Mobb Deep Lose Label Deal — And They're 'Thrilled'

Group leaves Jive, home of Britney and R. Kelly; currently negotiating with 'heavy hitters' for new deal.

Usually, when an artist gets dropped from a label after releasing just one album, you'll see them with their faces scrunched up, walking with a hunch in their back like they've got the weight of the world on their shoulders.

So why are Mobb Deep all smiles? A few weeks ago, they found out that their two-year relationship with Jive Records had been abruptly terminated by the label — but if you ask them, it's the best thing that could have happened.

"We wasn't surprised — we was more thrilled," Prodigy said Wednesday about the split. "Jive is a good label but they're R&B'ed out. They sell millions of records with Britney Spears, R. Kelly and all the big ones. Mobb Deep is a street-rap group. We from off the streets. We gotta move with a label that knows how to handle that street sh--. We gonna move on to bigger and better things now."

"Jive definitely seems like one of those places that, when you good at something, they're good at it; when they're not, they're not," Havoc, who was standing next to P, added. "We came out with a hot album — I definitely think it was one of our best albums. They just couldn't handle it, so they had to drop it. Now we're moving on to something else."

The Mobb put out America's Nightmare last year, and although it had the club smash "Got it Twisted," the album hasn't yet passed the 500,000-sales mark. Still, the Mobb are regarded as one of the top groups in the game by fans — and apparently by record executives as well. Prodigy and Havoc have been taking meetings with some very big honchos.

"There's definitely a bidding war going on," Havoc said. "We both knew, once Jive released us, it wasn't going to be no problem getting another deal. We got five different labels — I'm talking about heavy hitters — talking to us. It's just making a decision of where we gonna go this time."

"We're looking for a label that could push the button on Mobb Deep," Prodigy, who just got a brand new tattoo on his neck courtesy of Mr. Cartoon, offered. "They got access to open the flood gates. When you got hot music like us, you gotta have a label that can push that button on you."

Both Hav and P are well into recording their solo albums. Havoc's is still untitled and Prodigy has settled on H.N.I.C. 2 for his. As far as the next Mobb Deep album is concerned, the two are constantly recording and say, if need be, they could put out their next album today. They expect to accept a label offer soon and release an LP later this year. Expect Havoc and the Alchemist to handle most of the production.

In the meantime, the Queens duo have released the record "Cobra Clutch," where they dispel the rumors of their breakup.

" 'Cobra Clutch' was to let the world know: We ain't going nowhere," Prodigy said. "We got the game in the cobra clutch. You got a lot of new artists, a lot of old artists that wanna hate on the Mobb. It's all good — we still here. We gonna pound you in your head every year with nothing but fire."