Produced by: Marley Marl
Prodigy: “We were down south in North Carolina, a bunch of us were down there getting our licenses. We were watching TV one morning and seen that Snoop video for ‘New York, New York.’ They were kicking over our buildings and stomping through our city. That was some disrespectful shit. If we did that to them they would have felt the same way. Anybody would have felt the same way. If Mobb Deep stomped through somebody’s city and kicked their buildings over, they’re going to feel disrespected about that. So that’s how we took it.
“Automatically I was like, ‘I’m going to make a song calling right back out to them. We’re going to hold down New York. This shit ain’t right, right here.’ We went in the studio with Tragedy and Stretch Armstrong. Tradg had that new group called CNN at the time, so he threw them on there with us, and we made that song.
“We were performing that song out there [in California] because that song was number one in L.A. We were getting requests to come perform and we were going out there performing it when the song was hot.
“That’s why we took offense when Jay-Z came out years later. After everything died down—and people lost their lives—he came out with that song ‘Money, Cash, Hoes,’ where he had that line ‘It’s like New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings.’ We took offense to that like, ‘How you talking now? We was out there risking our lives.’
“This shit was on and popping and we were still out there doing shows. This dude wasn’t around, he had nothing to say at that time. That was kind of crazy that you just come out of nowhere talking about some shit that you weren’t nowhere around for, talking about you’re bringing back the feeling. We took offense, so we said something about it. That’s how that whole shit sparked with him.
“He should have just shut the fuck up and minded his business. We went after him after that. Like, I fucking hit you in the head. [Laughs.] I took it upon myself like, ‘You know what? This fucking bitch ass nigga popping shit about some shit that he wasn’t even around and his name was involved.’ Tupac was going at him. His name was all in that and he didn’t have nothing to say at that time.
“Jay-Z was scared of them Death Row niggas, that’s why he ain’t say nothing. If you’re going to wait until after the nigga’s dead to start popping shit, that’s kind of corny.”