Havoc of Mobb Deep: "Donald Trump is Like a Biggie to Me!"
Havoc dropped his new 13 album earlier this week, a project he calls "an ode to hip-hop." He'll soon be hitting the tour circuit in the name of promotional duties, so before then we called up the Mobb Deep man to talk his favorite rap stars, being stingy with Lloyd Banks' birthday present, and the time he met the recently departed Chris Kelly of Kriss Kross.
Because it's an independent album and, you know, not too many people get a chance to hear something that's not so mainstream and that usually goes under-the-radar. There are songs that I feel a lot of people overlook so I'm glad.
Who was your own favorite rap star when you were growing up?
If definitely had to be Run-DMC. It was just how commanding their style was and how forceful their music was and how good their music was. I remember first hearing them when I was like nine-years-old and the older guys on the block was playing it. That was the first time I fell in love with hip-hop.
Did you prefer Run or DMC as a rapper?
You know, as corny as it sounds, I definitely liked both of them equally.
Raekwon features on "Favorite Rap Stars" and you also worked with him way back on "Eye For An Eye."
Yeah, I remember just saying we, Mobb Deep, need to get Nas on the record and get Rae on the record and one day we asked him to come down to the studio and they all came. I didn't even have the track; I made the beat right then and there and we all just vibed. It was one little attempt at making some crazy beat and it came out like that. It was at Platinum Island.
What was the vibe like in the studio?
It was a lot of weed, a lot of camaraderie!
Did you get to meet Chris Kelly?
RIP Chris Kelly from Kriss Kross— Havoc(@THEREALHAVOC) May 2, 2013
I'd like to say I met him once in New Orleans. I saw him, I wanted to talk to him so I struck up a conversation with him. I was young at the time -- probably like 22, super young -- and I just wanted to ask him a question and he answered it for me.
What was the question?
There was a rumor floating around back then that one of them had cancer or something and I was stupid enough to ask him the question when I saw him. He said he didn't have it.
You were in Poetical Prophets when you were young. What do you remember about those days?
Ha ha, it was very industry back in those days! They was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on even the littlest thing. It was very industry, ha ha! But we definitely had fun and we got the chance to go places and it was all new for us.