the mid-90s era rap scene.
4). “The Promise” by Foxy Brown feat. Havoc: They both had to deliver. Havoc needed to prove he could stand on his own two without Prodigy and Foxy needed to separate herself from Lil Kim comparisons. Given the content and quality of the song, it’s safe to say that they both succeeded.
3). “Usual Suspect” by Big Noyd: Over a gritty snapping track that almost guarantees listeners will be head-bobbing, Mobb Deep-affiliate Big Noyd goes in on this beat with solid rhymes and delivery. And even though Noyd never quite blew up in his own right, this 1996 song proves that The Infamous duo had a knack for spotting talent in addition to crafting beats and rhymes of their own.
2). “Why” by Jadakiss feat. Anthony Hamilton: Havoc’s use of xylophones on this song mesh perfectly with Anthony Hamilton’s soulful delivery and Kiss’ introspective rap. The song was such a hit that it even spawned a remix (not produced by Havoc) which had Common asking, “Why is Bush actin like he trying to get Osama?/Why don’t we impeach him and elect Obama?” And this was in 2004!
1). “Last Day” by The Notorious B.I.G. feat. The Lox: The amazing thing about this record is that the original beat for “Last Day” got lost. Therefore, Havoc made this track on the spot with Puff watching over his shoulder. After Mr. Combs gave it the thumbs up, Biggie approved too. The resulting song is a Hip-Hop classic with some of New York’s finest behind the boards and on the mic.
Do you agree? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in the comments section!