Mobb Deep The Infamous

RTB Rewind: Mobb Deep Releases 'The Infamous'

RTB Rewind: Mobb Deep Releases 'The Infamous'

Published Tue, April 25, 2023 at 1:00 PM EDT

A Classic Sophomore Project

The Infamous is Mobb Deep's sophomore album, but it's the one that introduced the Queensbridge duo to the world and established Prodigy and Havoc as one of the best acts from the era. Engineered by Q-Tip with production by Havoc, The Infamous is sonically a master class in boom bap sample based East Coast production. With features from their Loud Records labelmates Raekwon and Ghostface Killah along with Nas and Q-Tip, the project is a peek into life in the streets of the notorious Queensbridge housing projects.

"I was really taken back because I didn't know that Eminem was a fan. Once I found out that he was a fan,and 'Shook Ones' was in the movie, the the cha-ching sound went off in my head.

- Havoc to Hip Hop DX

Shook Ones

In February 1995, Mobb Deep released the lead single from The Infamous, "Shook Ones (Part II)". Commonly referred to as simply "Shook Ones", this classic single would eventually become a backdrop for MC's and wanna be MC's alike to rhyme over, a staple in movies such as 8 Mile and a head scratcher for DJ's and diggers who wondered what the sample source was. Only recent AI technology has provided those curious music lovers with an answer.

"Shook Ones" remains Mobb Deep's most celebrated song, and an example of the greatness of the time in which it was released. Havoc recently spoke with HipHopDX about his favorite verse from his late partner in Rhyme Prodigy.

"I know it sounds cliche, but it has to be 'Shook ones'," he said. "He goes 'Official Queensbridge murderers the Mobb comes equipped for warfare, beware of my crime family who got 'nuf shots to share for all of those.'"

The Infamous

The remaining singles from The Infamous: "Survival of The Fittest", "Temperatures Rising" and "Give Up The Goods" comprised a project that is constantly referred to as one of the best mid '90s Hip-Hop albums. The dark mood of the music would serve as a template for what some referred to as New York's version of "Gangsta Rap". In 2020 Rolling Stone ranked The Infamous 369th on their updated list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and it was declared Platinum in 2020. The Infamous debuted at 15 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts.

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