M.O.P.: Hip-Hop Or Not?
"I'm tired of saying the word Hip-Hop.Its just music, dog. Its what we chose to do with it. Its what
Slaughterhouse chose to do with it. Its what Drake chose to do with it...Wayne. Its just music, dog. I don't even think we should call it Hip-Hop anymore."
What more is there to say about M.O.P. aka the Mash Out Posse? Either you are with them or you aren't. Either you love their frenetic, hyper-aggressive approach to music or you aren't. But, Fame and Billy are evolving. They aren't the same young guys that would (allegedly) stomp you within moment of meeting the Creator. They have seen things in the streets that would crush most spirits and endured the industry thrill ride like no other group. Whether down with 50 Cent or Roc-A-Fella, the group has remained consistent, and yet now they express startling new changes in their views of Hip-Hop music. In this interview, M.O.P along with manager Laze Laze take a look back to a classic era of Brooklyn rap and a glimpse into the future, where Hip-Hop has no label.
AllHipHop.com: Can you speak on the new album a bit?
Billy Danz:The Foundation. Taking it back to that. The foundation is the base of it all. Its were we built from. There is no better place to start or re-start than at the bottom so we can build our way back up.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that's what Hip-Hop needs to do?
Billy Danz: It ain't about Hip-Hop. Its about music. Good music.
Lil Fame: I think Hip-Hop...our kind of Hip-Hop.. I think they got too comfortable. Too relaxed. And they say, "That n***a ain't nice. He ain't no threat. Let him do his thing." Meanwhile this mother f**ker eating. And that s**t blew up like the swine flu. Then you can't do nothing about it. Now you go n***as trying to do that kind of music. I ain't mad at nobody, but just respect my kind of music. [Look's at AllHipHop's Public Enemy shirt] They stood for something. We stand for something. Them n***as wasn't fashion, none of that s**t. [Public Enemy] was just raw energy. And they was n****s. And when I say n***as, I mean not in a disrespectful way. I mean, like they was us. We could relate to them. But they had a machine behind them. We never had a machine behind us. That makes us M.O.P. That makes us more determined.
AllHipHop.com: Did 50 try to change you? He doesn't seem like the type that would try to change you.
Billy Danz: 50 was a fan like every other label that we signed to after the first deal we had with Select [Records]. Every other situation after that, was because the people [signing the deal] was fans. As far as 50 goes, they never tried to change us. Dame Dash, same thing....
AllHipHop.com: Everybody's coming down on Dame Dash. He brought you all to the Roc.
Lil Fame: Dame a good n***a. Shout out to Dame. Dame is a good dude. He had a vision. After our first album, he tried to get is over there at Roc-A-Fella. Things ain't work out. Dame always had love for our music. And he wanted to be apart of it. He's still apart of it. But, the s**t ain't work out. And, it ain't work out because of us, because they had internal problems. That was their situation and we never dug into it like, 'We hearing rumors and we hearing this and that." Like, me and [Billy] can't speak on our s**t [personal business] if we going through something. And they can't speak on their s**t.
Billy Danz: Dame is a real good dude. I don't know why people are sh***ing on him. I know what he and Jay were going through. That's their problem. I haven't heard anything, but If I do hear something, that's not going to change my perception of Damon Dash, because I know him. I know him and he a good dude.
Laze: They didn't build M.O.P. We already came in as what we were. And when that situation there [at The Rock] kind of changed, it was a hard sell. Dame was the new guy. "The crazy dude from uptown."Jay was basically like our brother.
Lil Fame: We watched Jay-Z coming up. Like Jay and Foxy, Smooth the Hustler. Biggie. And we all used to do s**t together. We all came up at the same time. Them n***as just happened to blow. Biggie, Foxy - they just happened to blow and was out of the window. So, we always seen Jay around and when we saw him, we'd kick it or whatever. So, that n***a blowing was crazy for us. Biggie too. Like Big used to go hard.
We have like 150 songs on Big before he actually put out an album.
On The Notorious B.I.G. :Billy Danz: We have like 150 songs on Big before he actually put out an album.
Lil Fame: We got a TDK tape of all Biggie s**t. That n***a was like, "Fame, son, I don't give a f**k, I'm doing the R&B thing.
Lil Fame: We got a TDK tape of all Biggie s**t. That n***a was like, "Fame, son, I don't give a f**k, I'm doing the R&B thing." I swear to God. I was like, "Yo, you buggin.'" When I heard him say, "My mom push a AK with minks on her back," that n***a was still living in the hood and that n***a happened to blow? That s**t was amazing to me, because it takes a lot of guts to talk about s**t you ain't got. And that s**t happened to come to life? We were happy for them. We wanted to be a part of that or them a part our s**t. Either way. The love was there.
AllHipHop.com: A lot of people forget that Big started out hardcore and that Ready to Die was about half and half. Puff helped do the R&B...
Lil Fame: And he [Big] was with it. He had that vision. Big knew.
Laze: Puff made a lot of sense in that Big story. He was a genius.
AllHipHop.com: What about guys? Are you both doing solo albums this year?
Billy Danz: Yeah, we get the Foundation album out first and then we'll line up the solo joints.
AllHipHop.com: What made you do solo joints?
Billy Danz: Just working,
Lil Fame: Just staying busy.
Billy Danz: I'm going to tell some stories from my position from when Fame was on the other side of town. Fame will tell some stories when he was on this side when I was on the other side of town. You still get that M.O.P. feel, that M.O.P. vibe, Maybe some songs will be from different angles, but it will still be the traditional M.O.P. music with the creativity, I don't know if people realize that, but we are really creative when we make music.
Laze: They grew up in music and they had a life outside of music. Then, as young men in all these experiences they grew up as brothers, but separate grown men. If would be fake if they couldn't do a solo record. They have two different perspectives on how life treated them.
"Dame [Dash] is a real good dude. I don't know why people are sh***ing on him.
I know what he and Jay were going through. That's their problem."-Billy Danz
AllHipHop.com: Are you all still angry?
Billy Danz: I'm madder than a mother f***er! [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: What are you mad about?
Billy Danz: We were never really angry.
Laze: Why you mad, son?
Billy Danz: Tell 'em why you mad! I was mad...well I was frustrated, because of the hand I was dealt, which now I realized was a dope f***in' hand. I know now that I wouldn't have traveled the road that I would have traveled. I was angry at that. These other n***as got spades and s**t. I'm fighting over here with this bulls**t. I wanted people to understand that I was angry, Before music, we showed people we were angry a different way. I'm angry, I'm telling you I'm angry, because I have to live in this bag of s**t. I really didn't see no way out. I'm still angry, I'm not living in a bag of s**t no more, but I know there's kids that are. It was all pure aggression.
Lil Fame: The rap shit I wanted to do. It was the fun thing, It was the thing that I love. As you get older that [anger] comes out. You know how a n***a hold some s**t in? You can't hold it in for so long until it comes out.
Billy Danz: We're still kind of frustrated.
Lil Fame: That s**t ain't gonna change.
Laze: All three of us came from the same exact block. I was a smart n***a so maybe 70/30, I should be dead. But 50/50, they should be dead or in jail. So to speak what they speak and see life the way they see life..hell yeah, I would be madder than a mother f***ker. Before they came out, everybody on our block was killin' each other over bulls**t.
Billy Danz: Our whole block killed each other.
Laze: It got so bad that a n***a would die and you forgot how to feel sad about a n***a dying that was right next to you. At that point, that s**t ain't cool.
AllHipHop.com: I gotta ask you something to lighten it up. What made you do that record with Steve-O?
Billy Danz: My son loves that record. [Steve-O] said, "I'ma mother f***kin' gangster about to f**k s**t up." [laughs]
Lil Fame: Steve-O's a good dude.
Billy Danz: He's a weird mother f***er.
Lil Fame: We met him actually on the G-Unit tour. He got a deal and he got a bunch of money to play with and he showed us love. He called us out.
Billy Danz: I like the record though.
Lil Fame: He actually knows he can't rap though. He calls his album a "crap" album. He says he's a "crapper." They actually gave him a deal.
AllHipHop.com: I can't say I like the record. Without him on there, its alright.
Billy Danz: I don't love the s**t, its just...its Steve-O. What's he even doing in the booth anyway.
Laze: I thought he was just making fun of himself.
Billy Danz: He said, "I'll spear your a** all over this place." That's funny as f**k.
Laze: I never thought we'd do a record with a n***a from "Dancing with the Stars."
Billy Danz: Its looking like he's pulling it together, because he could was gone dude - Gone. I hope everything works out for him.
Lil Fame: He's smart too.
AllHipHop.com: Well, he's got to be smart to get as far as he's gotten.
Billy Danz: He invented Crystal Meth.
AllHipHop.com: What? [In disbelief]
Billy Danz: I'm just f**kin' with you. [laughs]
Lil Fame: He said, "What!?"
AllHipHop.com: What's the state of hardcore Hip-Hop now?
Billy Danz: You know what, I'm tired of saying the word Hip-Hop. The reason being, is...its just music. Its just music, dog. Its what we chose to do with it. Its what Slaughterhouse chose to do with it. Its what Drake chose to do with it...Wayne. Its just music, dog. I don't even think we should call it Hip-Hop anymore.
"I'm tired of saying the word Hip-Hop...its just
music. Its what we chose to do with it. I don't even think we should call it
Hip-Hop anymore..."-Billy Danz
AllHipHop.com: Why not?
Billy Danz: Because...
Lil' Fame: Don't be tellin' them n***as that.
Billy Danz: F**k them n****as!
Lil' Fame: I'm talking about [AllHipHop]...
Billy Danz: They my n****as! We cool as a fan, but f**k that. Call it, "All Dot Com." [Laughs] How much Hip-Hop do you guys actually have on the site?
AllHipHop.com: If you talking about Hip-Hop...well, if you are talking about graffiti and and break dancing...not as much. We have emcees, producers and DJ's all day. As well, we have stuff for the community too.
Billy Danz: I'm not calling it Hip-Hp anymore. It looks like we've lost what its really about anyway. I don't think we should box ourselves in.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel that way due to the heavy metal album? Do you feel like it restricted you?
Billy Danz: No, that actually worked out for us. In my career, I've actually seen myself play in front of six people or 60,000 people..all different colors, all races. If I get on stage and do the Marxmen, M.O.P., they all grab on to that shit. I think where we are in our career, I think we are doing f***kin' great. I'm comfortable right there. We don't deal with our fans as fans. We deal with our fans and friends and family.
Laze: That's whether its 300 people in the club or 300,000 people in the club. Its the same kind of energy.
Here are some of M.O.P.'s best moments operating as Hip-Hop artists using rock music.
MOP - "Handle ur Bizness" - M.O.P.'s first foray with rock
"Live From Ground Zero" - M.O.P. as heavily metallic the Mash Out Posse.
"Cold As Ice" - M.O.P. sampling soft rock and making it hard rock.
"Sesame Street Ante Up" - By M.O.P. - Ernie and Bert...get down or lay down.