Havoc Opens Up About His New Film and Method Man’s Dope Addition to ‘The Silent Partner’ Album
Havoc is in a good space these days. The rapper is no longer "scared to death, scared to look," as the lyrics go on the 1994 Mobb Deep banger "Shook Ones (Part II)." He's got his sights set on elevation, expanding his brand and taking his artistry to new levels. The Queens native is fresh off producing songs like "Famous" and "Real Friends" on Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album and creating an expansion pack with Native Instruments. Yes, you can get busy with beats curated by Havoc too.
This month, the 41-year-old rhymer takes a back seat from the production grind to master the mic on his new album, The Silent Partner. The 11-track collaborative effort with The Alchemist was completed in 2015, taking a total of four weeks to create. These guys play no games in the studio. Politics and contracts kept the project from being released sooner than expected but release day is finally drawing near, May 20.
During a visit to XXL's office in New York on Monday (May 9), Havoc sat down for our very first Facebook Live interview to open up about The Silent Partner and answer fans' questions. While many artists find themselves hitting roadblocks during the recording process, that wasn't the case here. "Surprisingly enough, the whole album just went really smooth," Havoc says. "We was just knocking out songs every day, sometimes like two, three songs a day. No hiccups, no bumps in the road. I can just say Alchemist is the type of person, like he's a producer that he kinda directs the artist when they, you know, spitting their lyrics."
Havoc's own production background could've lead to the two beatmakers bumping heads in the studio but the Mobb Deep MC stayed in his lyrical lane for this effort. After all, Alchemist and Havoc have years of experience working together on tracks like “Get at Me,” off Infamy, and “Win or Lose” and “Got It Twisted,” featured on Amerikaz Nightmare. "I just left it to Alchemist," he shares. "I just wanted to take a backseat real quick and just focus on lyrics. I didn't wanna care about beats or how it sounded. I just trusted him and I just spit on the tracks."
The vintage stylings of "Maintain (F*ck How You Feel)" and the piano-laden "Buck 50's & Bullet Wounds" featuring Method Man prove Alchemist knows what he's doing. Meth's addition to the project was fitting, considering Havoc has built a strong working relationship with the Wu-Tang Clan member over the years.
"I wanted to do a feature with somebody I already had a rapport with, somebody I was familiar with, somebody that I was a fan of," The Infamous creator explains. And I haven't worked with Method Man in a while, other than producing tracks for him. I just was like, I think Meth would sound dope to this. I hit him up, he did it and he looked out for us. He's busy, you know he's doing movies and stuff like that. Just to get a verse from him, period, was dope."
Aside from Method Man, Cormega ("Hear Me Now") and his Mobb Deep partner Prodigy ("The Gun Holds a Drum") also show up on the forthcoming LP.
2016 is already proving to be a big year for Havoc. Besides releasing another album, he's excited for his film to come to fruition. The rhymer spent five months developing the script with a team of writers. For now, Havoc is keeping the title under wraps.
"I wrote a film recently that I'm gonna start filming and get with a major film company to do that," he reveals. "I'm not gonna say the title or nothing like that but it's a really great movie that I wrote. And the movie is based in L.A., the story is based in L.A. It's an original story. When you finally hear about it you're gonna be like, 'Oh, shit! Wow!' It's like real different. It's somebody being raised by a family that you wouldn't be imagining that he would be raised by. I'll put it like that."
Ideas come easy for Havoc, who has more than 20 years in the game. But sticking solely to his hip-hop roots won't help him climb up the ladder of success. "That was the first time in my life I ever put a script together," the man born Kejuan Muchita states. "I feel like we gotta do a lot of different things, you know what I'm saying, when it come to just being an artist. You can't just be just one-dimensional, you know. And I did it all. I did a lot. I produced, I toured, you know, I put out albums, went platinum and gold. It's like it's time to do a lot of other things."
Before The Silent Partner drops and his film arrives, one big thing is coming his way: his birthday. He'll be turning 42 a day after the new LP debuts. So where is Havoc headed to celebrate? "Australia," he says with a smile.
Watch above as Havoc discusses the new album, the five best beats he's created during his career, whether there will ever be a "Shook Ones (Part III)" and much more.
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