In the beginning Mobb Deep never really got the career they deserved, and now they may be getting the career they no longer deserve. After flying under the radar with their overlooked debut Juvenile Hell, Mobb Deep truly impacted with their bone-chilling The Infamous in 1995. The follow up Hell on Earth was basically just as good yet the sales of their NYC counterparts eluded them. After a few years off they returned in '99 with Murda Muzik, which looked to be on track for big sales and critical acclaim before it was railroaded by bootlegging. The result was a lackluster re-worked official release and disappointed sales. In hind site, it was only the beginning.
After Prodigy's solo debut further indicated his eroding skills, Mobb Deep was sent into a total tailspin after Jay absolutely crushed them and they released the putrid Infamy. Fast forward a few years and Hav and P ink a deal with G-Unit. Havoc, always a talented producer and less a force on the mic, has become easily the better emcee. And P, whose already questionable credibility as a 5-foot-nothing tough guy is all but gone after the Summer Jam pics, has easily become one of the worst emcees with a name in hip-hop. But G-Unit, love'em or hate'em, usually has pretty dope production and save a few stinkers (Yayo, Beg For Mercy), has a good catalogue. So I was expecting their best album in years.
For many longtime fans, the signing with G-Unit was a nail in the coffin; being braggadocious tough talkers and signing with the man who inadvertently made you look like fools when telling Kiss "I'll do your little ass like Jay did Mobb Deep." Well, a lot of folks thought it made them look like bitches. Never mind the fact that you just knew the usual QB fam would be spared for G-Unit guest spots. But I say fuck it, just give me some good music and I'll be happy.
I am not happy. I'm not gonna mince words here, this album is hot garbage. Straight up, it's fucking terrible. There are a few good beats ("Put'em In They Place," "Pearly Gates," "In Love With The Mula"), but the rest range from average to dull to absolutely insipid. And the subject matter? It makes the production seem like the Sistine Chapel of Hip Hop. There is literally not one bar of any value found on this album. Yeah we get it Prodigy, you're really tough and you're going to beat up Jesus, God and everyone else in Heaven. Wonderful, you'll be lucky if JC doesn't snatch your chain. They're tough, they have lots of guns, lots of money, and lots of hoes. That's all you need to know. It isn't said any more clever than that - in fact, it rarely rhymes any more than that.
At least you've got the dope "Outta Control Remix"... too bad it's a year old or so and already appeared on 50's re-release. But the beat for "It's Alright" is ill, well it was when it was called "Tick Tock" and P and Nas rapped over it on Alchemist's "1st Infantry." Yeah well "Daydreamin" and "Speakin So Freely" are just like that gritty, dark old Mobb shit. Don't mistake dark for narcoleptic. Oh well, at least 50 didn't just try and save the album from flopping and appear on like 6 of the 16 songs or some shit. Oh, wait a minute...Sorry people, I've heard it all.
I've heard some other folks are giving this album really favorable reviews. Maybe they accidentally threw in The Infamous and reviewed that, or maybe they got a version of the album that shouldn't be set on fire. Maybe, just maybe, they got passed some of that so-called blood money. I don't know about all of that. What I do know is that this album is a disgrace to the group who has made some of Hip Hop's greatest songs. Fuck outta here with all this.