‘Famous’ Producer Havoc: Taylor Swift Is Being ‘Too Sensitive’ About the Kanye West Track
Havoc of Mobb Deep—who helped produce Kanye’s “Famous”—dishes on the never-ending Taylor Swift/Kim Kardashian West feud over it and Tupac’s own beef with them.
Lest a global pandemic claiming countless lives attract all the headlines, on the evening of March 21 a video leaked to YouTube revealing more of that infamous phone call between Kanye West and Taylor Swift concerning the track “Famous.”
In the video, West is heard requesting Swift’s sign-off over the song’s lyrics (“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex”—but not the “I made that bitch famous” line) to which she chuckles and says “that’s not mean,” before saying she’ll think on it. The leaked footage prompted a fiery response by Kardashian West, who accused Swift of dropping the footage in a “self-serving” move “given the suffering millions of real victims are facing right now,” and that she was “actually lying” since Swift’s initial claim through her rep was that “Kanye did not call for approval [of the song] and that “she declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message,” both of which appear to be falsehoods. Swift, for her part, said that it proved she “was telling the truth the whole time,” before soliciting donations for the World Health Organization and Feeding America.
While chopping it up with Mobb Deep’s Havoc for the 25th anniversary of the legendary hip-hop track “Shook Ones (Part II),” we eventually got around to the never-ending “Famous” feud—since it was one of two songs that he produced on West’s The Life of Pablo.
“I think artists are artists, and she should really chill out. It’s not that serious. She has an awesome career, and she don’t need to be fighting with another awesome artist. Freedom of speech is alive and well—or should be—and she shouldn’t be going out there complaining about not clearing this,” said Havoc.
He continued: “He was giving props—it wasn’t like he was trying to diss you. Some people are a little too sensitive for the game but this is the game that we’re in. There’s no time for soft skin—and I’m not just saying that because she’s a female. Everyone has to display tough skin for this industry since everyone is gonna come at you, and you might like it or you might not.”
Havoc is, of course, no stranger to music beef. In addition to his falling-out (and eventual reconciliation) with partner-in-rhyme Prodigy, the Mobb got embroiled in several hip-hop feuds over the years, from Nas and Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg and Redman. But none of those came close to their war of words with Tupac, culminating in the venomous diss track “Hit ’Em Up,” in which the late wordsmith mocked Prodigy’s sickle cell disease.
“That was definitely crazy because I’d never met him before, and I didn’t recall why he would’ve mentioned us in the song or why he thought we had beef with him,” offered Havoc. “Maybe it’s because we said, ‘Thug life, we still livin’ it’ on ‘Survival of the Fittest’ and he didn’t take too kindly to that. Who knows. I didn’t mind Tupac mentioning our name either. Good promotion!”
And it just so happens that he’s a big fan of “Hit ’Em Up.”
“I like the song, to be honest with you!” he exclaimed. “I like to hear people talkin’ shit. It’s dope. He really let his heart out on that song. He was really angry. I like to hear the fiery anger, and we just happened to be included in it. It’s a legendary Tupac song, so I’m not mad at all. I didn’t know how we [pissed him off] but… we did!”