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Mobb Deep
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1992–present
Labels 4th & B'way (1993)
Infamous (2003-present)
Loud (1995-2003)
G-Unit (2005-2009)
Associated acts Big Noyd, Nas, Raekwon, Infamous Mobb, The Alchemist, Nyce, Littles, Tragedy Khadafi, Wu-Tang Clan, Kimberly' Lil' Kim 'Jones, Kool G Rap, DJ Premier, Large Professor
Website , www.MobbDeep.WS
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Mobb Deep is an American hip hop duo from Queens, New York, USA,[1]that consists of Havoc and Prodigy. The duo is "one of the most critically acclaimed - East Coast hip-hop groups."[2] The group is best known for its dark, 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 90's[7].




     and Prodigy started rhyming in the late 1980s when they met at 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."[citation needed]

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 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 gained a little 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

Mobb Deep catapulted to the top of the 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 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.[8] 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 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 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 Hot 100 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).


Mobb Deep released Infamy in 2001. The song "Burn" (featuring Vita) was perceived as a response to Jay-Z's diss song 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 Prodigy's feud with Jay-Z as a detriment to Mobb Deep's gangsta 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.[9] Today, as a result of various mergers, all Mobb Deep's studio albums from 1995–2004 are owned by Sony Music Entertainment.



  1. ^
  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. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Mobb Deep MTV, Accessed 24 July 2007
  9. ^ Mobb Deep and Jive Records split MTV, Accessed 24 July 2007

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