Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita is not much for change. In fact, his third solo effort “13: embraces the classic, boom-bap 90’s sound that made him an icon as a member of the platinum Queensbridge, New York duo Mobb Deep. But while there is buzz surrounding the upcoming release (due out May 7), a lot of the talk these days has been centered around Havoc’s surprising reunion with longtime Mobb Deep partner Prodigy. The pair have been involved in a hardboiled war-of-words that seemingly at times took a turn beyond music (Havoc accused P of being gay: https://www.vibe.com/article/havoc-admits-dissing-prodigy-twitter-mobb-deep-hiatus during his stint behind bars while P brushed off the diss, claiming that Hav was simply jealous of his standing in rap). With a new album and Mobb Deep back on tour, Havoc explains how he and Prodigy were able to rise above their beef and why “13” worships at the alter of what he views as hip-hop’s greatest, and most productive period.—Keith Murphy (murphdogg29)
VIBE: Before we get into your new project, let’s talk about your reunion with longtime Mobb Deep partner Prodigy. You guys went through a pretty public, nasty, high profile breakup in which you questioned P’s sexuality on Twitter during his time in prison. How were you able to look past such a serious fallout?
Havoc: It definitely was getting real. But getting back with P is really nothing hard. Me and him, at the end of the day, are like brothers. Whatever happened is just water under the bridge.
So you are cool now?
Yeah…it wasn’t really that serious.
The video for your latest single “Gone” definitely fits the mold of the classic Mobb Deep/Havoc, shit-talking, guns-out-all-blazing style. Was that your intention?
I definitely was. When I was making the song I was just trying to be me, but at the same time I was trying to recapture the feeling of the ‘90s.
A lot of up-and-coming MC’s like Joey Badass and Action Bronson have shown a reverence for ‘90s hip-hop, the same era that Mobb Deep had some of its best commercial and artistic success. What comes to mind when you see younger MC’s celebrating a period that many critics call arguably the greatest in rap history?
It’s not that surprising to me, because what goes around comes around. History really does repeats itself. So it’s not that shocking to see new MC’s and new artists coming out now paying homage to the ‘90s. There was just great music all around during that period.
Your latest album “13” has been in the making since late last year. What is the concept behind this project?
Pretty much in the same style of “Gone.” This is about being me. I’m not trying to sound like anyone else or jump on any styles that’s happening today. I wanted to recapture that sound of the ‘90s. I wasn’t trying to go crazy just to sound different to get radio spins. People will hear some of that classic Mobb Deep sound and the features I have on the album pretty much sums that up. I have Raekwon on there, Styles P, Lloyd Banks…so I have some strong features that mesh well with this project.
Have you already lined up your next single?
If I tell you my next single, I have to kill you [laughs].
How does it feel to be back on tour with Prodigy?
It’s great. This was is a collective effort. It was about that time. P is about to release his solo album and I’m about to release my project, so it just made sense, aside from squashing our beef. We are going to be performing our solo material as well as our Mobb Deep music.