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Mobb Deep - The Infamous

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The Infamous

Mobb Deep

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One of the cornerstones of the New York hardcore movement, The Infamous is Mobb Deep's masterpiece, a relentlessly bleak song cycle that's been hailed by hardcore rap fans as one of the most realistic gangsta albums ever recorded. Given Mobb Deep's youthful age and art-school background, it's highly unlikely that The Infamous is drawn strictly from real-life experience, yet it's utterly convincing, because it has all the foreboding atmosphere and thematic sweep of an epic crime drama. That's partly because of the cinematic vision behind the duo's detailed narratives, but it's also a tribute to how well the raw, grimy production evokes the world that Mobb Deep is depicting. The group produced the vast majority of the album itself, with help on a few tracks from the Abstract (better known as Q-Tip), and establishes a spare, throbbing, no-frills style indebted to the Wu-Tang Clan. This is hard, underground hip-hop that demands to be met on its own terms, with few melodic hooks to draw the listener in. Similarly, there's little pleasure or relief offered in the picture of the streets Mobb Deep paints here: They inhabit a war zone where crime and paranoia hang constantly in the air. Gangs are bound together by a code of fierce loyalty, relying wholly on one another for survival in a hopeless environment. Hostile forces -- cops, rivals, neighborhood snitches -- are potentially everywhere, and one slip around the wrong person can mean prison or death. There's hardly any mention of women, and the violence is grim, serious business, never hedonistic. Pretty much everything on the album contributes to this picture, but standouts among the consistency include "Survival of the Fittest," "Eye for a Eye," "Temperature's Rising," "Cradle to the Grave," and the classic "Shook Ones, Pt. 2." The product of an uncommon artistic vision, The Infamous stands as an all-time gangsta/hardcore classic.
© Steve Huey /TiVo

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The Infamous

Mobb Deep

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1
The Start of Your Ending (41st Side)
Mobb Deep
00:04:24

Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
(The Infamous Prelude)
Mobb Deep
00:02:12

Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Survival of the Fittest (LP Version)
Mobb Deep
00:03:44

Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Tim Latham, Recording Engineer - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Eye for a Eye (Your Beef Is Mines)
Mobb Deep
00:04:48

Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Nas, Performer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Tim Latham, Recording Engineer - Corey Woods, Composer - Corey Woods, Lyricist - Raekwon The Chef, Performer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - N. Jones, Lyricist - N. Jones, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
(Just Step Prelude)
Mobb Deep
00:01:06

Mobb Deep, Performer - T. Perry, Composer - T. Perry, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Give Up the Goods (Just Step) (LP Version)
Mobb Deep
00:04:03

T. Perry, Composer - T. Perry, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Performer - J. Davis, Lyricist - J. Davis, Composer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Noyd, Performer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - Tim Latham, Recording Engineer - M.W. Small Jr., Composer - M.W. Small Jr., Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - The Abstract, Mixing Engineer - The Abstract, Producer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Temperature's Rising (LP Version)
Mobb Deep
00:05:00

Mobb Deep, Co-Producer - Mobb Deep, Performer - J. Davis, Composer - J. Davis, Lyricist - Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - P. Rushen, Lyricist - P. Rushen, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Ferdinand Washington, Lyricist - Ferdinand Washington, Composer - Crystal Johnson, Performer - The Abstract, Producer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
Up North Trip
Mobb Deep
00:04:58

Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - The Abstract, Mixing Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Trife Life
Mobb Deep
00:05:20

Dino Zerros, Recording Engineer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Vocal - The Abstract, Mixing Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - M. Henderson, Composer - M. Henderson, Lyricist

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Q.U. - Hectic
Mobb Deep
00:04:46

Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Tony Smalios, Programmer - Tony Smalios, Recording Engineer - Mobb Deep, Recording Engineer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Right Back at You
Mobb Deep
00:04:53

T. Perry, Composer - T. Perry, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Noyd, Performer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Dennis Coles, Composer - Dennis Coles, Lyricist - Corey Woods, Composer - Corey Woods, Lyricist - Ghostface Killah, Performer - Schott Free, Co-Producer - Raekwon The Chef, Performer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

12
(The Grave Prelude)
Mobb Deep
00:00:50

Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

13
Cradle to the Grave
Mobb Deep
00:04:57

Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

14
Drink Away the Pain (Situations)
Mobb Deep Featuring Q-Tip
00:04:45

D. McKnight, Composer - D. McKnight, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Co-Producer - B. Summer, Lyricist - B. Summer, Composer - Paul M. Jackson, Jr., Composer - Paul M. Jackson, Jr., Lyricist - Mobb Deep Featuring Q-Tip, Performer - J. Davis, Lyricist - J. Davis, Composer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Tim Latham, Recording Engineer - Tim Latham, Mixing Engineer - B. Maupin, Lyricist - B. Maupin, Composer - M. Clark, Composer - M. Clark, Lyricist - P. Potyen, Lyricist - P. Potyen, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - D. Youman, Lyricist - D. Youman, Composer - The Abstract, Producer - The Abstract, Mixing Engineer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

15
Shook Ones, Pt. II (LP Version)
Mobb Deep
00:05:25

Louis Alfred III, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Performer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

16
Party Over
Mobb Deep
00:05:41

T. Perry, Composer - T. Perry, Lyricist - Mobb Deep, Performer - Mobb Deep, Mixing Engineer - Mobb Deep, Producer - Louis Alfred III, Recording Engineer - Tony Smalios, Mixing Engineer - Leon Zervos, Mastering Engineer - Noyd, Performer - Albert Johnson, Composer - Albert Johnson, Lyricist - Kejuan Muchita, Composer - Kejuan Muchita, Lyricist - Matt Life, Co-Producer

(P) 1995 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

One of the cornerstones of the New York hardcore movement, The Infamous is Mobb Deep's masterpiece, a relentlessly bleak song cycle that's been hailed by hardcore rap fans as one of the most realistic gangsta albums ever recorded. Given Mobb Deep's youthful age and art-school background, it's highly unlikely that The Infamous is drawn strictly from real-life experience, yet it's utterly convincing, because it has all the foreboding atmosphere and thematic sweep of an epic crime drama. That's partly because of the cinematic vision behind the duo's detailed narratives, but it's also a tribute to how well the raw, grimy production evokes the world that Mobb Deep is depicting. The group produced the vast majority of the album itself, with help on a few tracks from the Abstract (better known as Q-Tip), and establishes a spare, throbbing, no-frills style indebted to the Wu-Tang Clan. This is hard, underground hip-hop that demands to be met on its own terms, with few melodic hooks to draw the listener in. Similarly, there's little pleasure or relief offered in the picture of the streets Mobb Deep paints here: They inhabit a war zone where crime and paranoia hang constantly in the air. Gangs are bound together by a code of fierce loyalty, relying wholly on one another for survival in a hopeless environment. Hostile forces -- cops, rivals, neighborhood snitches -- are potentially everywhere, and one slip around the wrong person can mean prison or death. There's hardly any mention of women, and the violence is grim, serious business, never hedonistic. Pretty much everything on the album contributes to this picture, but standouts among the consistency include "Survival of the Fittest," "Eye for a Eye," "Temperature's Rising," "Cradle to the Grave," and the classic "Shook Ones, Pt. 2." The product of an uncommon artistic vision, The Infamous stands as an all-time gangsta/hardcore classic.
© Steve Huey /TiVo

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