Photo: Alexander Richter
Hip Hop Connection Digital just interviewed the world’s greatest rap duo. Here’s are some highlights:
After being asked to talk about the making of each Mash Out Posse studio album in the new issue of HHC Digital, Billy and Laze (Fame and his mountainous belly were too busy gawping at a magazine to take park) go back to the ‘Ante Up’ days…
HHC Digital: Can you remember the first time you preformed ‘Ante Up’ in a club?
Laze: “The Limelight, in New York.”
Billy: “It was so hot; somebody passed out. It was steaming hot, there was a broken AC or something, it was like 2000 degrees, it was hot as shit…”
Laze: “The story behind that was that Peter Gation, who also owned the Tunnel, didn’t want MOP to perform at The Limelight, so in spite to us because we’d been on the radio and everything, he made them turn off the AC. That was to spite MOP. But we packed the house.”
What was the reaction to the song like?
Laze: “Well the story behind ‘Ante Up’ was that at the time ‘How About Some Hardcore’ was the record that people were coming to see, and ‘Ante Up’ didn’t have that reaction immediately, except for a certain section just going crazy, but everyone else was looking like, ‘What’s this? Something new?’ It was only after a couple of months later when it started going off, when [Funkmaster] Flex started whiling with it…But I knew it was going to be a hit. With every new song, I look to see if it affects the most aggressive people and then I figure it will filter down and eventually affect everyone. But that particular day, it was aggravating, it was hot, everybody was mad, the group was pissed off, people were falling out with each other… So to put that song in the middle of that scene…”
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen in the crowd when performing ‘Ante Up’?
Billy: “I think the wildest shit was the picket signs, the home made picket signs, just a mop!”
Laze: “Hip-Hop Kemp, right?”
Billy: “I was like, ‘Holy shit, mops!'”
Laze: “We were in Prague, at this big festival with about 50,000 people. It was a European festival where you camp out for the weekend. We were headlining day two, so we’d been there for two days drinking, and then we came out on the stage and there was ‘MOP’ signs and then people started waving mops! A bunch of fuckin’ mops! At that point I was like, ‘Shit is out of control!'”
Going back to ‘Firing Squad’, what was your favorite track from that album?
Billy: “That was on Relativity. My favorite joint was ‘Stick To Ya Gunz’ with Kool G Rap. For me, it was because it was Kool G Rap: I actually met him when he came off the elevator to come to the studio. I’d never seen this man a day in my life outside of the TV and he was coming to the studio to do the record with me and it was fuckin’ amazing. And DJ Premier produced it. If I’m not mistaken that was our first feature.”
Laze: “The funny thing about that record with Premo was we did it at our studio and we made him use a drum machine he didn’t use and he was mad as shit! He was going to fight me that day! All the artists like Fame and Premo, they’re real particular about their equipment. Premo made ‘Brownsville’ and ‘Stick To Your Gunz’ off an MPC60 – he was so fuckin’ pissed off at me but those records were amazing.”
Catch the rest in HHC Digital 003.
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