Just minutes ago, HipHopDX spoke with Mobb Deep's Havoc. The veteran emcee and producer confirmed to XXLMag.com last week that he has a placement on Eminem's Recovery album. That, plus strong production on albums such as Big Noyd's Queens Chronicle and Big Twins' The Project Kid make it indicative that the classic beat-creator is back to his old ways, after sharing more production duties on the last two Mobb albums. Asked if he was undergoing a musical renaissance, Hav clarified, "To the brothers that might [think] it seems like I'm havin' a renaissance with makin' music again, as far as production, I feel like I'm always in a renaissance period, whether or not I'm gettin' public placements. I'm always home, workin', and really just tryin' to perfect my craft. I love production more now than ever. It's how I [best] express myself. There's a lot of new, dope emcees that I would like to give production to, as well as established artists that's already out there."
As far as new artists, Havoc is deeply impressed with North Carolina Roc Nation artist (and fellow emcee/producer double-threat) J. Cole. Laughing that he is not alone in wanting to work with Cole, Hav explained, "He's on everybody's short-list! I hate to be soundin' like I'm on some kind of band-wagon, but I really feel that in my heart, that dude is dope! There's a lot of other dope emcees out there, I hate to name just one. It seems like I'm just forgetting the rest, but he's definitely on my radar. Even if I get a track on his album or not, I'm behind him 100% no matter what he do. I wish him well, and I know he's going to do well, 'cause he seems like a real-for-real artist. He's in it for the art." Havoc also acknowledge a fellow Queens native, popular battle emcee, Hollow. The producer simply stated, "He's crazy!"
After touching on the emcee and producer Cole, Havoc was asked if self-producing artists like Cole are a return to the '90s class of greats like Lord Finesse, Diamond D, Large Professor - and Havoc. "I would just like this about that trend: that's very smart," expressed Hav. "That's very wise. I encourage a lot of other artists to do the same."
On the subject of his support of local artists, Havoc explained why he's always represented his burough so proudly, through Hip Hop's many changing trends. "I love the fact that I'm from Queens. It's an honor to be from Queens and to share the [Hip Hop] history that Queens has. Any chance I get, I'ma represent Queens. Even more, to generalize it, I'm just in love with New York Hip Hop period. Regardless of where it stands in popularity, I'm always gonna be a New York [Hip Hop] head, till it's all said and done."
As a fan of New York Hip Hop, Havoc added that he was proud of his contemporaries for returning to their classic formulas and themes for music-making. "You've got groups like [Capone-N-Noreaga] droppin' [The War Report 2], Raekwon doing [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...Pt.II]...it's a beautiful thing. When you see that being done, that just shows you ever more, how much love for Hip Hop these acts have."
Just in speaking about New York Rap glory days and '90s Hip Hop peers, DX asked Havoc about a lesser-known appearance on a classic album, 1993's Enta Da Stage by Black Moon. Joined by Smif-N-Wessun, Havoc dropped a verse on "U Da Man." Reflecting back to that point, the longtime emcee says it was pivotal to his production coming to fruition. "To work with them, that's when I was really starting to get into my production thing. I really was checkin' out what [DJ] Evil Dee was doing. I was tryin' to put my lil' input in. I know they was lookin' at me like I was crazy, 'cause I really didn't know what I was talkin' about, but they embraced. Buckshot, he's like a brother from another mother to me. Whenever I'm around that dude, it's like I'm around family. Even back then they made me feel like that. Salute to Black Moon, Buckshot and the whole Duck Down movement."