As M.O.P. embarked upon its career in the 1990s, Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame noticed a business trend.

“We felt labels would come and go,” Billy Danze says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “We couldn’t control their schedules or how they would promote our music, but we could guarantee that our fans are going to get a good performance.”

Now, 21 years after the release of its debut album, 1994’s To The Death, M.O.P. is in the midst of its “Street Certified Tour.” Named after the Brooklyn, New York duo’s 2014 EP, the tour marks one of the group’s major jaunts in the United States.

“We toured in Europe for a lot of years,” Billy Danze says, “but we felt it was time to give our US fans some of that M.O.P. energy.”

DJ Premier Plays An Important Role With M.O.P.

M.O.P.’s energy got a jolt in 1996 when DJ Premier began working the Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame, producing a number of songs on the pair’s 1996 album, Firing Squad.

M.O.P. and DJ Premier have worked together since then and the revered producer executive-produced Street Certified. Billy Danze says DJ Premier plays an important role with the duo.

“Premier’s production ability makes sure that we stay consistent,” Billy Danze says. “Even when he doesn’t make the beat, his input is important.”

Now, more than two decades into a career that has helped define hardcore New York Rap, Lil’ Fame says that M.O.P. has  established its legacy.

“Honest street depiction,” Lil’ Fame says, “and high-energy music.”

The full “Street Certified Tour” itinerary is as follows:

June 14  S.O.B.’s                       New York, NY

June 15  Voltage Lounge           Philadelphia, PA

June 16  Simon’s 677                Providence, RI

June 17  California Brew Haus  Rochester, NY

June 20  Mr. Small’s Theatre     Millvale, PA

June 21  Bleu                             Detroit, MI

June 23  Agora Ballroom           Cleveland, OH

June 24  The Shrine                  Chicago, IL

June 25  Firebird                       St. Louis, MO

June 26  VEGA                          Lincoln, NE

June 27  Cervante’s Otherside  Denver, CO

June 29  Palace Lounge            Missoula, MT

June 30  Nectar Lounge            Seattle, WA

July 2     The New Parish          Oakland, CA 

July 3     Los Globos                  Los Angeles, CA

July 5     Fulton 55                     Fresno, CA