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Amerikaz Nightmare

Mobb Deep

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Album Review

"Hustle for so long my hands numb/But then I feel that paper hit my palm." True that, for the Mobb are back, lyrically driven and struggling to get back where they belong. If you could jump back in time to before the millennium flipped, when The Infamous was the platter that mattered, you'd swear Mobb Deep were going to last forever. Things haven't been well for the Mobb since the calendar turned 2000, but with Amerikaz Nightmare, things are getting better. Old-school and skeletal raw like G-Unit never happened, Amerikaz Nightmare is a dark album, one you wouldn't want to meet in an alley and one that can make Thomas Dolby sound sinister. Producer Alchemist lifts a bit of "She Blinded Me With Science" for "Got It Twisted," an oddball and trudging return single for the duo. The Twista remix adds nothing but Twista, and if radio can't handle the track's grit, two much better choices are made available. Lil Jon thugs up "Real Gangstaz" like he's never heard of Usher, and Kanye West runs his usual tricks through a brittle filter, making the violins scratchier for the tough "Throw Your Hands (In the Air)." Prodigy's lyrical skills are always an asset, but he's overshadowed by Havoc, who not only shines on the mic but also keeps growing as a producer. The CD-stuck, clicking beats on "Flood the Block," the jittery touches he lays on "Shorty Wop," the bit of the Eight Minutes' obscure chestnut "Time for a Change" he lifts for "Neva Change" are all smart touches Havoc graces the album with, evening out the Mobb's stern, direct, and dark lyrics with some striking showiness. They've sounded stuck and overconfident before, but this old-school-styled, true hip-hop album finds the Mobb hungry again.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Amerikaz Nightmare, Mobb Deep
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