Last night Crime Mob performed at Sway in New York City to hype this month's release of their new disc, Hated On Mostly. Even though they had to rock on rented microphones in a cramped club not designed for live performance, the group's fight-song pop went over hoard, highlighted by Princess and Diamond's ultra-charismatic turns on the new album's single "Rock Yo Hips" and Crime Mob classic (yes, we said it) "Stilettos." We interviewed the group a few weeks back, and you can read the Q&A after the jump. For more Diamond and Princess, check out illustrator Ian Wright's lite-brite portraits of the pair in our current issue, on stands and in PDF format now.
Are you going to go on tour behind Hated On Mostly?
Princess: Yeah we’re going to do a promo tour.
Cyco Black: All across the world because we worldwide.
Are you guys all still living in Ellenwood?
Princess: I live downtown.
Cyco Black: I live in Ellenwood.
When Crime Mob is at home, what’s an average day like?
Princess: Wake up around 1:00, eat some Oreos, watch TV, lounge around my house for a minute, probably do some laundry and then probably go to the mall or something, pick up a couple of outfits, go to the movies, go around…
Cyco Black: I’m working 24-7 so as soon as I wake up I’m on a beat or writing a rap. I’m either making a beat or writing a rap as soon as I wake up.
When you guys go out do you get recognized a lot now?
Cyco Black: Yeah.
Diamond: Mostly when we’re together though.
Princess: It’s worse when we’re together, because they know off the top. If we’re by ourselves they are like, “Is that—? I don’t know.” So they don’t say anything. But when there is more than one of us together it’s, “Okay, yeah, that is Crime Mob.” Sometimes they’ll try to play it off like they are on the phone, but they are really taking a picture, that’s the good one now.
That’s got to be kind of annoying.
Cyco Black: It’s annoying but I love it. I mean, everybody don’t get that treatment.
M.I.G: If you aren’t getting that, then you need to be worried.
Cyco Black: We autograph everything. Shirts, shoes, stomachs, pants, socks, phones. I done signed somebody’s phone, I was like, “you sure?”
What were you guys listening to growing up?
Cyco Black: Everything. Triple 6 Mafia, the Oomp Camp family, DJ Paul, Juicy J, Project Pat, everybody really. We support the whole hip-hop movement.
How did living in Ellenwood affect your sound?
Princess: I think what makes it different is the equipment the boys use. Fruity Loops is underrated software, a lot of producers don’t use it. They use regular instruments or whatever. That’s one of the main reasons that we have a distinctive sound. As far as us just being Crime Mob, we’re different.
You were still in high school when this started—how did that go over with people? Could they get past how young you guys were?
Diamond: I mean, in a way it was a problem for them because they felt like we probably couldn’t handle it. But more so it was a good look, because we were so young and we were doing our thing.
How would you describe this new album?
Cyco Black: More mature, we upgraded. When you rapping or whatever you doing, singing or playing ball, you can’t do nothing but get better, so we are getting better and more mature at what we’re doing because we keep doing it.
Are there any guests besides Lil Scrappy?
Cyco Black: We got Pimp C on the album, we got DJ Montay who produced the “Walk it Out” song, and we got production from Doc Jam, one of our inside producers.
What’s it like working with Doc Jam?
Cyco Black: Man, he ill. He is very creative. We did our first song with Doc Jam, our first Crime Mob song with Doc Jam, it was a head banger, it was called “Fate or Retaliation”. It was an underground song, we can’t put it out there like that but it’s a hot song.
Did you guys have any underground tapes out before your album?
Princess: It wasn’t really underground tapes, everybody had different songs on their computer. They would get out. I know we had a lot of them on our computer because we used to record over there. So when I wanted money for candy at school or something I would print up some CDs and sell them for 7 dollars, so they really did get out but it was never like, “Okay we are going to put this out.”
M.I.G.: Everyone in Atlanta owns one of them color discs, we got a million of those CDs.
Princess: But now we do have a mixtape.
Cyco Black: Make sure you put in there: go cop our mixtape, Mob Shit. Get it off DJ Scream's website. Make sure you mention that.
Do you guys prefer to have in-house production?
Cyco Black: We know our sound, other producers don’t have that Crime Mob sound.
Princess: They try to mimic it but it’s not the same.
How many beats did you do on the album?
M.I.G.: I did one track on the album called “Big Boy Pimpin” and I did one on the last album, “Fuck Niggaz.”
Are you doing them together or separately?
Cyco Black: sometimes we do them together, but the majority of the time we do it separately.
Who made the “What is Love” beat?
M.I.G.: Lil Jay made that beat.
What did you think when you first heard that one?
Princess: When I heard it he was giving it to Scrappy and he was like, “What you think about it?” Honestly, the only thing that came to my head at the time was just me going like this (nods head to the side repeatedly) because it came off Night at the Roxbury. I guess he kind of got mad, he didn’t want that reaction. But after hearing Scrappy’s whole song I was like, “Okay it can actually work.”
You have a good working relationship with Lil Scrappy, did he get you signed or did he come in after that?
Cyco Black: He’s like family. He signed us to his label, and then got a label deal with Warner Brothers.
Did he know about you guys or did someone turn him on to you?
Princess: He knew about us, we stayed across the street from him.
What has it been like dealing with Killa C's legal situation?
M.I.G.: He is no longer a member of Crime Mob.
Diamond: We can’t legally talk about that.
Any final words?
Princess: We have a new thing called the mobile fan club where people can call in and their cell phone number is registered in the database and they get a call from us and a voicemail and text message and stuff to keep them up to date on things. They can also enroll in the “Crime Mob College.” We all teach different classes on there.
Princess: We’re all professors, Diamond teaches Fashion 101, Cyco Black teaches extracurricular activities. business management. And we are actually teaching them something.
Cyco Black: The do’s and don’ts of whatever class you teach.
Is it over the phone?
Diamond: You sign up and then automatically you get a phone call from us and we talk about—like for me, things that you would wear, fashion, things that you wouldn’t wear. Advice. Basically we took the whole “Crime Mob College” theme and just made it into a whole school. We put a whole theme behind it.