The Twitterverse was rocked in early-April with the news that Prodigy and Havoc did not particularly like each other. Rumors have always swirled concerning the friendship, or lack thereof, between the two members of the legendary Rap group Mobb Deep. This, however, was the first time one of the members decided publicly backhand the other so fiercely A Pimp Named Slickback would have been proud. Queensbridge Native, Havoc took to his verified Twitter account to spew venom at Prodigy saying among other things the H.N.I.C. had intercourse with male inmates while imprisoned and was currently carrying a torch for Rihanna.
Havoc fiercely denied that the Tweets were from him. Releasing a statement thru his publicist, Havoc said he lost his phone en route to a Knicks game. His phone was not locked and contained his passwords written in presumably the notes section of his iPhone (this is not a smart idea btw). Some unknown figure must have been incredibly media savvy to not only realize the phone they found was Havoc’s but also to play a convincing part while publicly outing Prodigy. Havoc’s story becomes even more suspicious when you consider there is currently an audio recording floating around the net of him saying some of the same things on tape. Noreaga who used to rock heavy with Mobb Deep back in the day confirmed, with Power 105’s Breakfast Club, that he believed the person speaking on the recording was indeed Queens Rapper/Producer Havoc. Shortly after Havoc’s statement was released, Mobb Deep was seen together at a Knicks game saying publicly that everything is well amongst the QB Boys.
Prodigy went to Hot 97 to further clarify Mobb Deep is not breaking up anytime soon in an interview with Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenburg. When Rosenburg asked Prodigy why the group did not come out with a statement sooner Prodigy replies, “We just kept quiet about it on purpose.” “So you’re acknowledging that once it became big, you said we might as well milk this for what it’s worth?” “Yea, basically.” With Prodigy just releasing his autobiography My Infamous Life and Mobb Deep in the process of reviving their music careers publicity could not come at a better time for the duo. While Prodigy would not go as far as calling this a publicity stunt, he might be more comfortable referring to the Mobb’s delayed response as a chess move.
Mobb Deep is not the first to use alternative means to fan the flames of hip-hop popularity. From getting arrested to getting into well-timed rap beef there have been tons of schemes to ramp up record sales. The question however, is do these ploys actually work? Well, arguably the most recent example of a publicity stunt is largely considered to be Common’s Serena-fueled Drake beef and the diss song “Sweet.” Despite the publicity, the Chicago emcee’s latest album The Dreamer, The Believer is still far from gold status (130k) the answer seems to be no. Unfortunately the only numbers publicity stunts typically help boost is the hits an artist name gets on a Google search engine.
Good music sells music, publicity stunts usually do not. As NY radio personality Cipha Sounds goes on to say in the aforementioned interview with Prodigy, “If it was a stunt, you didn’t need it. We are going to play your music regardless.” There are enough devoted Mobb Deep fans across the country to keep the rap group’s music career alive for a long time. I am sure those fans are just as eager to get beyond the make-believe beef and back to the music as Havoc and P are. However, with many conflicting reports now popping up concerning the lost phone and people-in-the-know still insisting those Tweets were not the first time they have heard Havoc make those allegations, it might be a long while before we hear the end of this one. Word.