“The Infamous Archives” is a 30 track, double disc walk through the Mobb Deep vaults. With rare exception these cuts have not been heard by Mobb Deep fans. The cuts on “The Infamous Archives” go back to the group’s mid to late 90s hardcore heyday. Start to finish this release is illustrative of Mobb Deep’s dark, dynamic, grimy sound with haunting melodies courtesy of Havoc’s production, that to many represented “street” in a way not done by anyone ever before. Additionally, Prodigy’s penchant for starting off a verse with an attention grabbing line, writing raw rhymes based heavily on the Queensbridge slang they call the dunn language, and a distinct, hen-rock induced delivery appeals to the core fan’s lyrical sensibilities. The double disc boasts collaborations with 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Cormega, Tragedy Khadafi, Onyx, Infamous Mobb, Big Noyd, Alchemist and More!
Prodigy and Havoc, powered themselves to the top of the hardcore rap scene through their straightforward narration of street life portraying the struggles of living in New York City’s Queensbridge housing projects. Almost immediately on release, “The Infamous” became one of the most influential Hip Hop albums of the East Coast hardcore rap genre. Their production also was noticed as the beats are often hard hitting and direct, a testament to Havoc, who produced the duos’ tracks almost exclusively throughout their career. Furthermore, the smash hit single “Shook Ones Pt. II”, received critical acclaim and was well-received within the Hip Hop community. Their third album, “Hell on Earth” was released in 1996, debuting at number six on the Billboard album chart. The album continued their portrayal of a harsh street life, while further pushing them to the forefront of the hardcore rap scene, along with contemporary East Coast rappers such as Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan collective, Jay-Z, and fellow Queensbridge associate, Nas.
In 1999, the duo released the highly anticipated “Murda Muzik”. The album debuted at number three on Billboard and quickly went platinum, further highlighted by the popular single, “Quiet Storm”. Shortly afterwards, Prodigy released his long awaited solo album “H.N.I.C.” in 2000, in which the rapper collaborated with other artists and producers. Since 2000 Mobb Deep dropped their final album for Loud, released “Free Agents: The Murda Mixtape” independently, jumped to Jive for “Amerikaz Nightmare” and then stunned heads everywhere by jumping to 50’s G-Unit. But on this set the focus is on the grittier, harder the Pre-2000 period making “The Infamous Archives” a must have to get your thug and drug on.