Celebrity Favorites: Mobb Deep
Hip-hop is super competitive, and sometimes rappers spend so much time trying to outdo each other that they miss out on good music. For instance, in his book, “My
Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy,” the Queens rapper talks about turning down the chance to collaborate with the Notorious B.I.G. on his 1997 Havoc-produced track “Last Day.” Back then, Pee just wasn’t a fan, but hindsight is 20/20.
“A lot of the people were coming on the block back in the days when Biggie had ‘Party and Bullsh–,’ his first record, and they would play it. I wasn’t into it,” Prodigy told Mixtape Daily. “I was focused on Mobb Deep. I had tunnel vision: I really didn’t give a f— what anybody was doin’ in rap music, except for Mobb Deep and Nas and our little circle. Everything else was irrelevant to me.”
So irrelevant that when Havoc was enlisted to produce on Big’s 1997 sophomore LP, Life After Death, his partner-in-rhyme wanted no part of it. “I told Hav I just really didn’t want to do that. That was my opinion at that time,” Prodigy recalled.
However, the H.N.I.C. eventually decided to give the Brooklyn legend one more chance. “I started liking Biggie. After he started heating up, I started re-listening to it. I was like, ‘This kid is alright. I like, son,’ ” Prodigy explained. “Sometimes that happens in life though.”
Havoc attested to a similar situation: “I definitely wasn’t checking for other people. I missed a lot of stuff in the ’90s that I like now.
I just had tunnel vision,” he said. “There was a lot of dope acts that was out back in the ’90s, like the Lost Boyz. I never paid attention to their stuff.”
The Lost Boyz — a rap group from South Jamaica, Queens, New York — broke out in 1995 with their hit record “Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz,” and though they were known for high-powered party anthems, Hav wasn’t a fan in their heyday. He is today, though.
“Now, when I look back on it and I listen to their stuff now, it’s like, ‘Yo, they had that sh–.’ They always kept the party poppin’. I really appreciate their music, and I’m glad that they made it,” he said. “That’s ill that they are even a part of the era that we came from.”
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