Billy Danze of M.O.P.
Push ‘Em Back

bdanze.jpgJubilant isn’t a characterization expected when describing Billy Danze, but today, the muscular half of M.O.P. is walking around in flip-flops, happily shaking hands and playing the role of host. Surprisingly upbeat, Danze’s laughing, smoking and drinking during a press day at Eagle’s Nest Studio in Manhattan for his new rap-rock group, Hevi Medal, and their self-titled debut album. Comprised of Billy, Ikkabod, Fox and Mounia Tajou, the group will release their LP at the end of the year on Hevi Medal Music/Geffen. It’s another M.O.P. side project—much like 2004’s Mash Out Posse and 2005’s St. Marxmen—but once again, it’s not the album fans have patiently been waiting for since the Brooklyn duo released their last official album, Warriorz, seven years ago on Loud Records. After Loud folded in 2002, Danze and partner Lil’ Fame signed with Roc-A-Fella Records the following year and announced their fifth album, Ghetto Warfare. Little did they know that the Roc dynasty was slowly crumbling, leaving M.O.P. in purgatory and their album shelved indefinitely. Finally freeing themselves from that situation, the Mash Out Posse found a new home at 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records in 2005. But in the two years since then, the Brownsville, Brooklyn natives have yet to release any material from their newly titled album, Yearly Physical. With fans growing impatient and critics still skeptical if G-Unit is the right fit for M.O.P, XXLMag.com tracked down the elusive Billy Danze to get the official word on their relationship with 50 Cent and his new rock album.

What’s the status of M.O.P.’s album on G-Unit, Yearly Physical?
I think you’ll definitely get an album on G-Unit later on this year. They were a little backed up in releasing their [other] artists due to the major success they had. This is my thoughts, I’m not really sure, but that’s what it seems. So I think later on this year. I’m actually going to talk to 50 next week and we’ll sit down and come up with a plan. Because we have a gang of music, so we need to start launching it.

Two weeks ago, 50 Cent did an interview with another online publication and when he was asked about M.O.P.’s album, he said, “Until they’re actually ready, I won’t release their record. I ain’t gonna bet on a horse with three legs, no matter how much I like the horse.” What’s your response to that?
You really believe that? I didn’t hear it, so I wouldn’t even comment. But I’m sure, whoever reads this interview…. First of all, I’m not a bitch. We’re not gonna mix this up with me being a bitch and just being a man and saying I didn’t hear anything like that. This is the first time I ever heard that. So I’ll speak to Fif’ about it tomorrow. I’ll see exactly what he means and then I’ll give you a call and let you know exactly what he meant. I don’t really fuck with the computer, so if that’s what he said, then that could be looked at as disrespect. But I’m a grown man, so I’ll go talk to him about it and see what happens.

Through all the delays with Roc-A-Fella and G-Unit, do you feel like M.O.P. has ever gotten a fair shot?
Of course, my kids are well. [Laughs] When I get on stage, that’s my fair shot. Anything I do, that’s my fair shot. We control our own shit and that’s just it. We’ve always been given a fair shot. After, maybe, the second album [1996’s Firing Squad], we’ve really been given a fair shot. The first album [1994’s To the Death], not really because we couldn’t get nobody to listen. The second album, we were still in that same phase. [With] the third album [1998’s First Family 4 Life], the world was ours. So we’re doing well. I love the space that we’re in right now. Everything is great.

You guys haven’t had an album in seven years but people still care about M.O.P. What does that say about your legacy?
I know what it says. But it’s not about what I think; it’s about what somebody else thinks. If there are still people telling me, “Go, go, go. Bring me that shit,” then I’m gonna bring it to you. I’m comfortable with just being Billy Danze. I don’t need to be what a muthafucka wants me to be. I gotta be me. And this thing has worked out pretty good for me. My children are well. My lady is well. So it’s a long way from the bag of shit I come from. I’m fuckin’ rich! From the bag of shit I come from, I’m fuckin’ loaded. So I’m happy as shit. I got the dream team around me and all my niggas are still here. It’s always been family with us. Family is everything. So the seven-year hiatus is just a seven-year hiatus. That just gave us enough time to come up with a gang of muthafuckin’ plans. Because when we launch this thing on ’em, it’s going to be fuckin’ crucial. When I say crucial, my nigga, I mean crucial. I don’t know if niggas are really going to be able to deal with it. They can hate all they want, they ain’t gonna be able to fuck with it, though. I guarantee it.

Say your official album doesn’t come out this year as planned. Would you ever think about leaving G-Unit?
I don’t need any label to keep my legacy going. G-Unit brought something to the table for M.O.P. I went on a world tour with these dudes. I appreciate it. They’ve brought something to us and we brought some attention to them. M.O.P. and G-Unit don’t have any differences. So I don’t really see us getting off G-Unit, especially for no reason. If I had a reason to go like, “Fuck that, them niggas ain’t treatin’ us right,” then I’d bounce. But that’s not the case. I’ma fair dude. I’m a fair nigga! I’m a fair gangsta! I’m a grown man. Business is business. If it’s not going to work then we’re not going to do it. That’s it. Maybe that’s what 50 was saying, but I’ll talk to him about it.

Is the rock heavy influence on Hevi Medal just a natural progression for you?
Yeah, it’s something that we always like doing. Over the last two years I’ve been sitting back listening to Nickelback, Korn, and all them dudes. Of course, I can’t do it like them, but I’m trying to get close. If I get close, I’m still better than most. It’s something we’ve been doing since the beginning of M.O.P. anyway with records like “Rugged Neva Smoove” and “Handle Ur Bizness.” We’ve always been on that rock line; we’ve just never really dedicated an entire album to it outside of the Mash Out Posse joint. Plus, this gave me a shot to work with other artists as well. It’s working out pretty good. We’ve been getting good feedback.

Tell us about the lead single off the Hevi Medal album, “7:30.”
We got my man Ikkabod from Detroit [on the track]. The kid is an incredible rapper and writer. He’s got energy like we need. He’s got that M.O.P. energy. So we’ve figured out a little niche to work together. We came up with the “7:30” joint, which is the first single. We got the video and everything for it. It’s a slow climb but it’s doing rather well. We are doing it all ourselves without any major help. It’s working out.

  • Ur Girl’s otha nigga

    First

  • http://www.myspace.com/mc585 M.C

    I’m not quiet a fan but i respect their music–matter fact if its real–on any genre i’ll respect it–but these niggaz need to step it up–fuck all that 50 talk–let me hear your–i haven’t heard from these dudes since they last banger—put something out–stay revelant–stay in the mix–don’tdistance yourselves then–when you ready to come out–telling me to go copp that sht–fuck that

  • curse58

    first 1st 1 one uno

  • $ANDREW$

    first- m.o.p need to come out they some hard core niggaz but 50 more important when 50 sell 10 million then yayo come out cuz everybody will b fellin g-unit then m.o.p then the g-unuit group album

  • Conte

    I think they dont understand what 50 was saying. A while back there was talk about MOP haveing problems, about Fame being in Jamacia, I think what 50 is saying is that he wont put there shit out until they are straight, like you aint gonna bet on a horse with 3 legs, meaning why would you put there album out if they aint on good terms, like you need both of them straight to promote the album, to do shows, I think thats what 50 might have meant,

  • doctor69

    what deal my dude billy dane hope you and fame drop your album i’ve been a fan since how about some hardcore before I was dating your cousin hope my mop dudes smash every bullshit album out that includes gay ass wayne and caM’RUN fuck bullshit ra support my fellow brownviallians one love to tilden,van dyke and rivedale pj holla at ya folk

  • timmy caskets

    been a big m.o.p. fan for years now and i’m getting sick of waiting for the new album. these dudes deserve a fair shot man. fuck platinum sales nigga, tell that nigga 50 to release your album and real niggaz in the hood will cop that shit. love to see billy and fame broadening their style with the rock shit. do what you do my niggas. brownsville! mash out posse! fucking legends!

  • I’M THAT DUDE

    I am definitely anxious…can’t wait for this to drop. However I don’t know if I could fuck with a heavy metal album but who knows. Hopefully it will all be worth the wait.

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  • tha boss

    1st bitches

  • Mympho

    This has got to be the wackest rap group ever

  • Dade County 305

    I LIKE HOW THEM NIGGAZ KEPT IT ON SOME GROWN MAN SHIT! SOUND LIKE SOME REAL BROTHAS. NIGGAZ KNOW 50 GOT MOP BACK AND THEM NIGGAZ KNOW IT. GET PAPER MY NIGGAZ… BUSINESS IS BUSINESS… NOW THATS REAL TALK.

  • who u?

    good read…hip-hop needs that M.O.P. album asap w/ them hard rugged beats

  • john cochran

    Its nice to see a NY rapper happy and eatin, not all bitter and mad at thier boss. Not a big fan, but they can make a hell of a hype record.

  • Caine

    “…I blast out Posse’s/Da only niggaz dat get me hype is da Mash Out Posse”. – Hell Rell

  • A.K.

    For having invented the shit, black guys sure have shitty taste in rock music. Nickelback? Korn? White people get made fun of for bullshit like that, black people are supposed to have more soul.

  • G-Unit2k7

    leaving G-Unit would be a mistake. They are going to do well with them. 50 knows what he is doing and to lose M.O.P would help nobody. They will work it out and hopefully an album will come out, because that would be fire.

  • hokus

    This man has his head on straight! Broaden your minds to different forms of the hustle. Get that money and do what you love! That’s livin’!

  • Freddy(Vega$)

    BIG Ups to MOP Keep doin yall thing and remember to play your position and good things will come, 50 marketing is good, he knows what going on and whats about to happen, when that Album drops I already kno its going to be FIRE!!! u guys are still better than most rappers out!! DO what you do!! MOP, BUCK, 50 and I guess even Banks are the hardest niggaz in the UNIT!!

  • OUTYA’SELF!

    FFFFIRE! THEM BROWNSVILLE NIGGA’S AT IT AGAIN!

  • Dr Flav

    “…Billy Danze, but today, the muscular half of M.O.P. is walking around in flip-flops,” “that could be looked at as disrespect…” LOL, come on man I didnt need that imagery of Bill Danze, but good interview, he kept it gully on some grown man like he stated, he didnt fly off the handle without talking back to dude, I would be eager to hear his follow up response if you all get one, Mr Hienzelman.

  • Dr Flav

    doctor69 Says:

    May 14th, 2007 at 1:02 pm
    “what deal my dude billy dane hope you and fame drop your album i’ve been a fan since how about some hardcore before I was dating your cousin hope”

    Translation, “y’all use to rob me around the way, cause I was a herb.”

    “my mop dudes smash every bullshit album out that includes gay ass wayne and caM’RUN fuck bullshit ra support my fellow brownviallians one love to tilden,van dyke and rivedale pj holla at ya folk”

    Translation, “Now I’ve graduated to a dick ridin
    herb.” Frontin like you from Brownsville… you shame that section of BK, Pimpmaster sonned you in Harlem!

  • sick of people sayin first

    whats up wit people writing first when their not actually first. that shits corny as hell. n e way i think mop can do so much better then g unit. that place is a sinking ship and they need to bail before their careers go down the drain!

  • agee

    I like the way he put it…..my kids are good, my wife is good.

  • da_realting

    toughest cats in the game! without a doubt!!!! we need to hear from yall been missing yall for some years!!!! no rock and roll but how about some hardcored!!!! yeah we like it raw!!!!

  • MisterB

    M.O.P IS THE TRUTH FOR YEARS, THESE OTHER NIGGAS IS SCARED

  • teknique06

    fuck 50

  • Holla

    their album is never gonna drop

  • that dude

    ^ True story

  • http://mine chea

    M.O.P hasn’t dropped due to 50 trying to keep his limelight. 50 know they the truth and would sell album to a very big fanbase.

  • Detroit City

    U See how that media dude Started Some Shit though? This is Danze. Hell Yeah He Finna get mad about that. Them Niggaz is good man. They know what they got. Shout 2 my dude Ikkabod.

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  • Hip Hop since 79′

    FREE M.O.P. … from g-unit

  • j.golden

    I think nobody feels nann of these old ass niggas,go back to your retirement homes!!hahahahaha Buck’s the truth though……..

  • j.golden

    I think nobody feels nann of these old ass niggas,go back to your retirement homes!!hahahahaha Buck’s the truth though……..

  • MOP rocks!

    50 was simply saying he wont release their joint until all the aspects are in place. e.g u cant have a good album without good marketing, thus the three legged horse analogy. everything has to be in place..the horse has to have all the legs. stop tryna start beefs XXL.

  • JohnTheDoe

    I hope, when the dudes earned enough cash, they will return to primo and rock their shit !!! Gunit is a good chapter for acts to save theier old-age pension but good music is produced from others.

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  • Facescar

    Get em Danz!!! BBBBRRRRRRAAANNNGGGGHH!!!!

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  • rip

    another great post, except i totally disagree with your Saigon comments

    another album im interested in hearing is the new Styles Of Beyond album “Rocket Surgery”, although its comming out on the Linkin Park record label

  • Ziggy

    I SEEN M.O.P IN CONCERT LIKE 2 YEARS AGO THEY WERE THE WHOLE SHOW….BIG UPS TO M.O.P…..I WAS ALSO THE FIRST ONE TO HEAR THE OUTTA CONTROL SONG AHAHAHH

  • dark vanilla

    MOP iz never gonna come out wit another album as long as they’re signed to G-Unit. General Curtis will keep on Pushing Em Back. Too bad, cuz I really dig MOP

  • J.T.S.

    I respect the Firing squad, but i don’t think fifty’s gonna do anything for their career.
    It’ll be the same situation like Roc-a-fella,
    I’m not a hater but i think M.O.P.’s sound is too raw, and too real to be in the unit.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dachaomusic DaChao(Look What I Have Become)

    HAHAHHAAHAA
    Yea they is too real. i like the unit but i LOVE what he syas
    That can be taken as disrespect.
    how many G-Unit niggaz would have balls to say that about fifty
    this nigga tha shit