NEW YORK — 50 Cent gave Havoc and Prodigy brand-new Porsches upon signing to his label last year, so why in the world have Mobb Deep been riding the subway in New York all week? The price of gas can't be that high, can it?
Well, yeah, gas is ridiculously high, but the Mobb embarked on their "Subway Series" earlier this week as a way of connecting with fans and promoting their Tuesday release, Blood Money.
"We had to bring it back to the essence, get back to reality," Havoc explained Thursday as he walked down 125th Street in Harlem. As he and Prodigy strolled down the block, fans — some of them in disbelief that the Mobb were being so casual and walking among them — ran to them, pulling out camera phones and paper for autographs. "This is what we live for, to be amongst the fans."
One baby, who looked to be no older than 2, wasn't too impressed with the situation. No matter how much his mother tried to get him to look into the camera to take a picture with Prodigy, the boy kept his head turned to the right, sucking his thumb. Another baby was out cold as Havoc held him for a photo.
The Mobb did garner more energy from the older kids who were getting out of school around that time. Some wanted to be in their next music video, and one yelled, "Where's 50?"
"The first couple of days were crazy," Havoc continued.
"We were in Brooklyn on Myrtle," Prodigy said. "We took the train over there, showing love to the peeps. Then we walked around downtown, Fulton. Then we took it through the Bronx after that. We were rattling through the train cars. That's basically it. It feels good [to get love from the people], we feel blessed to be able to do that. We've seen careers come and go. We're still here."
Even though Havoc wasn't too familiar with New York's Metro cards (the duo stopped riding the subways about a decade ago), make no mistake, Mobb Deep have put in a good deal of time on the iron horse (NYC lingo for trains).
"It gets crazy, son," Prodigy said as he and Havoc walked into the 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue station. "It gets real crazy down here. Smoking bud on the train, getting bent. A few robberies went down. We did our thing down here. I remember falling asleep on the muthaf---in' train. Wake up, my pockets cut with razors."
"I used to ride the train when I was 9," Hav chimed in. "I used to do a lot of graffiti on the train, in the train yards. All types of stuff."
"You see the baddest chicks on the train," Prodigy jumped back in. "This is where it's real at. [Rap] battles ... we've seen all that, [the gangs] Decepticons, Low Lifes."
Mobb Deep said there's a possibility that the entire G-Unit family will be going on tour this summer, and Hav and P have already lined up a spring promo tour that'll take them out of the subways and into other cities.
Check out "Throwback With Mobb Deep" for Prodigy and Havoc's in-depth take on their classic LPs.