Produced by: Mobb Deep
Co-produced by: Matt Life
Prodigy: “Going to the club, hanging out with your boys, we would get into a fight, and the party’s over. Like, ‘Tell the rest of the crew, we’re about to fuck these niggas up. Pass the word because as soon as this fight’s done we’re out of here son. We don’t want nobody getting left back.’ That’s what that song’s about.
“[Me and Havoc produced that together.] I think Hav probably found the melody, loop, and then we started just fucking with the bassline and all that. I usually would do a lot of the basslines, and maybe the little sounds here and there on shit. I think we did that one in the studio. Noyd was probably in the studio spitting some shit, and we were like, ‘Yeah, put that on there. It sounds good.’”
Havoc: “That was one of the last songs we made when we needed something to finish off the album. Being young and never really going out anywhere, we were representing our hood to the fullest thinking that we had the toughest hood ever. We were gonna display that everywhere we went. We weren’t trying to be cool and calm and have fun. We had to go somewhere and let our presence be felt.
“I definitely remember some wild fights. I remember one of our very first shows we did in Manhattan, it was us and the Lost Boyz. We didn’t have nothing against the Lost Boyz at all. But when you get a bunch of young men in a small club and egos are flaring, something was bound to happen. I don’t even know how it started, but it ultimately ended up in a brawl with like 60 people. People were getting cut, stabbed, and hit with stuff on the street. It’s not even something that I brag about. It was fucked up but that was something we all had to go through.
“That led to a beef with us and Lost Boyz, which was squashed later on. Because look, we all from Queens so what are we doing? The Lost Boyz was doing their thing and I really liked their music a lot and we were doing our thing. We ended up being cool. Mr. Cheeks and I are cool to this day. That was our walk through life and you learn from it.
“Looking back at it and listening to it, I can step outside of myself and say, ‘Yeah, that’s a classic album.’ I listened to the album like eight months ago. I can’t lie. [Laughs.] Every once in a while I listen to it for a little bit of inspiration. I try to put myself back in that place. I’ll listen to it and try to actually remember myself making it and how I felt and what made that song so good. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
Q-Tip: “It was just a great album and it’s definitely a true hip-hop classic. It’s easily a top ten album of all-time in hip-hop. It captures a moment in time. I’m not saying that because of my involvement, but I am blessed to have been a part of it. I had people pay attention to it who didn’t pay attention before to Tribe. It was just a great thing because I had did Nas’ Illmatic. And to be able to do it again and be a part of that same experience with Mobb Deep and then to have that sort of experience with my own group, it was amazing. It just put me in a different place in people’s heads.”
Big Noyd: “That was when the album was getting wrapped up. If you listen to the echos in the background, some of those guys aren’t even with us today. But they’re naming girls who they had sex with.”
Matty C a.k.a. Matt Life (Executive Producer and A&R for Loud Records): “I basically [produced that record]. I was the stickler on drums and percussion sounds. I was going to these conventions, wanting to produce myself, but it never popped off like that. I was hoping to try and make it happen right there. All I did was add a sound and put another drum behind it. It was kind of a busy mess when I go back and listen to it now. That’s another record that they already had early in a rough stage, It just had stiff programming on it and I tried to make something out of it.”