Havoc has become a rap icon as a half of the beloved rapper-producer duo Mobb Deep. The legendary producer knows the ins and outs of collaborating on a project with an MC, and he knew exactly what he was doing when he sent a beat to Philadelphia rapper Dark Lo (with a special twist: a verse from itself). That track was “Mob Tales,” which ended up setting the tone for the three-week recording process for their collaborative album. Extreme measures, released today.
Havoc’s famous production ranges from the soul of the title track with Styles P to the grim synths of the aptly named “Captivating”. He created a cohesive soundscape for himself and Lo, a cult favorite that all fans of grainy street tales should be familiar with. The OBH artist and longtime friend of Ar-Ab has a knack for presenting unsequiturized observations and unfiltered anecdotes that weave into global, unfiltered portraits of the streets of Philly.
Lo has had a prolific year, with Extreme measures being his third full release in 2021. But sadly, as he tells Complex, that work ethic stems from an impending seven-year prison sentence. In August, he was convicted of allegedly threatening a witness in the federal OBH drug conspiracy case. The judge allowed him to remain under house arrest until the start of his sentence, which allowed him to tidy up his affairs and prepare some music to keep his fans back while he was away.
We spoke with Dark Lo and Havoc about Lo’s love for Mobb Deep, the legal system’s militarization of rap lyrics against artists, Havoc’s future plans and his willingness to make a Mobb Deep. Verzuz, and more. The interview, slightly edited for clarity, is below.