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Infamy

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Album Review

Long considered New York's most rugged and hardcore rap group of the '90s to ever make it big, Mobb Deep finally soften up a bit on Infamy. The album is a turning point for Prodigy and Havoc — and a timely one indeed. Shortly before Infamy hit the streets, Jay-Z had blasted Mobb Deep — as well as Nas — on "Takeover," berating Prodigy in particular for being fake. Nas fired back on his Stillmatic album with the cutting song "Ether"; Mobb Deep didn't. Instead, the Queensbridge duo went about their business and released Infamy, their most accessible album yet — the sort of album many fans never would have expected. Granted, Mobb Deep still rep the street life here, as songs such as "Kill That Nigga," "My Gats Spitting," and "Hurt N****s" no doubt illustrate. However, songs such as "Pray for Me," "Hey Luv (Anything)," and "There I Go Again" sent quite a different message; the first features Lil' Mo, the second 112, and the third Ron Isley — each there to smooth out Mobb Deep's rough sound. And it works, particularly in the case of the thug ballad "Hey Luv (Anything)," which garnered the most exposure the duo had yet experienced and introduced Mobb Deep to a broader audience.

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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Infamy, Mobb Deep
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