Did you make it to the polls last week to vote?
Of course. To say that I’m happy about the result is an understatement. It’s definitely an understatement. I’m happy and I’m proud. Words can’t even describe how I feel.
I haven’t heard you working with any G-Unit artists lately and you weren’t on their latest album Terminate On Sight. Are you still affiliated with G-Unit?
Yeah, definitely still affiliated. Still signed as Mobb Deep at the moment. I’m going off and doing my own thing independently, which I’ve done.
Are things moving the way you want them to at G-Unit?
I mean, there’s really no pace that was trying to be set. Right now the main thing is that P is incarcerated. He’s locked up. So that alone could leave anything in slow motion. Support P while he’s in jail and when he gets home, as far as Mobb Deep, it’ll be back to business.
What went through your mind when you heard Prodigy almost died last week after being given the wrong medication?
That’s crazy. They gotta be a little more careful.
Have you spoken to him a lot since he went in?
I haven’t spoken to him since the incident but I’ve been talking to him since he went in. We speak often. I just be letting him know to hold his head. That’s about it. I try to talk about good things, plans when he gets home and that’s about it, really. There’s not really much that he can really do about the situation but maintain.
You guys have always worked pretty close as a group. How has it been adjusting to his absence?
It’s fucked up. You have to learn to adjust for awhile but keep a good attitude.
With Prodigy locked up, where does Mobb Deep stand as a group today and with G-Unit?
Mobb Deep is still going to be Mobb Deep. We’re just waiting for P to get out and then we’re going to take it from there.
When you make beats that would be perfect for Mobb Deep, do you set them aside or can you not do that because they might get old?
Nah, I’m not doing that. When the time gets here, I can make the beats in my sleep. When he get home he will have another beat to write to.
Are you working on 50 Cent’s upcoming album Before I Self-Destruct?
Yeah. I’ve been working on that for a little while. When the time is right you’ll hear some music of mine on there.
Can you give us some more info on the songs you’ve done with him?
I’m just being me. It’s that, uh, classic Havoc sound. 50 will be killing it. It’s some real dope shit. It’s crazy. And when it comes out you will agree.
What other projects have you been working on recently?
You know, I’ve been working on a couple of things here and there for a couple of unknown artists and some known artists. Of course I’ve been working with 50 and stuff like that. I just did something for Meth and Redman and CNN, stuff like that. You know, I’m just staying busy.
Your first solo project The Kush dropped a little over a year ago. Are you happy with how that project did?
As far as the promotion and the marketing went for it, nah, I wasn’t really that happy but the response that I got from my fans and my fanbase that got the actual material, I was definitely satisfied with the results from that, from people’s satisfaction of the material. And that was the whole intention more than anything else, just to get good feedback and that was it.
Would you do another project with Nature Sounds?
I did something with Koch that’s going to be released early next year. Definitely look out for that.
What are you doing differently on the new project that you didn’t do on The Kush?
I really can’t say. The project, I’m like 30% into it. I can’t really say it right now. But if there is to be any differences to it you’ll know.
You said The Kush was more like a mixtape when I interviewed you about that. Are you treating the new project as an album?
I don’t know. It depends on how I feel.
What are you leaning towards at this point?
Um, I’m really not sure, you know what I mean? It depends on how I feel. But I could just tell you this, there’s going to be some good material on it.
Are you working on the QB compilation that Cormega was trying to put together?
Cormega told me something about that. I’m not sure when he’s putting that out though but ‘Mega told me something about that.
Is it time for another compilation like The 41st Side album?
Why do you think QB’s presence is not felt as much as it has been in the past in the overall hip-hop scene?
You know, the bottom line is that the music scene is kind of funny right now as far as New York is concerned, No. 1. So you really wouldn’t have that kind of focus until somebody, uh, you know, makes something that allows them to have people to focus on them. People just gotta come with good material, period. You know, we’re just waiting for that next shining star. Loud.com, they’ll probably come through on Loud.com and that’s the most gangster shit about this company is that it gives people that opportunity to come through that don’t have any focus on them to create a focus, rappers and producers at the same time.
When you look at the artists you work with like Nyce, do you think you’ve found the next voice of QB or do you have to keep looking?
I’m always on a quest but who knows.
With slumping album sales and fans’ not having extra money to spend, have you felt the effects of the recession?
Nah, not really because, you know, I constantly work. I stay working. If it’s not this I would be doing something else. You have to be a man of many hats and get your hustle on, period. And don’t place all your eggs in one basket.
You’ve been known to be a perfectionist in the studio when it comes to your beats. How do you feel about that title?
I just want to put out some dope material. If they want to call me a perfectionist, I appreciate it. I’m not going to be putting out beats every minute. I think quality is better than quality. Fuck it, I’m a perfectionist. I could probably do 100 beats a day (laughs), but that’s not what I want to do. It’s quality first.
Are you still growing as a producer or do you stick to the same formulas that got you where you are?
Every day I always learn something new and I always try to perfect my production skills. So I take what I already know with the new things that I’m learning and you know, that’s how I do it.
What inspires you to produce today?
I mean, you know, just everyday life and other music out there too inspires me. When I hear good music it just wants to make me make good music.
What’s the last album that really impressed you?
Uh, I don’t know. I would have to say…I really don’t want to say. I’m not really sure. It’s kind of hard.
To narrow it down, what genre of music was it?
It definitely would have been a hip-hop album.
You’re also a judge on the new Loud.com producer challenge. What made you want to be involved in that competition?
I have a long history with Loud, from being an artist on Loud in Loud’s early days. Steve and Rich, they started this company and they wanted me to be a part of it. They wanted me to be a producer on the site and they gave me a rundown about the whole thing, about what they was trying to do and I was with it.
What do you listen for when you judge other producers?
You know, I look to see how original a producer is. That’s basically it – to see how original they are. And you’ll want to hear that beat again and again and again. Try to be original with it. That’s how I am. Loud.com is a crazy new tool for these new artists to come out here and brand themselves because today’s market is pretty thirsty for new talent and that’s the great thing about this website, with this company. They got the contest for the rappers and producers.
Do you think you and Steve Rifkind will ever do business again in the future?
I’m pretty sure on a small level. They always throw opportunities my way every now and then. It’s always been a friendship. There’s always a chance for whatever kind of business there may be. They’re friends so it’s all good.