The Making of Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous”

click pic 4 full feature

Although they are now considered a legendary group, leading into the release of their second album, The Infamous, it was far from a given that Albert “Prodigy” Johnson and Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita would enjoy such long and fruitful careers. Their first album, Juvenile Hell, had been a commercial flop, although it did yield a minor hit, “Hit It From The Back,” and led to them being dropped by their first label, 4th & Broadway. Prodigy even admits in his new autobiography, My Infamous Life, that him and Havoc didn’t really take the songwriting and producing process serious for their debut. It’s understandable given that both were teenagers at the time.

Besides, if it was the impetus for what was to come, then it was definitely a good thing. While only producing three songs on Juvenile Hell, the group produced a majority of The infamous, carving out a unique and unmistakable sound. Dark, moody, brooding, and sinister, the music was apocalyptic and Havoc and Prodigy’s unyielding and unremorseful lyrics painted a very bleak picture of what life was like growing up in Queensbridge (yeah, we know Prodigy is from Hempstead, Long Island, but it’s obvious he spent a lot of time in QB). It may have been unnerving to think that a duo so young could entertain such cold-blooded thoughts, but given the overwhelmingly positive response, the realness seemed to resonate.

The album contained huge smashes with “Shook Ones, Pt. II,” and “Survival Of The Fittest,” and disseminated their unique dunn slanguage all over the world. Last week the focus on was Prodigy with our exclusive Q and A, the release of the H.N.I.C.’s Complex-sponsored project, The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP, and our excerpts from his book, but given that today is the 16-year anniversary of this classic album dropping, we wanted to talk to those who were involved in The Making Of The Infamous. It’s the real…

As told to Noah Callahan-Bever (@N_C_B), Toshitaka Kondo (@ToshitakaKondo), and Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin).

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inside the making of 2010’s ‘hip hop’ album of the year

Once again, Kanye has floored us all with the album of the year, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which officially hits stores today. Complex was lucky enough to get a glimpse inside the making of this masterpiece for our December/January 2011 cover story. In fact, it’s the ultimate fly-on-the-wall account: Earlier this year, our editor-in-chief, Noah Callahan-Bever, was invited out to Kanye’s rap fantasy camp in Hawaii to watch the magic happen. We also got some of the major players involved in the album (Pusha T, Pete Rock, Nicki Minaj, etc) to break down their experience, and as an online exclusive, we have a gallery filled with 40 behind-the-scenes Hawaii photos. The issue officially hits stands on December 7, but we’re giving you a chance to check out the full package now.

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etalonhiphopblog…ty.

etalonhiphopblog

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Born To Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic – Book Review

Via Daily Mathematics

Released in the twilight of rap’s golden era, Illmatic is widely considered to be the greatest hip hop album of all time and is frequently held as the yardstick by which all other contenders are measured. Illmatic was also one of the most anticipated albums, dropping three years after Nas’s breakout introduction on “Live at the Barbeque” and subsequent tracks (“Halftime” from the Zebrahead soundtrack and “Back to the Grill” off MC Serch’s solo debut). During this period of eager hope, Nasir bin Olu Dara earned praise as the second coming of Rakim, with bits of Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Q-Tip, Chuck D and Slick Rick notably embedded in his style. Before he even dropped his album, Nas – a teenager at the time – was viewed as a hip hop prophet. At twenty years of age, Nas released Illmatic, epitomizing the expression “show and prove.” Over fifteen years after its release, Illmatic continues to engulf fervent discussions in contemporary rap circles. Borrowing its title from a line in “N.Y. State of Mind”, Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic is the first in a series of anthologies centered on classic rap records.

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djdownloadz. ty.

djdownloadz

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Kanye’s College Dropout Album Of The Decade

Entertainment Weekly recently announced what they think are the Top 10 Album of the Decade. Taking the number one spot is Kanye West‘s debut album, “The College Dropout.” Jay-Z, or “big brother” as Kanye refers to him, had his “Blueprint” album land in 2nd while Jiggas wife Beyonce and Outkast also made the list.  So do you agree?
 

Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 Albums Of The Decade

1. The College Dropout, Kanye West (2004)
2. The Blueprint, Jay-Z (2001)
3. Kid A, Radiohead (2000)
4. Stankonia, OutKast (2000)
5. Love And Theft, Bob Dylan (2001)
6. Home, The Dixie Chicks (2002)
7. Funeral, The Arcade Fire (2004)
8. I Am… Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé (2008)
9. FutureSex/LoveSounds, Justin Timberlake, (2006)
10. You Are Free, Cat Power (2003)

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where the streets have no name

dope…that’s what this beatnik & k-salaam mixtape is about…uncut china white baby.

where-the-streets-have-no-name

download/stream here >>> where the streets have no name

(from illroots)

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  • behind da barz

    --------the chemicals R identical, we're one & the same / with 7 letters in all 3 of my government names / walked on water, nah, neither did jesus / its a parable to make followers & readers believers--------i gave her my honorable discharge & she took it like a soldier--------what's a black beetle anyway, a fuckin roach-------she told the director she tryna get in a school-he said "take them glasses off and get in the pool"---------what ya'll call swag to me is faggotry-------my outfit so disrespectful / u go 'head n sneeze let my presence bless u--------its quite amazing that u rhyme like u do / & how u shine like u grew up in a shrine in peru-------its hard fuckin with niggaz u hope u can trust / ure a fool if ure main bitch is easy to fuck--------beyond the walls of intelligence life is divine / i think of crime when im in a new york state of mind - ------THE WAY SOME ACT IN RAP IS KINDA WACK / IT LACKS CREATIVITY & INTELLIGENCE / BUT THEY DON'T CARE BECAUSE THEIR COMPANY IS SELLING IT / ITS MY PHILOSOPHY ON THE INDUSTRY--------From days I wasn't "Abel/able", there was always "Cain/caine-------know how to leave anything in 30 seconds / when you feel the heat coming & flee with the murder weapon--------ayo my silent moments' loud as the crack of thunder / my hunger like the crocodile that attacked the hunter-------i'm something between platinum & flop, underground & mainstream / conscious, backpack, scratch dat; same thing---------this phiscal year im'a stay hot, buzzin / wit dudes that help me shoot like a-rod's cousin-------i fight chicks who bite dicks / give 'em lock-jaw then make 'em fight pits ------all we see is terrorism on telievision ------i'm da illest nigga alive watch me prove it / i'll snatch your crown with your head still attatched to it ------slap your face till your head ache your neck break / the next day slash your throat thru the neckbrace ------ I'm ahead of the game, ahead of these lames / I'm a head case, the head nurse gets me better with brain ------ure now dealin with da kid who heat-holds & reloads / like god gave him a gta ammunition cheat-code ------once upon a time i used to grind all night / with dat coke residue that was ipod white ------ --i took trips with so much shit in the whip / that if the cops pulled us over the dogs would get sick (sniff) ------ i put my lifetime in between the paper's lines / i'm da quiet storm nigga who fight rhyme ------brain cells are lit ideas start to hit / next the formation of words dat fit / at da table i sit making it legit / when my pen hits da paper...aah shit -------i save money while u spendin ure doe / i must stash like da hair between your lip & your nose ------age don't count in the booth / when your flow stayed submerged in the fountain of youth -------when i'm writing i'm trapped in between the lines / i escape when i finish da rhyme - ------if we can't eat together then u aint my mans / so when u see me in da streets dont shake my hand- -----money is da root of all evil / dats why u always gotta now where u stand with your people--------i can show u how to gamble your money, handle a gun / & be a family man & go home to your sun- -------black diamonds in my jesus-piece / MY GOD-------its like da ball be over the plate & they dont call it a strike- ------i'm a gangsta & a gentleman, show you both sides of the coin / knife at your throat-gun at your groin- --------my testimonial be "death to a phony mc / you wanna impress me, show me a ki--------lord knows what homey would do if i showed him da 9 / a one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind--------on da road to riches & diamond rings / in the land of the blind a man with one eye is the king--------you lack the minerals & vitamins, iron & the niacin--------stares get exchanged then the 5th come out / the tough guy disappears then the bitch come out--------if you got a bith you dont argue with dat bitch / you dont listen to dat bitch all you do is fuck dat bitch-------know da bitch b4 you call yourself lovin it / nogga wit a benz fuckin it------went from $20Gs for blow to $30gs a show / to orgies wit hoes i never seen befo'-------i'm intelectual; passed more essays / than police motorcade parades thru east l.a.-------DEAD IN THE MIDDLE OF LITTLE ITALY LITTLE DID WE KNOW / WE RIDDLED SOME MIDDLE-MAN WHO DIDN'T DO DIDDLY-------visualizing the realism of life in actuality / fuck who's da baddest; a person's status depends on salary-------mechanical movement, understandable smooth shit / that murderers move with-the thief's theme--------DEEP LIKE "THE SHINING" SPARKLE LIKE A DIAMOND / SNEAK AN UZI ON DA ISLAND IN MY ARMY JACKET LINING / HIT THE EARTH LIKE A COMET - INVASION / NAS IS LIKE THE AFRO-CENTRIC ASIAN; ½ MAN, ½ AMAZING-------& why certainly i'm squirtin / bust a nut then get up & wipe my dick on your curtain-------walk by your casket & spit in your face--------i know how to get my peers off me / make 'em cry & die from high blood-pressure cuz tears are salty-------i'm not trying to give you love & affection / i'm tryna give you 60 seconds of erection / then im'a give you cab fare & directions / get your independent ass outta here - question?---------black cat is bad luck; bad guys wear black / must've been a white guy who started all that--------either you're slinging crack-rocks or you got a wicked jumpshot--------all us blacks got is sports & entertainment--------2 many athletes, actors & rappers / but not enough niggaz at nasa - ------why did bush knock down the towers?--------I REACT LIKE MIKE / ANY ONE TY-SON, JOR-DAN, JACK-SON / action, pack gunz, ridiculous--------all the teachers couldn't reach me & my mom couldn't beat me / hard enough to make up for my pop not seeing me---------kings from queens, from queens comes kings / we're raising hell like a class when the lunch bell rings---------excuse me miss, can i give you a minute? / may i buy you a glass of ice with liquor in it?--------what goes around comes around i figure / now we got white kids calling themselves nigga / the tables turn as the crosses burn...---------YOU LOVE TO HEAR THE STORY AGAIN & AGAIN / OF HOW IT ALL GOT STARTED WAY BACK WHEN--------i guess they got a grudge cause i won't budge / playin tough, staring down the judge with my hands cuffed---------A CHILD IS BORN WITH NO STATE OF MIND / BLIND TO THE WAYS OF MANKIND--------who shot biggie smalls? if we don't get them they gon' get us all / i'm down to run up pn them crackers in their city hall----------its kinda hard to be optimistic / when your homey is laying dead in a casket----------they say the blacker the berry; the sweeter the juice / i say the darker the flesh; then the deeper the roots---------i took your breath away then we'd perform cpr---------there's no real way it can be explained / i guess its just the way i smile when i hear your name--------CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME / C.R.E.A.M. GET THE MONEY, DOLLAR DOLLAR BILL Y'AAAAALL------------see I’m a poet to some, a regular modern day shakespeare / jesus christ the king of these latter day saints here / To shatter the picture in which of that as they paint me as / a monger of hate and satan a scatter-brained atheist--------i remember marvin gaye used to sing to me / he had me feeling like black was the thing to be------------this be that put-you-out-your-misery song / that makes you ask your man 'is this the joint he's dissin me on?'---------foul all your life now ure 90 / on ure death bed u regret being grimey---------INDUSTRY RULE #4080, RECORD COMPANY PEOPLE ARE SHAAADYYYY / so kids watch your back cause i think they smoke crack---------society's a weak excuse for a man-----------planet earth my place of birth / born to be the sole controller of the universe---------the mic had my prints, on on it was a body---------a squealer tells, but the dealer still sells---------some young male put in jail / lawyer so good his bail was on sale----------i'm just takin a piss......unless you're gonna do it----------fuck street clothes, we thug it out in tuxedos / stomp niggaz with hard bottoms in casinos--------people higher up have the lowest self-esteem / & the prettiest people do the ugliest things-----------IF YOU ADMIRE SOMEONE YOU SHOULD GO 'HEAD & TELL 'EM / PEOPLE NEVER GET THE ROSES WHILE THEY CAN STILL SMELL 'EM-----------goddamn, what a nigga gotta do to make a million / without the fbi catching feelings--------i got a story to tell / in these streets we got drugs & guns for sale---------we keep the nine tucked chop dimes up rap about it / wild out fuck niggaz up laugh about it---------- read between tha lines of ya eyes and ya brows / ya handshake aint matchin ya smile---------what the fuck i rap for? to push a fuckin rav-4?-------fuck all the glamour & glitz, i plan to get rich / i'm from new york & never was a fan of the knicks----------the white boy blossomed after dre endorsed him / his flow on renegade-fuckin awesome...applaud him-------before i start you know i gotta / pay homage & respects to afrika bambaata---------DRUGS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS / MONEY IS THE KEY TO SEX------i pimped my crib so i must exhibit------- I - WILL - NOT - LOSE !
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