NahRight x UpNorthTrips Present: Memory Lane, a Digital Museum of Mobb Deep’s The Infamous

April 24th, 2015


Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara) with additional reporting from Evan Auerbach (@UpNorthTrips)

Mobb Deep were legends far before anything they created touched wax. The two met each other in high school when a young Prodigy witnessed his eventual rap partner fighting a kid twice his size in the school yard. Outmatched by size and the fact that his nemesis had a knife, Havoc dipped every swing and eventually won the bout. There was no such thing as Mobb Deep back then. Poetical Prophets didn’t even exist. It was just Albert and Kejuan. At the time, P was perusing a solo career but that quickly changed after meeting Hav. All connections he made and access to free studio time disolved once potential labels found out that any ink-to-contract came with also signing a then unknown lyrical accomplice.

The duo would eventually land on 4th & Broadway in 1992 and release their debut Juvenile Hell album a year later. The project was widely regarded as a flop and Mobb Deep was dropped from their first label later that year. Only 17 at the time, each have admitted in retrospect that their immaturity and work ethic weren’t all the way there when recording their first LP. Luckily, they would have a second chance. That re-up would be The Infamous.

The Mobb’s sophomore effort developed in a manner similar to their own childhood. It was cultivated in the cramped confides of Hav’s childhood home in building 41-15 and later brought to the studio for further development. Q-Tip, who originally helped Mobb Deep obtain their first deal with the Def Jam offshoot label, would become one of The Infamous’ masterminds. Every scratchy sample spawned by Havoc’s MPC 16 and every cold-blooded verse from Prodigy’s barbarous delivery was amplified by the A Tribe Called Quest producer. He, along with the Mobb, put together one of the darkest albums the genre has ever seen and arguably the best sonic representation of the place they called home.

The Infamous was released on April 25, 1995 but it was a body of work that represented the short lived triumphs and struggles Mobb Deep had faced since officially joining forces in 1991. It was the cultivation of learned lessons both musically and in life during the four years previous. The album represented the transition from a written off, immature duo to the makings of what would become one of hip-hop music’s preeminent groups. NahRight recently spoke to numerous key players involved in crafting The Infamous, including P and Hav. To best understand the album, where it came from and the people who made it what it was, we also gathered photos and key audio to accompany stories about its formation and lasting impact. Or a trip down “Memory Lane,” as Nas would put it.

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Chance The Rapper – Planes (Remix)

April 25th, 2015

Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment release their own remix of Jeremih’s “Planes”.

Previously: Jordan Bratton ft. Chance The Rapper – Prisoner

Rick Gonzalez – Lois Lane

April 25th, 2015

Rick Gonzalez shares his latest effort “Lois Lane” produced by Money Mari.

Previously: Rick Gonzalez ft. AG Da Coroner – G.M.R.

Fabolous – All For The Love Freestyle

April 25th, 2015

For this week’s freestyle, Fabolous raps over Jada’s “All For The Love”.

Previously: Fabolous ft. Tish Hyman – You Made Me (Video)

Lloyd Banks – Passing Me By Freestyle

April 24th, 2015

Lloyd Banks drops some bars over The Pharcyde’s “Passing Me By”.

Previously: Lloyd Banks – Serial Killa Freestyle

Styles P – Inner City Ghost & PRhyme Ghost And Forty

April 24th, 2015

The Lox Featuring Styles P, Sheek Louch and Jadakiss In Concert

2 more freestyles from Styles P.

Previously: Styles P – Ghost (Murder) & Ghost Thing

Video: Supah ft. Lil Herb – Claims Made

April 24th, 2015

Some new shit from Supah and Herbie, produced by Cannon Boiz.

Spotted: FSD

Previously: Chief Keef ft. Lil Bibby, Lil Herb & King Louie – Faneto (Remix)

Video: Vic Mensa Inks His Roc Nation Deal with Jay Z

April 24th, 2015

TIDAL provides some behind the scenes footage of Vic at his crib in Chicago before heading out to NYC to ink his Roc Nation deal with Hov. Who knew Nirvana played such a roll in sealing this deal?

Previously: Vic Mensa – Commas (LA Leakers Freestyle)

Video: Rozewood & Dirty Diggs – Nickel Nine

April 24th, 2015

Rozewood drops off a new clip for “Nickle Nine” off the Rodman project from Dirty Diggs.

Previously: Hus Kingpin & Rozewood – Diamond Mind

Cassidy & Fred Money – Manny vs Floyd

April 24th, 2015


“Floyd beat Marquez and Marquez had Manny planking in the ring”

As we count down the days to the Fight of The Century, Cassidy and Fred Money take sides. Listen below.

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Papoose – The Family

April 24th, 2015

You wasn’t in The Tunnel when Brooklyn niggas was wildin’. Pap jumps on Amil’s “4 Da Fam”.

Previously: Papoose – Incarcerated Scarfaces