20 years after Q-Tip helped shape the sound of Mobb Dee’s The Infamous, one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time, things came back full circle with The Abstract helping Havoc land production credits on Kanye’s The Life of Pablo.
As a huge fan of hardcore 90s rap, Kanye has always been a big fan of Mobb Deep. In fact, while recording My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in Hawaii, Ye hung up a sign that read, “What would Mobb Deep do?”
Then during the lead-up to The Life of Pablo, producer Evian Christ spoke to self-titled about working on the album. “I’ve got to get home and write an Otis Redding–style beat for him,” revealed Christ. “He e-mailed last night. He wants something that sounds a bit like Otis Redding, a bit like Mobb Deep.”
For hip hop heads around the world, fiending for some Kanye and Mobb Deep, this sounded like a dream come true. When the album finally dropped, it was a delight to see Havoc’s production credits on two tracks: “Famous” and “Real Friends” – both featuring those trademark Queensbridge drums.
He [Kanye] likes that dark sounding hip-hop drum. He’s still a fan of that. That’s where he comes from. He likes those dark sounding drums, ‘90s sounding drums. He’s a real fan of that. He’s a real artist. He’s multifaceted. He’s open-minded. He’s not in a box. He’ll do a song like “Fade” and do a song like “Famous.” Both dope as hell.Interview: Havoc Explains How Q-Tip Helped Him Get on Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ | Complex
During an interview with Complex, Havoc revealed that it was Tip who encouraged Ye to reach out to him. “Q-Tip is one of the reasons why I even got on this project,” Havoc said. “I think he mentioned it to Kanye. Threw the bug in his ear.”
“Everything just went 360 [degrees] from working on The Infamous album to him throwing the bug in Kanye’s ear. Like, “You know, I think you should work with Havoc.” That was dope.”