Mobb Deep is easily in my top 5 favorite hip hop groups of all time. I recently read Prodigy’s autobiography that was pretty vulgar, but honest and gave me an understanding of what he tends to talk about in his music. Yes, their debut project The Infamous is often dubbed their best album, and while it’s a genius record, I prefer Hell On Earth.
This was a more polished project (in my humble opinion) and a bit shorter in length. Havoc absolutely KILLED the production, showing us his relentlessness and consistency. Big Noyd is all over this album as he was in The Infamous, along with Nas and Raekwon – but the Method Man collaboration rivals the Q-Tip joint in The Infamous.
Shook Ones, Pt. II swept the hip hop underground when it was released on wax, and was soon played all over the nation. While the track lies on The Infamous, I come back to the songs on Hell On Earth much more. Drop a Gem On ‘Em, Hell On Earth, God, Pt III, Give It Up Fast, Apostle’s Warning, and of course Extortion are in constant rotation.
I truly feel it is a matter of taste in choosing The Infamous over the other, and while this writing may sound as if I never play the aformentioned – you would be sadly mistaken. The great thing about Mobb Deep is that they continued to progress in their sound and lyrical style in an organic way, and never strayed away from making the music they wanted to make.
They didn’t give a flying fuck about radio hits, album sales, or toning down their grittiness – which ultimately brought tension with their record label. Ironically enough, the singles on Hell On Earth did numbers, and the diss track towards 2Pac (Drop a Gem On ‘Em) gave them newfound attention and respect. Their first 3 official studio albums are absolute classics, and I’ll never grow tired of listening to their music. RIP Prodigy, and RIP Mobb Deep.