Getting dropped by Jive Records was the best thing that ever happened to Mobb Deep: A week after the call last March from Jive, 50 Cent invited the duo -- rapper-producer Havoc and rapper Prodigy -- to sign with G Unit, and gave his fellow Queens, New York, natives a pair of Porsches. "That was the bait that got me," Havoc says. They set to work on their new album, Blood Money, due March 21st.
The hardcore vets were pleased to find that they had a good working relationship with 50, despite some bad blood. (On last year's "Piggy Bank," 50 told Jadakiss, "I'll do your little ass like Jay did Mobb Deep" -- a reference to Jay-Z's famously brutal dis on "Takeover.") "It was just like being around our homeys," says Havoc. "He made us feel so comfortable, he just pulled us right in." Havoc produced most of the disc, including the Knight Rider-sampling track "Night Riders."
For the Dr. Dre-produced "Nightmares," 50 sings a hook he conceived after being awoken in the middle of the night on a trip to Africa, and Prodigy adds verses about a recurring dream. "It's about protecting myself from being shot," he says. "But when I go to use the gun, I can't pull the trigger."
The duo -- partners since high school and longtime roommates -- says 50 was an inspiration. "He's like a robot in the studio," says Prodigy. "We competin' with the best."