M.O.P. with Skitz at System Soundbar (117 Peter), Wednesday (September 8). Tickets: $10 before 11:30, $15 after. 416-408-3996. Rating: NNNNN
New York adrenaline-driven wildmen Mash Out Posse have an energy that's only matched by rap's most animated personalities - people like Busta Rhymes and Kool G Raps.
But as the duo of Billy Danzini and Lil Fame (aka Fizzy Womack) prepared to rock a show in Denmark, they sent confidante and CEO of First Family/Blaze Entertainment Laze E Laze to speak to NOW for them.
Perhaps they needed to rest their voices, assuredly strained from shouting funkily daily. The break will be a good thing, because their Wednesday show at Soundbar is a makeup for one they missed, and it'd better be boisterous.
Laze let me know exactly what the rapping duo who make up M.O.P. have been up to since signing to Roc-a-Fella in 2000. The charismatic First Family member laid it down straight.
"We've stayed on tour, we dropped a lot of different types of music and we're putting out Marxmen Cinema, which is our own mixtape. It's not like some other mixtapes with old freestyles or some other artist's beats - it's all original music. We're perpetually in the studio, putting our way of life out there."
The New York-based group's way of life was formulated in Brownsville, a part of Brooklyn many NOW readers may not have had a chance to visit. Apparently, it isn't the kind of place where you'd wear a Rob Me shirt.
"Multiply the worst neighourhood in Toronto by 100 and you've got Brownsville. Think about Iraq right now - 10-year-olds with M16s and Uzis and with no direction. What's gonna come out of that is a 'hard from birth' mentality. They're not looking hard for the camera.
"Most of the time we're smiling and laughing, until some bullshit happens. Then M.O.P. don't play no fucking games."
He says this last sentence comically but with conviction.
With the release this year of the rap-rock Mash Out Posse album and the upcoming mixtape, as well as a plan to record an album with Mobb Deep, M.O.P. still have Ghetto Warfare, their first release on Roc-a-Fella, to drop. But when will it drop and why has the public been waiting four years for their album proper?
"Right now, Damon Dash and Jay-Z have their own label fight going on, but we're not gonna jump ship. They're our friends and they look out for us. We're gonna stay right there with 'em, because we've never been the kind of artists to leave a label when it's down - obviously, because we stayed on so many bum-ass labels when they was going through their changes.
"In the meantime, we'll keep our names alive and keep dropping our brand of hiphop on the world. So when we drop that big Ghetto Warfare album on Roc-a-Fella, everybody can have a good time and make some money and really just take it to the max."