You definitely can't describe M.O.P. as happy-go-lucky, but when you meet them in person, for the most part they aren't anything like the ambivalent brutes they sound like on their albums.
Don't start no stuff, won't be no stuff — and if Billy Danze and Lil' Fame actually like you, they'll sit around, laugh and joke and possibly offer you a swig of their beloved Hennessey.
Last Thursday in New York, the group was sitting around the studio, listening to its album Ghetto Warfare, which is now scheduled for release in January or February of 2004. Between tracks, the duo were ruminating on, of all things, the state of R&B and why R. Kelly rules that kingdom. Bill was more partial to the Pied Piper's TP-2 while Fame said Chocolate Factory is undeniable.
Despite that difference of opinion, both are scoffing at some of the whispers they’ve heard that they won't come as hardcore on their new project because they've signed to Roc-A-Fella Records. The fact that they've recorded a track with Dame Dash's good friend pop princess Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham hasn't helped.
"We met her, she was cool and we work with who we want," Bill explained unapologetically.
The fact is that the tracks they played from Ghetto Warfare last week were just as malevolent as anything they've put out, and featured Fame's assertion that he's "One hundred percent n---a" and, later on in the LP, an unflinching look at their approach to the game: "F--- a watered down rapper on your top four at four/ We live from the crack house/ Put your money through the door."
Those lyrics are from the group's first single "Fire," which finds them promising to always spit flames on the mic. The Brooklyn duo are soon taking their blustering show on the road with a tour that kicks off November 28 in Vermont and ends on New Year's Eve in San Francisco.
Pharoahe Monch and the Roots' Scratch have been tapped as openers.
M.O.P.'s tour schedule, according to their management:
- 11/28 - Winooski, VT @ Higher Ground
- 11/29 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street
- 11/30 - Boston, MA @ Axis
- 12/2 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
- 12/3 - New York, NY @ BB King's
- 12/4 - Philadelphia, PA @ The TLA
- 12/5 - Washington, DC @ Dream
- 12/6 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
- 12/9 - Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music hall
- 12/10 - Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
- 12/12 - Orlando, FL @ The Club at Firestone
- 12/15 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
- 12/16 - Houston, TX @ Trees Club
- 12/17 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
- 12/19 - Denver, Co @ Ogden Theatre
- 12/20 - Park City, UT @ Club Suede
- 12/21 - Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
- 12/23 - Phoenix, AZ @ TBD
- 12/26 - San Diego, CA @ 4th & B
- 12/27 - Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
- 12/28 - Los Angeles, CA @ House of Blues
- 12/30 - Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst