NEW YORK — While Mobb Deep and M.O.P. are both widely regarded as two of hip-hop's most consistently excellent groups, neither has been burning up the sales charts. For years they've said, and their fans have echoed, that with the right label push, the upper reaches of the Billboard charts could become familiar territory.
Both acts, now free agents, may be getting their best shot at moving those elusive units by aligning with 50 Cent and his G-Unit Records. On Saturday in Brooklyn, where 50 was directing — yes, directing — singer Olivia's new video for "Twist It," he told MTV News that pretty soon O may lose the distinction of being the newest addition to his label.
He said he's "very close" to signing both M.O.P. and Mobb Deep. "I'm ready to expand and do other things," he explained. "Creatively, there are certain artists out there I respect. I've been listening to their music for a long time. I wanna work with them. I want to be able to put my full effort into it, but I can't work for it unless it's in both of our best interests, and that's with them being signed to G-Unit as a record company. It'll be serious. We've got a chance to go do some exciting things."
Mobb Deep's Havoc agreed.
"We've been talking to 50 for a minute, maybe a month," he said. "Initially we were gonna sign to Interscope. After a while we saw it best [to sign] with 50 because of the style of music [we do]. We sat down with 50 and he let us know what he could do for us. We're satisfied with the move. I don't know how other people are gonna feel about the move. It's probably gonna be a lot of hate in people's blood, but we don't give a f---. We're gonna continue making our music. I feel we have a bigger platform. I can't wait. The adrenaline is pumping. I just wanna get it started."
Earlier this month, Laze E. Laze, who helps to guide the career of M.O.P., confirmed his guys are also in talks with 50 but did not elaborate on how those talks were going.
One of the most appealing elements about the Mobb and the Mash Out Posse is that both duos — especially the Mobb — have been heating up the mixtape circuit with an abundance of records.
"The material I've been hearing from both of those ends lately, it's dead right," 50 said. "It's exactly where it needs to be right now. I know I can put them in a good position where they could become priority."
50 reiterated that neither group is officially signed, but if he does woo them in time, he may bring one or both on tour with him on Anger Management 3 (see "Eminem, 50, Lil Jon, G-Unit, D12 Team Up For Anger Management 3 Tour This Summer").
Of course, the Mobb's close affiliate Alchemist has already been tapped to join the tour as Eminem's DJ (see "Eminem Hires Alchemist To Replace DJ Green Lantern"). Al replaced Green Lantern, who said he resigned from the Shady family in the wake of his appearance on the street DVD "The Come Up, Vol. 5," where he was taped having a phone conversation with Jadakiss about the 50/ Jada battle.
50 said the story Green has been telling the public is not accurate. According to the G-Unit general, Green did not quit.
"Green Lantern was fired," Fif scoffed. "He said something he wasn't supposed to say. I never did anything [to him], I'm always supportive of everything in our circle. When I say 'our,' I mean me, Em and Dre. To have him say [what he said on the DVD], it just was a bad decision. Having him say things about me, it's not just saying it about me, it's saying it about the entire thing — everything we do together."