Mobb Deep

Mobb Deep
Mobb Deep
Background information
Origin Queensbridge, Queens, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1992–present
Labels Infamous Records , RED Distribution, Sony Music Entertainment
Associated acts 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, Lil Kim, Big Noyd,

Mobb Deep is an American hip hop duo from Queensbridge, Queens, New York, U.S.,[1] that consists of Havoc and Prodigy. The duo is "one of the most critically acclaimed hardcore East Coast hip-hop groups."[2] The group is best known for its dark, hardcore delivery, as exemplified by the single "Shook Ones Pt. II."[3] Mobb Deep have become one of the most successful rap duos in hip hop, having sold over 3 million records.[4] The majority of their albums have been critically acclaimed, in particular The Infamous, which is considered a classic.[5][6] They are partially credited for the resurgence of East Coast rap in the early to mid-'90s. Havoc and Prodigy were also judges for the 7th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[7]




Havoc and Prodigy started rhyming in 1986, then later they both attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City. Havoc took the role of producer and secondary MC, while Prodigy assumed the position of primary MC. Originally dubbing themselves the Poetical Profits, the duo later changed its name to Mobb Deep in order to "reflect their reputation on the streets."[8] Many do not know but when Prodigy was only 15 he was featured on the classic movie soundtrack Boyz In The Hood in a track call Too Young In June of 1991.When Havoc and Prodigy were 17, they released their debut album as Mobb Deep, called Juvenile Hell, which was led by the single "Peer Pressure." The album sold poorly and was met with harsh reviews that dismissed the duo as just another hardcore group with little to distinguish it from the rest of the hip-hop world, despite production by DJ Premier and Large Professor. However, a few songs from Juvenile Hell did gain some recognition, such as "Hit It from the Back," "Locked in Spofford," and "Me and My Crew." Also in 1993, Havoc had a guest appearance on the critically acclaimed Black Moon album Enta Da Stage, on a song called "U Da Man."

Rise to success

The group saw its first major success with their second album, The Infamous, released in 1995. Mobb Deep catapulted to the top of the hardcore hip-hop scene through Havoc and Prodigy's straightforward narration of street life. Mobb Deep portrayed the struggles of living in New York City's Queensbridge Houses. Following its release, The Infamous became one of the most influential albums of the East Coast hardcore hip-hop genre. The duo's production stood out, as the beats were often hard-hitting and direct—a testament to Havoc, who produced the tracks almost exclusively throughout Mobb Deep's career.[9] Furthermore, the smash hit single "Shook Ones Pt. II" received critical acclaim and was well-received within the hip-hop community. Mobb Deep's third album, Hell on Earth was released in 1996, debuting at number six on the Billboard album chart. The album continued the duo's portrayal of harsh street life, while further pushing them to the forefront of the hardcore hip-hop scene, along with contemporary East Coast rappers like The Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan collective, Jay-Z, and fellow Queensbridge associate Nas.

In 1996, they appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD, America is Dying Slowly, alongside Biz Markie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Fat Joe, among many other prominent hip hop artists. The CD, meant to raise awareness of the AIDS epidemic among African American men, was heralded as "a masterpiece" by The Source magazine.

In 1998, the duo collaborated with reggae dancehall rapper Bounty Killer on the track "Deadly Zone" for the soundtrack to Blade. In 1999, they released the highly anticipated Murda Muzik album. Despite extensive bootlegging (nearly 30 songs of unreleased material leaked onto the Internet) and countless delays, the album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 and quickly received platinum certification—further highlighted by the popular single "Quiet Storm." Shortly afterward, Prodigy released his long-awaited solo album H.N.I.C, in which the MC collaborated with other artists (B.G. and N.O.R.E.) and producers (including The Alchemist, Rockwilder, and Just Blaze).

East Coast vs. West Coast

Mobb Deep was part of the infamous East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry. The beef started when Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound released "New York, New York", which Mobb Deep, along with Capone-N-Noreaga and Tragedy Khadafi, responded with the song "LA, LA" (This song can be found on Capone-N-Noreaga's debut album The War Report). This song was released during rapper 2Pac's final days of incarceration. Members of 2Pac's group, the Outlawz allegedly attended a Mobb Deep concert. They then visited 2Pac, maintaining that the duo had snubbed them at the concert. 2Pac dissed Mobb Deep in "Hit 'Em Up" and "When We Ride on Our Enemies" and mocked Prodigy's sickle-cell disease. Mobb Deep responded in a diss track called "Drop A Gem On 'Em" on the 1997 album Hell on Earth, which was released after 2Pac was murdered. 2Pac also dissed Mobb Deep on the songs "Bomb First (My Second Reply)" and "Against All Odds", both of which were released on 2Pacs last studio album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.


Mobb Deep released Infamy in 2001. The song "Burn" (featuring Vita) was perceived as a response to Jay-Z's diss song "Takeover" on The Blueprint, as was "Crawlin'," in which Prodigy's two verses both mention Jay-Z. The album marked a major stylistic change in which the duo moved away from raw, minimalist, stripped-down beats and toward more commercial fare with such songs as "Hey Luv (Anything)." This transition fostered accusations of "selling out"—upsetting many long-time fans who did not wish to see them veer away from their original style.[citation needed]

Although these stylistic adjustments opened up Mobb Deep to a wider audience, many critics and fans consider their style change as a detriment to Mobb Deep's street image and record sales (most evident when comparing the platinum-selling Murda Muzik to Infamy, which struggled to attain gold-record status).

In 2003, the group split with Loud Records and released Free Agents: The Murda Mix Tape, in which Havoc and Prodigy proclaimed themselves "free agents" and addressed the group's split with its old label and its search for a new label. Jive Records signed the duo later in the year through a deal with the group’s own imprint. Mobb Deep then released Amerikaz Nightmare in 2004, which was seen by the general hip-hop audience as a weaker release, resulting in poor sales and the group’s subsequent departure from the label.[10] Today, as a result of various mergers, all of Mobb Deep's studio albums from 1995 to 2004 are owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

G-Unit Records

Mobb Deep founded Infamous Records in the late 1990s, but it did not get an imprint deal until 2004. It is now a subsidiary of G-Unit Records. In June 2005, Prodigy and Havoc surprised fans when the duo announced that it had signed with 50 Cent's label G-Unit Records. The move was surprising because 50 Cent had included an indirect dis to the group in his song "Piggy Bank." 50 Cent had a connection to Mobb Deep, as he grew up in Queens and also had used Havoc as a producer for several different beats for albums by G-Unit, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. The relationship strengthened as Prodigy and 50 Cent each received tattoos to pledge their loyalty to each other. Prodigy has the word "G-Unit" tattooed on the side of his right hand and 50 Cent has "Mobb Deep" tattooed on his wrist. Upon signing with G-Unit, both Prodigy and Havoc were given new Porsches, a gift for two artists who had received very little monetary compensation in the past. Later, Mobb Deep signed different artists on Infamous/G-Unit Records, including Nyce, 40 Glocc, and Gail Gotti. 40 Glocc has his own label on the Infamous label, called Zoo Life. Mobb Deep released its eighth album, Blood Money, on , 2006. It features G-Unit members 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo, and Young Buck, as well as Mary J. Blige and Nate Dogg. On , 2006, Mobb Deep became the first American hip-hop duo to perform in India, via VH1's Hip Hop Hustle. It performed in a nightclub called Enigma. In late 2009, Mobb Deep were released from their contract with 50 Cent's G-Unit label.


On April 4, 2011 a possible new Mobb Deep single leaked on the internet named "Dog Shit". The song features rapper Nas.[11] This is the first official song by Mobb Deep since Prodigy made his return from jail and their first song with Nas in almost 10 years, due to their feud. It is produced by Havoc & Alchemist. They are also recording an upcoming, self titled album (which will be their ninth studio album), with production from Havoc, Alchemist, Sid Roams, DJ Premier, MTK, Cardiak and J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, and with guest artists such as Rick Ross, Lil' Kim, Wiz Khalifa, Odd Future and Nas on their new album.[12] Havoc also confirmed a collaboration album between Nas.

On September 19th, 2011, the duo announced that they would be releasing an EP November 21, 2011[13]. On September 25th, 2011, the title of the EP was announced. Black Cocaine is the first batch of music recorded by the duo in years.


Studio albums
  • Back from a Hiatus (1998)
Extended Plays
  • Black Cocaine (2011)[15]
Compilation albums
Other albums
  • The Dunn Language (2002; Unreleased)


  1. ^ Allmusic biography
  2. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 323.
  3. ^ Shapiro, Peter, 2005, The Rough Guide To Hip-Hop, 2nd Edition, Penguin, p. 258-259.
  4. ^ Edwards, Paul, 2009, How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, Chicago Review Press, p. 323.
  5. ^ Shapiro, Peter, 2005, The Rough Guide To Hip-Hop, 2nd Edition, Penguin, p. 259.
  6. ^ Allmusic review
  7. ^ Independent Music Awards - Past Judges
  8. ^ Mobb Deep: Information from, Retrieved on August 14, 2011
  9. ^ Mobb Deep MTV, Accessed 24 July 2007
  10. ^ Mobb Deep and Jive Records split MTV, Accessed 24 July 2007
  11. ^ New Music: Mobb Deep – Dog Shit (Feat. Nas) (prod. by The Alchemist) Adwiin-Music, April 4, 2011, Retrieved on August 14, 2011
  12. ^ Havoc Talks Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Odd Future, New Album (Video) » Mobb, Havoc, Deep, Khalifa, Hesitant, Future », May 27, 2011, Retrieved on August 14, 2011
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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