“The crazy shit about the beef with Jay is Prodigy said something in a magazine… Jay-Z didn’t take it lightly. He came at us. I sent sub but it wasn’t obvious,” Havoc recalled.
He went on to add that though Jay-Z pulled out Prodigy’s ballerina picture while performing “Takeover” at Hot 97’s 2001 Summer Jam concert, the beef wasn’t really about anything serious.
“So, when the years passed and when finally Mobb Deep and Jay-Z is in the same room walking, it made me feel like I had beef with him and I didn’t have no beef with him,” he explained. “I’d rather have been his ally than to have beef with him. It’s just weird because it wasn’t about nothing but now, I’m in the same room with him and I feel like it’s something but it’s nothing. So that shit just made me feel stupid”
According to Prodigy, Mobb Deep’s beef with Jay-Z started after Jay released his ‘98 track “Money, Cash Hoes” where he rapped “it’s like New York’s been soft / Ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings” referring to Tha Dogg Pound’s New York New York track, which was seen has a diss to New York. In the video Snoop can be seen kicking down New York buildings.This was during the start of the East Coast–West Coast rivalry.
“That’s why we took offense when Jay-Z came out years later,” P explained to Complex. “After everything died down—and people lost their lives—he came out with that song ‘Money, Cash, Hoes,’ where he had that line ‘It’s like New York’s been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings.’ We took offense to that like, ‘How you talking now? We was out there risking our lives.’”
“This shit was on and popping and we were still out there doing shows. This dude wasn’t around, he had nothing to say at that time,” he recalled. “That was kind of crazy that you just come out of nowhere talking about some shit that you weren’t nowhere around for, talking about you’re bringing back the feeling. We took offense, so we said something about it. That’s how that whole shit sparked with him.”
However, Havoc said they have since spoken after Jay-Z reached out to do some business and things are now cool between them.
In 2017, a few months after Prodigy had passed, Jay-Z revealed in an interview with Elliot Wilson and B.Dot that he was able to make peace with the Mobb Deep legend before his death.
“I had super respect for Prodigy. In order for me to spar with you, really spar, I gotta respect you in some way. I gotta respect you. I sampled him on my first album, so you know I was aware of him and and had a respect him. We spoke. Me and him spoke before he passed. I saw him in a club, maybe five years ago. He just came over and we kicked it. It’s just sad. Blessings to his family. It’s sad. Young, young man.”