Since signing with G-Unit Records in June 2005 M.O.P. has been seated comfortably in the biggest crew in Hip-Hop, and also relatively unheard. While Billy Danze, Lil Fame, and producer/manager Laze E have released street albums like 2006s Ghetto Warfare, the Brownsville, Brooklyn veterans have not come close to that Ante Up / Cold As Is status that they achieved in 2000. Perhaps, in additional to waiting their turn on the G-Unit and Roc rosters, its the ever-changing climate of Hip-Hop and the radio DJs who spin it.
Over half a dozen plates of shrimp at Manhattans Da Vinci Hotel Restaurant, Billy and Laze tackle the criticism head on, just as youd expect from the Mash Out Posse. The group reminds readers that theyve never wavered from the blueprint, and never will. The militant MCs also emphasize that since G-Unit has become the target of some industry hate, theyve never felt more belonging in the coalition. Just as their classic adlibs say, Mount up! M.O.P. is in the building, and if youve got a clever title for their next album, you can join the original back street boys.
AllHipHop.com: Realistically, will the album come out this year?
Billy Danze: Yeah, definitely. Thats the truth.
AllHipHop.com: Can you really promise to your fans an album in 2007, honestly?
Billy Danze: Ill tell you what, [in] 2007, if you dont get an M.O.P. album, you will get a gang of M.O.P. records. Like, I will give you an M.O.P. record, I dont care about makin money. I just wanna make sure that I give yall what you want; I give you guys what you want. I dont care what the situation is. Like theres a dude, I dont know this dudes name, Ive been seeing this dude for about 10, 11 years at every M.O.P. show on the East Coast. I cant let that dude down; I love that dude.
AllHipHop.com: Is there a tentative date?
Billy Danze: Not as of right now because were still getting situated with the beginning of the assault first, and then well let the public decide when it should come out.
AllHipHop.com: I know a lot of people questioned the move to G-Unit. Are you concerned with people saying sell out?
Billy Danze: How you be a sellout? I mean, Im not on its the same like when I went to Roc-A-Fella; I got the same s**t. But like, I didnt go to Roc-A-Fella to make records like Jay. I didnt go to G-Unit to make records like 50 or [Lloyd] Banks or [Young] Buck or none of em. We always do traditional M.O.P. music. Like Im sure a lot of people, they are wondering, Is it different? Are they gonna change their style or anything like that? Well never change. The thing about MOP is we made music from the heart cause nobody else was doin it. And nobody still aint doin it! They cant do it the way we do it. This is what we provide to the industry, to the listeners and were always gonna do the same. Were always going to do the same thing. It dont matter where we at. We could be at Turk and Cheese Records. Its still the same s**t; its still M.O.P.
AllHipHop.com: I just think Mobb Deep lost credibility. Many of their long-time fans were scratching their heads.
Billy Danze: We aint Mobb Deep. And I dont think that happened with Mobb Deep. Mobb Deep always made music like that.
Laze: Hold on, let me tell you something: Mobb Deep is one of the most legendary groups that ever touched the microphone in Hip-Hop. The discussion about Mobb Deep, you know, the dudes Prodigy, Havoc, those are two talented dudes remember these cats were makin records in 91. You know what Im sayin? Peer Pressure was on 4th & Broadway in 91, dog. So, like aint nobody can tell me anything about Mobb Deep.
AllHipHop.com: I see what youre saying, but they lost a critical portion of their fanbase with not only the album, but with their behavior.
Billy Danze: How loyal are you, if you got a problem with me putting myself in a winning position? You my man or not? You riding with me or not? Im trying to win; Im trying to take care of these kids. You got a f**kin problem with that? F**k you. Theres no way you can tell me that you got a problem with me going over here getting some money on this money train. You want me to let this money train pass? You mad at me cause I didnt let the money train pass?
Laze: Thats the motherf**ckin money train. Thirty million records in three years. [Laughs]
Billy Danze: Cause I didnt let this money train pass? You mad at me? Im still giving you what I gave you. Im not bulls**ttin you, side stepping, Im not doin what you dont expect me to do or what you got in your head sayin like, I know when this album come out, its gonna be like 50 Cent all over the record. I did two songs, no like one, maybe two songs with 50 on this album.
Laze: I think only one is gonna make the album.
Billy Danze: We recorded like damn near 80 songs. 50s a dope dude, so f**k, yeah Id like do a record with him. Half the rappers, thats in the street thats influenced by M.O.P., would like to do a f**kin record with him too. You not gonna bulls**t me. A spade is a f**kin spade and this is a nice money train and Im on f**king board. Now, yall can kiss my ass on both sides. So f**k it.
AllHipHop.com: I have to ask this: is Hip-Hop dead?
Laze: Hell no.
Billy Danze: No, Hip-Hop cant die.
Laze: You talking to n***as that went all around the world, n***as that been to Eastern Europe, n***as that been all over the planet. Hip-Hop is alive and kicking. What yall feed us in America, the propaganda that is fed in America, you do let a little bulls**t through the cracks because Hip-Hop has turned into what Disco was in the early 80s. Hip-Hop, itself, is not dead because the essence of Hip Hop you talking to, Im gonna date myself, to a n***a that knows what it is Hip-Hop is turning something and making something new out of it.
Billy Danze: For those not on the block, youve been absent. In the new landscape of rap which includes cocaine rap and snap music, do you think MOP is still relevant?
Billy Danze: Well, see this is the thing about anything in life. Like black and white; you need the wrong shit, so you know whats right; you need whats dope, so you know whats wack; you need whats wack, so you know whats dope. So, were always going to be relevant. You know what I mean? MOP We got hard-core like die hard fans. So, theyre always going to be there and they always need to be supplied with what we got for them. Relevant? Yeah, of course.
Laze: I think the difference with MOP is that MOP makes shit that nobody else can make. You cant make MOP. Like a Motherf***** cant fake an MOP record. Motherf**** will look at the MOP record and be like motherf***** fakin it, you tryin to be like MOP, stop that sh*t you sound corny.
Billy Danze: Its not working [Laughs]
Laze: We the only motherf*ckers thats making this kind of crack in this store. MOP shit is our own crack. We make our own specific tailor-made crack. We will whip your ass in a special kind of way. It will Youre a** will be whooped tailor-made a** whooping .You aint gonna get a general ass-whooping, you will get a specific-ass whooping from MOP.
AllHipHop.com: What about New York Hip-Hop?
Laze: Them n***as lost. [Laughs]
Billy Danze: Nah, let me tell you something, New York City is dope. Please make a f**kin note of that one. I hate to say it and Laze gon try cover my mouth when I say this, but these gay-ass motherf**kin radio n***as, like thats what it is because whatever you fed is what you think is dope. If you dont hear a Smif-N-Wessun, if you dont hear Mobb Deep, if you dont hear Pharaohe Monch, then you believe that whatever you hear is dope. You have no options, you have nothing to you know what Im saying? This is New York. I got homies from Down South, from Texas that come to visit me, artists that I work with and they like, Damn yo, [we] havent left home. Dog, we hear everything that we hear on radio. So whats happening is they pushing [us] out, they not giving artists from New York a chance. Theres dope dudes in New York. We invent s**t, you know what I mean? And reinvent s**t, and reinvent some s**t. So, you cant tell me New York Hip-Hop is dead. Its just them gay-ass n***as on the radio.
Laze: I think the creative process of Hip-Hop is corrupted in New York. You cant make dope Hip-Hop
Billy Danze: And them n***as gay. They gay. Sensitive-ass, gay-ass, delicate-ass n***as.
Laze: Heres your sponsor here. [Laughs]The sponsor here is editing what Billy is saying. Sponsor ignore Billy. [Laughs]
Billy Danze: Let me tell you, what they do is they dont play their record on the radio but you can pull up on them at the light and they be bangin your s**t. Thatll cause me to go to the trunk to get the golf club and smooth them the f**k out. You know what I mean?
Laze: Translation [Laughs]
Billy Danze: Translation: Kiss my ass on both sides [Laughs]. I dont knock em for what they do because thats their job. We did an interview, before, with Miss Jones. And Miss Jones she was like, well we didnt get into an argument. But, I wasnt seeing what she was saying and she wasnt seeing what I was sayin.
Laze: Miss Jones! Whew! Miss Jones. Ill smooth her right out. [Laughs]
Billy Danze: Thats why I couldnt argue with her real hard. [Laughs] If you feed these kids one thing, thats all they know. I got a 12 year-old son at home, Im arguing with him about is Rakim doper than Young Dro. Like, whats the argument, here? I like Young Dro. I like him, I dont dislike the man. But, Rakim is incredible, dude. If you listen to Rakim records right now, Im talking the joints from back you still start hearin some s**t [that] I didnt even know he said that. How he said that then and they just started sayin that now. Incredible. Hes incredible.
AllHipHop.com: So you feel Hip-Hop has gone soft?
Billy Danze: Im not sayin that.
AllHipHop.com: You said something about these gay-ass
Billy Danze: Oh, nah, when I say gay I mean
AllHipHop.com: You mean like in terms of politics?
Billy Danze: Yeah, like I dont care. Theres politics in every business. Im like insulting them. Im f**kin insultin me.
Laze: Not homosexuality.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Laze: Theres a lot of gay dudes in Hip-Hop. Thats their business.
Billy Danze: I mean if youre not a vegetarian, thats your thing. Like you wanna eat meat twice a week, motherf**ka [Laughs] My only thing is that you cant say New York City aint dope.
AllHipHop.com: Judging from the Lloyd Banks album, you guys dont do too much collaboration with fellow G-Unit artists
Billy Danze: Dont say it like that, all fellow G-Unit artists. We just dont rap with anybody from [any group]. We dont wanna like if you had gotten too much M.O.P., maybe it got to the point where youre like, you know what, its too much. I like doin this s**t, like, I like bein on the stage, I like being in the studio with the homies creating s**t. I dont want this s**t to burn out. This is all I got, homie.
AllHipHop.com: The perception is that the G-Unit stock is falling
Billy Danze: Well, I mean, I dont know. This is the biggest record label here right now. So, how do we say the stock is falling? Like between you and me, you might feel that way, youre a little bit more inside than the average consumer.
Laze: We fit in right now. We good. See, we werent good with G-unit when they were all popular [Laughs]. Now that theres an anti-G-unit goin on, we in now. Lets go GGGGG-UNIT! [Laughs].
Billy Danze: We fit in. [Laughs] Big Shout out to my dude [Young] Buck, by the way.
Laze: Love Young Buck.
Billy Danze: Banks, Spider Loc, Olivia, the Infamous Mobb Deep, in case you didnt hear it before.
AllHipHop.com: Content-wise, what does the album cover since it doesnt have a title?
Billy Danze: We always what we give you Its real simple. M.O.P. represent that part of society that people try to forget about, so we bring that to you. Like, you dont have to come to Brownsville to know whats it like, you get the M.O.P. album we takin you on an adventure through Brownsville.
We stay in our lane, we do what we gotta do. As far as the album go, as I said, maybe we need help in terms of titling the album. Like, I wanna make sure everybody like especially the M.O.P. fans help participate with what were doing . Just send me some names. Hit up AllHipHop.com and let em know. So, all M.O.P. fans, anybody that wanna help us out, whatever, and help us title the album.
AllHipHop.com: We should do a contest?
Laze: Nah, we not doing a contest. Im not giving them any motherf**kin money. [Laughs]
Billy Danze: The person whoever come up with the name that well use, well do something nice for him [or her], have em come hang out with M.O.P., give em mad props. And you know, down in history, you titled that album. We need everybody pullin for us.