Well, Mobb Deep is back together after a brief disbandment and they (Hempstead, N.Y.-born Havoc and Prodigy) just dropped another banger. That’s 20 years of hardcore hip hop for those counting, and the Billboard charts always look better with their names on it. Although The Infamous Mobb Deep, released April 1, peaked at number five on the U.S. rap chart and 10 on the U.S. R&B chart, it still can’t rival the New York duo’s ’99 release, Murda Muzik, which is certified platinum, having sold more than one million copies.
Those were the days. No one buys physical copies anymore, and no one buys non-physical copies anymore either. It’s a pirate’s life for me says many a millennial. But chin up, Mobb Deep has brand recognition and enough money to swim in, so it’ll be OK.
Comparisons to Wu-Tang Clan are fairly common, and that’s fine for a launching point. The group’s sound constitutes creepy, faraway re-digs of jazz that send rhythmic chills up your spine. The delivery will make your hackles stand up and shout. Havoc and Prodigy both have that classic East Coast flow, and it’s not surprising that they’ve been featured on all kinds of projects. Since formation in 1992, they’ve worked with crap-tons of legends, including Nas, Method Man, Big Noyd, Raekwon, Vinnie Paz and more. But it ain’t surprising, in most of those instances, Mobb Deep is the true legend and everyone else is a backing act.
What else can you say but, “Damn, they were in a feud with Tupac.” That’s more than enough street cred, let alone the five million albums sold.
Mobb Deep performs with MC Landon Wordswell and Eugene’s Amos Lachdown 9 pm Saturday, April 19, at WOW Hall; $10 student adv., $20 door.