Sooooooo…Can anyone out there tell us if Mobb Deep are really breaking up? Because, at this point, we're pretty confused. First, Havoc—or someone pretending to be Havoc—took a bunch of shots at Prodigy on Hav's Twitter account. Then, an audio clip leaked with Havoc—or, again, someone pretending to be Havoc—airing out P's dirty laundry and talking about a meeting that the M-O-B-B was gonna have soon so that the two could split up their money and go their separate ways. And, then finally, Hav called into Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club yesterday morning to try and set the record straight by explaining that both the tweets and the audio clip weren't really him. But, DJ Envy, Charlemagne and Angela Yee all sounded skeptical about his explanation and told him that they have more audio with Hav taking shots at P and talking about specific details that only he would know about his (former?) partner-in-rhyme. So, which is it? Is Mobb Deep really breaking up like we thought—or is this all one big misunderstanding as Hav tried to say?
It's going to take some time to sort it all out. Because, honestly, we're still not 100 percent sure what's going on with Hav and P. But, if they really are breaking up, we're going to be devastated. After all, this is Mobb Deep we're talking about, folks! A lot of people here at VIBE—and in the hip-hop community in general—grew up on those guys. So, it's hard for us to think of them splitting up for good. But, if they do call it quits, they certainly won't be the first classic hip-hop duo to part ways. In fact, there have been a number of hip-hop duos that have broken up over the years that we wish would've stayed together. So, with all of this Mobb Deep news swirling around, we decided to put together a list of the 10 hip-hop duos that never should have broken up. The game would be so much better if these groups were still together. Don't you agree?—Chris Yuscavage
The Hip-Hop Duo: EPMD (Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith)
Why They Broke Up: Legend has it that in 1991, Parrish's house was burglarized and one of the men who was arrested for committing the crime told police that Erick had put him up to it.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Well, in this particular case, we wouldn't have blamed Parrish for wanting to get the hell of the group if the story above was true. But, these guys got back together later and then wound up breaking up again to work on their own solo projects. And, while we enjoyed some of Erick's stuff when he was on his own, we would have preferred for them to stick together through the years.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Eric B. and Rakim
Why They Broke Up: Although they made a lot of beautiful music together, money issues with their label MCA Records started to affect their relationship after they released 1992's Don't Sweat The Technique.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: First of all, it put Rakim's career into a holding pattern for about five years until he was able to release his debut, The 18th Letter, in 1997. And while that release was well-received, most of his other solo stuff since then hasn't done as well. Imagine if these two had stayed together. They'll go down in hip-hop history, but they still had so much untapped potential left in them when they split.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Gangstarr (Guru and DJ Premier)
Why They Broke Up: Although there have been a lot of rumors about why Premier and Guru decided to go their separate ways—Google it and you'll find every reason from "creative differences" to "drugs" listed out there—they broke up a couple years after their 2003 album, The Ownerz, was released.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Even though Ownerz was their sixth release and wasn't as solid as some of their early stuff, it was still a really good album that we still bump today. So, we wonder why they decided to break up a good thing. And it's even sadder when you consider the fact that they seemingly hadn't reunited in the years leading up to Guru's death in 2011. Tragic.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Pete Rock and CL Smooth
Why They Broke Up: In 1995, Rock and Smooth split up and offered up the most commonly-used explanation for breakups: "Creative differences."
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Although they've worked on stuff together intermittently over the years, both artists have also taken shots at one another during their times apart. So when you hear someone talk about "Pete Rock & CL Smooth," you tend to think about their beef instead of the good times they had together.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Tha Dogg Pound (Kurupt and Daz Dillinger)
Why They Broke Up: In 2002, Kurupt made the decision to sign a solo deal with Death Row Records. That upset Daz, who engaged in a brief war of words with him.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: They reunited in 2005, but Tha Dogg Pound was never the same again. It felt almost like they were reuniting simply because of their solo struggles, which didn't do much to get people excited about them as a group again. They've released a bunch of projects since '05, but none have been as good as anything they released prior to their breakup.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Bad Meets Evil (Eminem and Royce Da 5'9")
Why They Broke Up: In the early 2000s—while Em's star was still growing—Royce got into a very public feud with D-12, which prompted Em to cut off his ties to Royce.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Although they did reunite last year to drop their long-anticipated group album, Hell: The Sequel, they wasted ten years not speaking to one another. Royce could have enjoyed a much more high-profile career with Em by his side and Em could have a couple more platinum plaques to his name if the two had stayed together and recorded more at the start of their careers. Instead, they wasted a lot of time involved in a pretty senseless split.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Black Sheep (Dres and Mista Lawnge)
Why They Broke Up: After releasing their second album, Non-Fiction, in 1994, they decided to go their separate ways to work on their own solo projects.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: This is a situation where the sum is greater than the whole of its parts. We're not sure if Black Sheep would have been wildly successful in the mid-1990s if they'd stayed together. But, looking back, they had a much better shot at remaining relevant together than by doing it separately. And they had to find that out the hard way.
The Hip-Hop Duo: Organized Konfusion (Pharaoh Monch and Prince Po)
Why They Broke Up: After recording three albums together, they broke up, at least in part, because none of their projects were commercial successes. According to Prince Po, the group got tired of hearing that their albums were dope but not promoted properly and they wanted to keep their reputation intact.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Because if that is the real reason they broke up, it's a lousy reason. And now that they've gone their separate ways, all anyone ever asks them is when they're going to get back together. So, they're kind of screwed either way.
The Hip-Hop Duo: CNN (Capone and Noreaga)
Why They Broke Up: In June 2011, N.O.R.E. took to his Twitter account to announce that the group was breaking up and that he would be continuing on with his solo career.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: Technically, N.O.R.E. already was continuing on with his solo career at the time. So, announcing the breakup seemed unnecessary and, frankly, made us wonder whether or not Capone and N.O.R.E. had a rift between them. After all, why announce that you're breaking up—on Twitter, no less—if you don't have to?
The Hip-Hop Duo: Salt-n-Pepa
Why They Broke Up: Citing fatigue, Salt announced that she was leaving the music industry in the early 2000s and, in doing that, leaving the group as well.
Why They Should Have Stayed Together: At the time, it didn't sound like Pepa had big plans to launch a solo career. Salt-n-Pepa also didn't have any albums due contractually at the time. So, why announce a break up, Salt? It only tarnishes the legacy you've built and puts a blemish on your resume. Just like it did to all the other groups listed here.