Mobb Deep The Infamous
Mobb Deep: Havoc, Prodigy (vocals).
Additional personnel: Big Noyd, Crystal Johnson (vocals), Tony Smalios (programming).
Producers: Mobb Deep (tracks 1, 3-4, 8-13, 15-16); The Abstract (tracks 6-7, 14).
Engineers: Louis Alfred III (tracks 1, 7-8, 11, 13, 15-16); Tim Latham (tracks 3-4, 6, 14); Dino Zerros (track 9); Mobb Deep, Tony Smalios (track 10).
All songs written or co-written by A. Johnson and K. Muchita except "Just Step Prelude" (A. Johnson/T. Perry). Samples include "That's Alright With Me" (Ester Phillips), "Where There Is Love" (as performed by Patrice Rushen), "You Are My Starship" (as performed by Norman Connors) and "I Remember I Made You Cry" (as performed by The Headhunters).
Before their Loud/RCA debut THE INFAMOUS, Mobb Deep's Havoc and Prodigy were introduced to the hip-hop nation on 1993's JUVENILE HELL, portraying their own brand of the "Trife Life." Image and hardships aside, a lot has changed since then, particularly their music which has naturally matured as the pair have grown older, bolder and wiser.
THE INFAMOUS is a rugged ride through the truths and terrors of these two Big Apple outlaws, with cuts like "Right Back At You" and "Cradle To The Grave" stinging the minds of its listeners. This time around Mobb Deep play with the background tracks a little more, having self-produced virtually the entire album. The lead-off single, "Shook Ones Pt. II," blew up tremendously, first in the underground and then on the charts; its killer lyrics and hypnotizing beat pounded a warning into the heads of the masses to stay real. "Survival Of The Fittest" and "Up North Trip" both describe the hectic streets of New York as a war zone where the constant struggle is to stay alive. Mobb Deep join forces with two of rap's most intense lyricists, Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, on "Eye For A Eye (Your Beef Is Mine)." Adding to the all-star cast, Q-Tip donates an abstract feel to a few tracks and makes his cameo appearance on "Drink Away The Pain (Situations)," a clever track dedicated to an unlikely first love.
Mobb Deep come correct throughout the album, once again proving that while rap may be just a music, hip-hop is a way of life. Score another point for the crews of Queensbridge, as THE INFAMOUS enters that 'hood's Hall Of Fame right next to Nas' ILLMATIC.
Mobb Deep's sophomore effort turned out to be a career-defining moment for the Queensbridge duo. Two years post-JUVENILE HELL, THE INFAMOUS saw Havoc and Prodigy turn considerably harder, spinning aggressive tales of paranoid crime drama and firmly establishing Loud Records as a label to be reckoned with. The Queensbridge housing projects as portrayed from the Mobb's late-teenage point of view is a violent maze populated by stick-up kids and fiends; a place where life is trife, liquor is poured out daily for dead comrades, police are the enemy, and childhood friends turn snitch. Havoc's no-frills East Coast production provides the perfect backdrop for the murky subject matter. Every song is a classic, packed with thug-life quotables which inspired dozens of subsequent street anthems and an array of imitators. Big Noyd, Nas, Q-Tip, Raekwon, and Ghostface Killah make up the guest-list.
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 9/7/2015
- Genre: Pop