FEATURE: M.O.P., Hardbody

You could pair Hulk Hogan and Kimbo Slice and you wouldn’t match the tag team of M.O.P. Comprised of Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame, the head-bashing Brooklyn duo has thrived on impeccable synergy since first hitting the hip-hop scene with 1994’s To The Death. After fifteen years, eight albums, and a couple fruitless stints at Roc-A-Fella (2001-2005) and G-Unit (2005-2008), the hardcore rap tandem remains raw—hotter than a “4 Alarm Blaze,” yet “Cold As Ice.”

Chalk up the steadfast consistency to staying grounded. Perhaps that’s the theme of the twosome’s upcoming album, Foundation, promised to offer the same Timberland boot-friendly sounds of past bangers like the 2000 stick-up anthem, “Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory).” And with solo albums in the works from both Mash Out Posse members—Billy’s Behind Gates and Fame’s And the Glory—the two are out to prove they can each stand on their own. But not before delivering a double-forearmed clothesline to trite rappers, skinny jeans and Jay-Z’s wifey. Blaow!

XXLMag.com: Foundation is M.O.P.’s first fully original album since 2000’s Warriorz. What should fans expect from the 2009 M.O.P.?

Lil’ Fame: The album’s rugged like a motherfucker. Same shit, nothing different from how we’ve been doing shit. It’s good to be back working again, have some good music out.

Billy Danze: Hell yeah. We’re in a recession—a dope-music recession—with all this bullshit.

Lil’ Fame: Look what they did to these kids. These kids lookin’ fucked up now, walking around with muthafuckin’ dungaree spandex on. Shit is crazy. [Laughs] Pants stuffed inside they sneakers and shit.

Billy Danze: Yeah, with muthafuckin’ rubber bands all around your shit. Back in the days, the older Gs were wearing straight leg Lees, but they was able to fight and run when a motherfucker start shooting. These niggas can’t fight and run now. Little-ass pants. Them shits be lookin’ crazy [Laughs].

Lil’ Fame: Dressin’ like a lady.

XXL: The skinny jeans are kind of symbolic of the emo rap movement—with the Drakes and Kid Cudis. With a lot of the more emotional raps going on, is M.O.P. asking “How About Some Hardcore?”

Billy Danze: Well, Drake and Cudi [are] dope. If you put somebody in front of me that’s not dope, I’ma say that’s wack. You can talk to Melle Mel and Kool Herc and all these dudes that really started hip-hop; these dudes are proud that hip-hop didn’t stand still. Hip-hop is supposed to evolve. That’s how you keep it fresh. New people come in the game—

Lil’ Fame: Let’s not get crazy, though. [Laughs] This shit is getting out of hand. Some of this shit don’t need to be going on.

XXL: So what’s bumping in your iPods?

Billy Danze: I don’t really listen to rap music. I listen to old shit, like when R&B was rhythm and blues. Not um, what’s the shit? [Sings] You got a big ego. [Laughs] I love [Beyoncé], but I don’t understand why you’d try to make my daughter listen to a song where you know good and goddamn well you’re talking about a nigga’s dick, trying to spin it around and talk about an ego. Fuck outta here.

Lil’ Fame: I bump reggae hard as a muthafucka. Like it’s hip-hop.

XXL: Interesting, one of rap’s most rugged acts, and neither of you listen to much hip-hop?

Lil’ Fame: Yeah, I just like the old school classic shit, ’90s shit, album cuts that nobody know. I don’t like radio music. The music nowadays, you can’t just put on an album—like a Slick Rick album—and listen to the whole shit. It’s like two [good] songs on the album.

Billy Danze: They’re saying the same shit. I can’t be that excited about a fucking watch and chain anymore, because everybody’s talking about the same watch and the same chain. Your Cadillac, Ferrari, alright. I got a Buick! I’m doing a Buick, nigga. And I ain’t got 20s on it. Somebody need to create a new car, this way we can get excited about a muthafucka talking about a car again.

XXL: Are you guys fans of the Clipse? They’ve been proclaiming themselves the “best duo ever” lately.

Billy Danze: The Clipse is dope, dude.

Lil’ Fame: Yeah, they dope as a muthafucka. M.O.P. is dope as a motherfucker, though.

Billy Danze: You don’t think the Clipse should’ve said that? What do you think?

XXL: They’ve got a lot of competition. There’s OutKast, Mobb Deep, UGK, EPMD, M.O.P…

Lil’ Fame: We forgot about all those names, son. Come to think about it, you right, son.

Billy Danze: Nah, they dope though, dude. They dope.

Lil’ Fame: I ain’t even gonna front, I actually slept on the Clipse. Until I did some production [for The Re-Up Gang]. From there I realized how dope them muthafuckas was. They was going over my head a lot, I kinda slept on them. But they’re dope.

XXL: Fame, you also did a lot of production on Wu-Tang Clan’s latest disc, Chamber Music, under your Fizzy Womack alias. Was it difficult to tap into the Wu sound?

Lil’ Fame: Well, actually, RZA was there when I was working on the shit. We actually did it with a band. We let the band make music, and we chopped it up like it was a record. Got the soul samples that he liked and I chopped them up. That’s how that worked. It was fun. Making beats is just fun for me. I do that shit with my eyes closed. [Laughs] Being cosigned by RZA, that’s gon’ have me more gassed up.

XXL: Y’all each also have solo albums on the way. Musically, what’s the biggest difference between Billy Danze and Lil’ Fame?

Billy Danze: Fame’s just weird.

Lil’ Fame: Billy’s fuckin’ throat’s always hurting. [Laughs]

Billy Danze: My shit hurt right now. I swear to God my shit hurt right now. I’m tired of screaming and yelling. [Laughs]

Lil’ Fame: Billy comes across as older, like, I been there and I’m telling you this.

Billy Danze: I think the basic difference is you can actually get what Fame’s thinking when he’s not in the studio with me. Or when I get his big ass out and he heads to the bathroom, what the fuck is on my mind. So the M.O.P. fan—we don’t call them fans anymore, we call them family ‘cause they been around so long—the family really needs to get different perspectives of M.O.P.

XXL: It’s been 15 years since your debut album, and M.O.P. has been able to maintain a solid fanbase. What’s been your secret to staying consistent, yet evolving at the same time?

Lil’ Fame: We bad, nigga.

Billy Danze: It starts at the beginning. We didn’t follow nobody else’s steps, we did what we knew how to do, what we were good at. And that’s what we do today. It don’t change. People don’t really change. If a muthafucka change, he didn’t really change, he’s just showing you what the fuck he really is. M.O.P. continues to do M.O.P. Hardbody! —John Kennedy

  • abdulnasir

    FIRST! M.O.P’s Warriorz was the SHIT! ANTE UP!

  • John Cochran

    I agree with that Beyonce comment. This bitch got lil girls runnin around singing, it’s too big, it’s too wide. Disrespect. I’ve always been a fan of MOP but more from a distance. The whole yelling thing gets old like three songs in. Fame is crazy on the beats though.

  • 11KAP

    They make songs for niggas that can’t hear. lol, nah, they be yelling like shit tho, like they’re the heavy metal of hip hop. nigga said his throat hurt. lls, aww shit!!

  • http://pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    character ass kniccas. good peoples

  • d

    when a cat say he making the same music since 2000 in 2009 i just won’t bother to listen to it somw rappers just don’t get it that times has change

  • The Southern Comfort

    They definitely come across as real guys, the kinda rappers who’ll talk music and smoke up with anyone after a show, i can fux with that everyday.

    and they do come hard, shit i remember being hammer drunk at a school dance and ante up came on, just went mental. my date was unimpressed…

  • Who Cares

    these fools look like they have down syndrome

  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    Good read. Cats done said it all.

    “Shell Casings” is on heavy rotation yo.

  • AZ40

    Real just Real…Niggas is wearing spandex dugarees rotflmao…Dope music rescession

  • Sleepy Wonder

    I Wouldn’t Be Surprised If They Robbed Dude After The Interview…

    • YoungJFK

      Nope. Luckily it was a phone interview, so I still got my jew-elz. Ha!

  • Jesus Martinez

    That Ghetto Warfare album they released a couple years ago was hard as fuck. I think it was mostly songs they recorded while at Rocafella.

  • Roderick Toombs

    Fiyahhhhhhhh

  • Teddy

    haha love m.o.p. but rappers always talkin about fashion of these kids sounds to me like “you young wiper snappers damnn hipeys and their long their” haha man “in my old days” shut the fuck up

  • macdatruest

    These the type of niggas I like to know is still in the game. They was able to come across as real people, not just images. Them niggas shot down all that whip and chain talk shit, them niggas just seem comfortable. Niggas sell 10 million and can’t go home, I bet these niggas at home right now eatin fruit loops and will still hit the south or the west and cater to their fanbase they built over years.

    Plus when the dude kept tryin to get them niggas to talk bad about other rappers, them niggas just gave niggas they props. Why hate? Them niggas get too much respect for that bullshit they gone keep it hip hop and just beat niggas up for real who talk shit. Might be the REALEST duo of all time

  • g3n303

    Nothing is wrong with spandex dungarees, thank you.

  • Enlightened

    That’s real shit about that Beyonce song.
    So-called “Gangsta Rap” catches a lot of heat from critics, but on the low…

    Beyonce has introduced a whole bunch of bullshit to our young girls on the sneak tip through songs like that

  • felipesiny

    MOP are the run dmc of this era!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • G-UNOT KILLA

    DUSTY AZZ OG’Z TELL NIGGAZ TO GROW UP AND GET A FUCCIN JOB LMAO. THE CRIPS WOULD EAT THEZE OLD BITCHES ALIVE IN L.A.

  • NEWYAWKA631

    DOGGIE,IM KEEPING IT GUTTA………BAGGY JEANZ TIMBZ,AND HOODIEZ…………FUCK YA SWAGGGGGAAAAAAA

  • clvbosslady

    They are so street! Real dudes I support their music all day NY back in the building!!!!

  • Teddy

    thats some hipocracy right there about the ego song look at the content of m.o.p’s songs should kids be listening to that…hell yes its not for anyone one person to decide quit tryin to censor music this for your kids

    • Kandonga

      Teddy, if u buy an MOP cd it has a sticker reading “Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics” a Bey cd is for all ages.

  • King Joffy Joe

    Thank GOD for niggas like M.O.P.! This whole emo/fag rap shit needs to DIE. Die a slow and painful death!

  • 718ToDa212

    Yo, I heard M.O.P. was workin on a track wit Easy Mo Bee. Ne1 know what happened wit that or did it never come out. Would be dope hearin some of the best from the era workin together…

    Respect where it all began…Sedgwick & Cedar 73. Pay homage…

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    Cool ass interview, cant say I been a hardbody fan for years although I always kept Ante Up in the Ipod. Much success to the dudes. And yea, Fame kills them beats

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  • BillBishop

    Those dudes are ugly as fuck

  • balaramesh

    @macdatruest,

    you can find both of them just about any day in brownsville, BK that is

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