When the Queensbridge duo of Havoc and Prodigy briefly traded in murderous, monotonous hooks for a soulful chorus by Atlanta quartet 112 on “Hey Luv (Anything),” Mobb Deep loyalists weren't exactly elated.
That’s because Mobb fans had endeared themselves to the trademark hardcore sound from the New York natives.
But Prodigy explained to AllHipHop.com, the track, from 1999’s Infamy, as well as upcoming collaborations with Nelly (on the St. Lunatic’s album), Nate Dogg and Lil Jon are meant to attract new fans, not alienate their own base.
“We don’t want everything to be like, Uh, these n***as is just stuck on themselves,” Prodigy said. “If you trying to sell records, you got to think about, All right, What do other people like, too? So that’s why we like, Aight, Let’s grab that, let’s grab some of this, let’s grab some other flavors, too, you know what I’m saying?”
Since P and Hav parted ways with Columbia Records after the release of Infamy, they’ve signed a 50/50 joint venture with Jive Records, which will release their new album Amerikaz Nightmare. As a part of the new deal Mobb Deep will split the majority of the profits between Jive and their own Infamous Records. But with the added responsibility of controlling their own destiny, financially at least, Prodigy insists he and his partner-in-rhyme will stick to what they do best.“We on some hardheaded s**t," he enthusiastically said of the upcoming release. “We don’t give a f*ck about nuttin’ else. Ninety-nine percent of the album is [produced by] Havoc.”
Although the duo released Free Agents: The Murda Mixtape last year, Prodigy adamantly explained that Infamy shoul be considered Mobb Deep’s last album. “We put Free Agents out to let people know that we was free agents,” he clarified. “It’s just a mixtape for the street, that wasn’t an album at all. So the last album we put out was Infamy.” Some critics contend P reached his highpoint with his solo, H.N.I.C. and Hav arguably stepped up lyrically on Infamy. P may not agree fully to the opinions, but he said his team is superior to others and contended he felt revitalized by his new recording contract.
“N*ggas cannot f**k with us,” he stated, calling Mobb’s new single “Real Gangstaz,” featuring Lil Jon, “fire.” “I definitely got new found energy coming with this new deal that we got and just with everything new for us right now.
“Hell yeah,” Prodigy continued. “You could feel it and you could hear it in our music.”
Amerikaz Nightmare is due is stores August 10th. The album will feature guest appearances by Jadakiss and longtime Mobb Deep affiliates Littles and Noyd, as well as production by Red Spyda and Kanye West. In the meantime, fans can check for Prodigy and Havoc’s latest mixtape, West Coast Mixtape featuring Big Mike.