Commenters are the most underappreciated and underrated facet of any website. As great as it may be to have a Fabolous exclusive, it really means nothing if you don’t have someone questioning his sexuality while stating that his rhymes are more potent. What’s even better is when a comment like that is trumped by a diehard Fab supporter who has every album, every mixtape and has every promotional poster that those annoying Def Jam interns plastered to any open space in New York City just high enough to where the neighborhood clean-up guy couldn’t reach it who claims that this 90 second freestyle, which includes 45 seconds talking about Brooklyn, DJ Clue, Desert Storm, how he used to have a chipped tooth, how ladies appreciate his sexual prowess, etc is 10 times better than anything Rakim could have put together. In short, commenters make the site and they don’t receive enough credit for their brilliant and not-so brilliant contributions.
I bring this topic up in light of my recent Havoc interview, an interview I struggled through. I remember how grateful I felt when the publicist told me his time was up because he had other interviews to do. I thought about getting one of those bird-pecking gizmos Homer Simpson used when he got fat (cue Mike Gundy) in “King-Size Homer” (Season 7, Episode 5) when I was transcribing this interview, except the damn canary fell asleep and left the job half-finished like Bobby Petrino in Atlanta.
While editing the interview, I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this is pretty boring. But it’s Havoc.’ That’s where I struggle – it’s a boring interview, but it’s with a producer who helped define the QB sound, a sound I consistently blast when driving to the grocery store for cookies or going for jogs on nature trails. I love just about any music that comes out of Queensbridge to a fault. Hell, I used to get made fun of for bumping Littles’ music and then I got A&R credit for his last album Reloaded (I found him the J. Rusch beat for “We Are.” Sadly, that’s all I did but he insisted on giving me credit and who am I to say no?). Anyway, I love QB and I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I turned down a chance to speak to an architect of the Queensbridge sound. There was no way I could say no. His publicist could have told me Havoc wished to speak of his fondness for caterpillar-raising and his HGTV watching marathons and while I would have found that odd, I would have felt a certain obligation to bring you that compelling news as soon as possible.
Keep in mind this is not the first time I interviewed Havoc. The first time I interviewed him was last year when his first album…excuse me, “street album,” was coming out (The Kush). In the interview Hollywood Hav answered all of my questions, some briefer than others, but still, not a terrible interview (http://www.hiphopgame.com/index2.php3?page=havoc). This time around Havoc didn’t have an album or any new music to promote so I wasn’t really sure what he would want to talk about. I knew he would want to talk about his new role on Loud.com, especially since this interview was set up by a Loud publicist. Other than that, I figured everything else was fair game.
From the start of the interview, I could tell this wasn’t going to be one of the epic interviews that people talk about years later, like the GZA one in ’05 (still my all-time favorite, by the way). Havoc hasn’t done anything recently with G-Unit, so it’s always good to find out what exactly is going on there. Obviously there’s nothing going on except “crazy” songs. With Hav’s description of his music with 50, it’s safe to say he will never be hired to describe the random items sold in catalogs mysteriously yet conveniently placed on airplanes. I can see it now:
“Crazy foot massager. It’s crazy. This massager is killing it. That’s all you need to know. Buy it now. From that phone. Yes, the phone in front of you. The phone that costs $250/minute. Now. Shook one.”
The interview progressed into Prodigy’s near-death scare and incarceration. When it came to Prodigy almost dying from being given the wrong medication, Hav gave this response:
“That’s crazy. They gotta be a little more careful.”
From that response you can gather that a) he really didn’t feel like talking about that and/or b) he really didn’t care. I’m guessing Havoc just didn’t feel like talking about it, which is fine, just don’t do interviews because you’re going to get asked that question and you’re going to be expected to give a thought-out response.
As the interview went on Havoc talked about his work with 50 without really giving us any insight as to what kind of tracks they did together. He also said he’s got a project coming out that might be an album and might be a mixtape (props to Havoc for not doing what other rappers do and that’s lie – it would have been much more convenient for Havoc to say that this really was his debut album and that all fans need to be ready for it. Later on if he feels the music is not up to par, demote 10 half-hearted tracks from album status to “street album” status so the fans can adjust their expectations accordingly. Thank you, Havoc, for telling the truth and telling us that you haven’t made up your mind yet. While you may look a little indecisive, at least you’re honest.)
All in all, it wasn’t a great interview but it wasn’t terrible either. I came with a lot of questions and Havoc answered what he felt like, which is exactly what I would expect him to do. Although my analysis of this interview may be harsh, if Hav (or more likely Hav’s publicist) wanted me to do a new interview with him tomorrow, I would be ready at the drop of a dime.
Now that we got the breakdown out of the way (unfortunately I do not have a large green field and nice suit to simulate how the interview went a la Tom Jackson and Mike Ditka hiking the ball to each other), it’s time to thank the commenters. Why? For actually reading the interview.
I love Mobb music but that was the most boring read ever!!! any interview where the questions are longer than the responces are impossible to read. Some people are meant to stay out the public eye and just make music. Hav is one of them. Please don't interview this dude anymore.
I don’t think this was the most boring interview ever. Those never get published unless I absolutely have to make a point to a pushy publicist that their artist sucks. And sorry, RICH, but I will absolutely interview Havoc again if I get the chance and can not apologize for it if my questions are longer than his responses. He may not like doing interviews but if he’s going to be doing them, I’m going to be showing up with questions each time hoping for that one breakthrough where he suddenly feels like giving a Just Blaze-length interview (my second favorite interview).
HAV is still that ___. Mobb Deep is still that crew. HAV definately needs to get some more tracks out. This is one of the cats that inspired me to produce. Interview wasnt great but his music makes up for it a 100 times over. CientifiQ http://www.myspace.com/cientifiq
Dead on. The interview really wasn’t great but when you can produce like Havoc, you can get away with it. That’s also why you don’t see him doing a ton of interviews.
shaheim ali wrote:
I agree havoc is and always has sucked at givin interviews. He make good beats tho but he seems kinda dumb and doest have a lot of point of views. P is a lil better at that. N most of the ?'S bein asked was pretty bad too.
One word for shaheim – what would you have asked him? Seriously. I’m not saying this in an angry or condescending way. I genuinely want to know what you would have asked him to make this interview better. Keep in mind you have between 15 and 20 minutes. If you’re lucky you could maybe sneak a question or two in there about Hell On Earth or Murda Muzik but you won’t get a halfway decent response because most rappers generally don’t want to reminisce on the past when they have projects coming out in the future. But really, I want to know.
What’s fascinating to me is how different Havoc and Prodigy are when they do interviews. Prodigy will tell you exactly how he feels, as he’s compared himself to Malcolm X on the radio after getting arrested for carrying an illegal gun! Malcolm X! Not Tank Johnson, Malcolm X! This is the man who brought us “Pearly Gates.” How can we forget the blog he wrote before going to jail when he typed out a list of all the rappers he didn’t like? That was brilliant. That’s the kind of spontaneity and honesty we say we want from rappers yet we never get it because most guys are more concerned with having friends and a release date that keeps getting extended for some reason than fans who can respect their opinions.
The way Prodigy thoroughly incorporates the “a little blood get on my daughter it’s nothing she’ll live” philosophy into his daily life has me waiting for his next blog the way Tony Yayo is just waiting for someone to ask him what he thinks about Young Buck. I would not be surprised at all if Prodigy posts a blog about all the inmates he doesn’t like.
“Albert in CB4, you snore too loud. I’m coming for your dessert. Jimmy, those cigarettes are mine. Frank, you can’t come dig with us anymore. We’ll escape without you. I’ll get the hair I need from the barbershop myself.”
Note to self – do not base entire concept of prison off of old episodes of Prison Break and the classic film (not “movie”) Alcatraz. I never had the fancy cable to get Oz so pardon my lack of Oz-related references.
Anyone ever notice that the MC Gusto and Prodigy share the same first name?
The whole point of this column was to point out that some artists are better interviews than others. But you know this, man. And the second, and more important, point was to thank the readers who actually read the interview and left a comment relating to the interview itself. It’s never a good time when I do an interview that I know sucks but all the comments sound like a drunk Joe Namath – “Yeah! New album coming soon! Yeah! I want to kiss you. Yeah!”