Rebel Noiz

Rebel Noiz

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Legends of Hip Hop #6: Mobb Deep, the Queensbridge Legendary Duo

Mobb Deep is an East Coast Hardcore Hip Hop duo from New York (Queensbridge, Queens). The members are Havoc and Prodigy. They are one of the most well-known Hip Hop groups to ever hit the radio waves. They are known to deliver dark laced hardcore flows that netted them three million copies in the mid 90s.

Because of the three albums, The Infamous, Hell on Earth, and Murda Muzik, they helped take the Hip Hop music scene back from the West Coast. They were also a big part of the East Coast vs. West Coast feud that rocked the Hip Hop community with one of the most famous beefs in Hip Hop History. 

The Beginning...

In New York City, the duo met at the High School of Art and Design, where they called themselves, Poetical Profits. Due to the amount of "street creds" they possessed, they later changed their name to Mobb Deep, to reflect their status. It all started in  1993, when their debut album, Juvenile Hell came out.

The album included a hit single in, "Peer Pressure".  The album sold poorly despite the fact that DJ Premier and Large Professor had a hand in it. It later got recognition because of a few songs ( "Hit It from the Back", "Locked in Spofford", and "Me and My Crew"). In 1993, Havoc got a prime feature in the acclaimed Black Moon album, Enter Da Stage, on the song, "U Da Man".

The Fame...

In 1995, Mobb Deep released The Infamous, which was a smash hit partly due to the success of "Shook Ones Pt. II", which was heralded by the Hip Hop community. Their narration of growing up in Queensbridge Houses, the struggles of it, really played into the hearts of the listeners of Hip Hop at the time. They became the most well known East Coast Hardcore Hip Hop at the time. The beats were dark and sinster because of Havoc's attention placed on the beats for Mobb Deep, here on forward.

Hell on Earth, Mobb Deep's third album (released in 1996), furthered their push into the Hardcore Hip Hop elite as they continued to talk about the harsh realities of the New York steet life. They were respected at a high level, getting the same attention as Jay-Z, Biggie, Nas, and the Wu-Tang Clan. On Hell on Earth, both Raekwon and Method Man appeared on it (from Wu-Tang).

They were a part of Red Hot Organization's compilation CD, America is Dying Slowly (the Source mag. called it a masterpiece) along with many other high tiered New York artists. Up until 1999, the group kept busy with appearances on various tracks, including one for the movie Blade, that was a collaboration with the dancehall rapper, Bounty Hunter. When 1999 rolled around, they came out with their latest album, Murda Muzik (which debuted at number three on the Billboard 200). It didn't take long for it to be certified Platinum because of the popular single titled "Quiet Storm".

East vs. West Feud...

Mobb Deep was a part of the famous track "LA LA" that was a diss track in answering to Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound's East Coast diss called "NY NY". Tupac also openly dissed them in the tracks "Hit 'Em Up" and "When We Ride on Our Enemies". Hell on Earth, included a retaliation track against Tupac called, "Drop A Gem On 'Em". Being a part of the biggest feud in Hip Hop history, will keep their legacy alive from years to come.

Infamy and Beyond...

In 2001, Infamy came out while two Jay-Z diss songs surfaced, "Burn" ft. Vita and "Crawlin'". These two songs were in response to Jay-Z's diss (off of The Blueprint), "Takeover". On Infamy, they went for a whole different style then they are used to putting out. It was a more radio-friendly sound and some people in the Hip Hop community saw it as them "selling out". This caused them to lose a lot of their longtime fandom, who didn't want to see them change their style from the gritty grips of Hardcore Hip Hop.

Their attempt to open up their music to a wider audience failed, it ended up selling less than their previous album, Murda Muzik. Who really cares about album sales, their credibility has never been lost. The trueness about their music is that from 1995 to 2004, Sony Music Entertainment owns all their music. They reclaimed some fame from the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, when "Dirty New York"  was featured on it.

In mid 2005, Mobb Deep signed with G-Unit Records (50 Cents label). This resulted with their eighth album, Blood Money, which featured most of the artists of G-Unit as well as Mary J. Blige and Nate Dogg. Mobb Deep was the first Hip Hop duo to take to the stage in India, in 2006 at the club Enigma. 2009, they seperated from G-Unit.

There was a time that they broke up, but have since gotten back together because their music and friendship is way too important. After twenty years of music, they came out with their self-titled album and it features such industry giants as, the Alchemist, DJ Premier, Sid Roams, MTK, Cardiak, and the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League (as producers), as far as artists goes, Rick Ross, Lil' Kim, Wiz Khalifa, Odd Future, and Nas. It has yet to be finished but it will soon come out.

I am glad they are still making music, many people still like to hear what comes out of this duo. Though they are a duo, don't forget about their solo albums as well. All in all, they have worked with so many respected names, became a respected name, and never stop making their music, this to me makes them legends. They have come out with hit after hit, so their songwriting abilities can't be tested. They have also survived feuds with Nas and Jay-Z and have been a part of the biggest feud that engulfed the West Coast and the East Coast. Their legacy is huge and they are a big part of the Queensbridge movement that took over Hip Hop from the West Coast.

Here are some of Mobb Deep's links that you should check out:

Their official website:
The song "Dog Shit" featuring Nas:
Mobb Deep-"Shook Ones Pt. II" video link:

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Written by: Craig Ludwig

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