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Mobb Deep

As golden age rap suddenly gave way to West Coast gangsta in the early '90s, an East Coast variety of hardcore rap arose in turn, with Mobb Deep initially standing tall as one of New York's hardcore figureheads on the basis of their epochal album The Infamous. Released in April 1995, The Infamous was released almost exactly a year after Illmatic and about a half year after Ready to Die -- the debut masterpieces of Nas and the Notorious B.I.G., respectively, both albums likewise of momentous significance for East Coast hardcore rap. On The Infamous, Mobb Deep (comprised of Prodigy and Havoc) set the tone for future generations of hardcore New York rappers, from G-Unit to Dipset. Subsequent releases from the duo were likewise influential, especially Hell on Earth (1996). However, by the late '90s, Mobb Deep was no longer setting trends; in fact, they seemed to be following them, and they lost some of their stature as subsequent generations of hardcore rappers arose. For a few years, Mobb Deep struggled to reclaim their commercial standing, until they eventually drifted into the G-Unit camp, where they signed a lucrative deal to join 50 Cent and company. Blood Money (2006), Mobb Deep's first release under the G-Unit banner, rekindled interest in the veteran duo, who enjoyed a substantial uptick in sales and airplay.

Prodigy (Albert Johnson, born November 2, 1974) and Havoc (Kejuan Muchita, born May 21, 1974) grew up in Queens, specifically the Queensbridge area, yet met in Manhattan, where both were students at Graphic Arts High School. Their shared love of hip-hop resulted in a natural companionship, and while they were still teens, the two young men had themselves a record deal with 4th & Broadway, a major rap label affiliated with Island Records. In 1993, the label released Juvenile Hell, a confrontational album featuring noteworthy production work by DJ Premier and Large Professor, who both within a year's time would move on to produce the debut of another young Queensbridge rapper, Nas. Not much came of Juvenile Hell, however, and it would be two more years before Mobb Deep would return.

When they did return in 1995, it was on a different label, Loud Records, and with a significantly developed approach. The Infamous featured a mammoth street anthem, "Shook Ones, Pt. 2," but it was a solid album all around, featuring also the in-house production work of Havoc and a couple high-profile features (Nas, Raekwon). The Infamous was more hardcore than its two key stylistic predecessors, Illmatic and Ready to Die; the beats were darker and harder-hitting while the rhymes were downright threatening yet still inventive and crafty. Moreover, there were no crossover hits like "Big Poppa" or "Juicy." In fact, there were no light moments at all. The Infamous was an uncompromising album for the streets, and it was championed as such.

A year later, in 1996, Mobb Deep returned with a follow-up, Hell on Earth, which was a little slicker than The Infamous yet still emphasized hardcore motifs. It spawned a couple hit singles that were given appropriately theatrical videos. At this point, hardcore rap was at its peak, with Death Row Records flourishing on the West Coast and a legion of New Yorkers jumping into the scene, following the lead of Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., and Mobb Deep. So when it took over two years for Mobb Deep to return with a new album, Murda Muzik, not released until April 1999, the rap landscape had changed significantly. Mobb Deep now had significant competition, and since Murda Muzik offered few innovations and lacked the spark of the duo's past two albums, it was met with some disappointment. By and large, fans enjoyed it, yet the album didn't appeal beyond the already established fan base, as the album only offered one major hit, "Quiet Storm." The following year, Prodigy released a solo album, H.N.I.C. (2000). It got a lukewarm reception, appealing to the duo's fan base yet spawning no hits.

When Mobb Deep resurfaced, in December 2001 with Infamy, they showcased a new willingness to reach beyond their fan base. "Hey Luv" was issued as a single, and it was the first Mobb Deep song to flirt with R&B crossover, or even to mention love, for that matter. The song got some airplay, thanks in part to its hook, which is sung by the R&B act 112, and its video, which played up the song's air of seduction. Nonetheless, Infamy proved to be a relative disappointment commercially, and it seemed like Mobb Deep was beginning to see their popularity erode with each passing year. It didn't help, either, that around this time the duo -- and Prodigy, in particular -- had been attacked by Jay-Z on "Takeover." And too, that Loud Records would go out of business, leaving Mobb Deep without a label deal. For the next few years, from roughly 2002-2005, Prodigy and Havoc tried to regain their footing. There were one-off albums released via various label arrangements -- Free Agents: The Murda Mix Tape (Landspeed, 2003), Amerikaz Nightmare (Jive, 2004), and The Mix Tape Before 9/11 (X-Ray, 2004) -- that made minimal impact. By this point, not even the fan base was all that interested; it had been eroded with each passing year, leaving few faithful.

Then came a surprise announcement that 50 Cent had signed Mobb Deep to his G-Unit family and that an album would be forthcoming. First came a quick remix featuring the latest G-Unit signing, "Outta Control," which supplanted the original version when 50's The Massacre was reissued in 2005 as a CD/DVD. Too, Mobb Deep had become omnipresent on the New York mixtape scene, releasing all kinds of streets-only material in attempt to re-establish themselves. It evidently worked, as Blood Money debuted in the Top Ten of Billboard's album chart and brought more exposure to Mobb Deep than the duo had enjoyed since their late-'90s heyday. Not everyone was convinced by the group's makeover, however, as the G-Unit approach was substantially more polished than the Mobb Deep of The Infamous. Still, Mobb Deep found a new generation of younger listeners -- the large G-Unit market base, in particular -- who were mostly unfamiliar with them. It had been over a decade since The Infamous, after all, and Mobb Deep had been out of the spotlight for years. Then, in early 2008, Prodigy went away to prison to serve a three-year sentence, putting Mobb Deep's future in question. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Black Cocaine (Explicit)

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Track List: Taking You Off Here (Single)

Comments

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Queens Bridge all day....41st side of 10th....
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My favorite rap duo....botto m line!!!
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Only cuz lil kim in it pac said f**k mob deep lil kim too but im going against the grain i like lil kim
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Salute to hip hop General for 20 years doing for new York and all the true hip hop head no more space music no more fake gangster music
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Never gets old
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Keepin it thoro.. s**t is hard, dis beat ..
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Quiet Storm....
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Real dope mobb deep. Love this duo... Keep it G'd Up
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rahiem6969
Yep
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Real Rap 100% Free MaxB!!
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Bloodmoney..
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Classic banger...
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neejiah
Love this song but it's a dream to have a love like this. Wanna have it though can't stop a girl from dreaming!!!
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N**gaz wanna ride by da crib all slow clap muthafucka wanna real rap show, noyd no joke u think I dont live a pop life now cause u can get popped righr now.... head bangga
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greenmusic20 1 3
If you guys wanna make around $25 - $100+ per day online go to ATOCE.COM you should be able to Sign Up for FREE and it's easy to get started. I'm personally making $600+ per week from it, but I've been doing it for a while now. Copy and paste this if it works for you. You're welcome.
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O Israel black people Hebrew when are we going back to Jerusalem Zion
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O Israel black people Hebrew when are we going back to Jerusalem Zion
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jsmith623
From the west coast, but always loved eastcoast hip-hop. ..esp mobb deep!
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Mobb Deep is legendary!!Q u e e n s all day!!The foundation
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The Mobb dim ma dudes Man i was running wild when dis S**t was out.
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Comin off tha 96 album hell on earth.
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Good job
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East coast all day....f**k west coast
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All da patsy white peoples frum duh wes coast say wut wut homeys and banilla ice's mom x)
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This that real s**t
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queen st Hampton va
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Trip up north means going to prison son. The mobb track trip up north. F**k the west coast an the south. East coast all day
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Hip hop is dead.... why.... the south.... f**k if you don't agree
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I done took that trip up north one to many times. Yo we on the f**k you an the west coast donpee811... . 2 0 3 6 7 6 0 8 6 3 come see me
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U blacks n hispanics are israelites
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sgonz215.sg
Here i go again whether i win or lose
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Love the mobb. Smoking blunts
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F**k that s**t "WESTSIDE N**GA" we mobb the deepest p**sies. WHAT
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Every time I hear this song I think of 8mile b-rabbit Jimmy Smith jr
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sgonz215.sg
I needs to do my home work. . These cats is the LIVEST to come out of NY aside from the Wu ofcourse . Clearspoken real authentic. . True artist from the heart love yall
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https://db.t t / o u h x m G M 2

this is our album Henn & Goo$e.. check us out coach city boyz on you tube.!!!

Please post to your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Send the link to everybody you know and they know!
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tay_graphics
Track is a classic!
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Dun language from berf to def.
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Murda muzik allday dunn
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Classic s**t
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Almost 20yrs and still a banga.
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The best ever
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Ain't no such thing as half way crooks
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seshns.jgjg
Infamosos mafia onda... Nino dunn!!
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halalrap.com
the future of music is here
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Don't read this because it actually works.you will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life.tomorro w will be the best day of your life.However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days.Now you started reading this so don't stop.this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
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Release Prodigy 2K15
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Its sad how far Prodigy has fallen off.
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Mob s**t no game
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dat b**ch zenaida Leon..(Calle d nikky cuban minaj) annoys the f**k outta me. she puts stupid comments all over pandora. b**ch think she hot or somethin.
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