Mobb Deep is without a doubt one of the greatest rap groups ever. Few acts have made an album as flawless as The Infamous…, let alone following it up with as dope of an album as Hell On Earth. Prodigy was even considered one of the illest MCs breathing at one point. We made that case a little while ago.
This week sees something of an okey doke release from the Mobb. Packaged with their new LP,The Infamous Mobb Deep, is a second disc packed with unreleased tracks and mastered demos. In short, it’s enough to make a QB fan drool for days, with rare cuts like “If It’s Alright” and “The Bridge” getting drastic improvements and the original “Eye For An Eye” with Ghostface. Seeing how Hav and P have a treasure trove of unreleased rarities, we dug up ten of our favorites in celebration of their new album.
“Back At You”
“Back At You” was a single from the “Sunset Park” soundtrack, which also featured bangers from Dogg Pound and 2Pac. Havoc melts the bass line from “Bumpy’s Lament” down to it’s core, making yet another case for why his flips put him in the running for the most underrated producer to ever do it.
One of the most treasured Mobb Deep rarities, “Everyday Gunplay,” appeared on a DJ Clue mixtape and the Pre-Hell EP but never made it on to any official release. With a female vocalist on the chorus it sounds primed for The Infamous, but check out how Havoc makes that vocal sample fold onto itself.
The Mobb contributed to America Is Dying Slowly, a compilation meant to boost awareness about AIDS that also featured Wu-Tang, Goodie Mob, Eightball & MJG, and tons more. P gets lifty on this dramatic L.E.S. beat and a remix appeared as a B-side to the white label “Reach,” but it doesn’t seem to be available online.
Apparently left off of Hell On Earth, “Young Luv” finds Hav and P flipping Slick Rick’s popular hook over a Prince sample that would have sounded foreign on an album soaked in blood. It’s nice to hear Prodigy talking about women in a loving way, because he’s often being paranoid and disappointed with females. Or he’s just talking to a gun.
“Rare Species (Modus Operandi)”
“The Soul In The Hole” soundtrack is one of rap’s greatest, full of exclusives featuring everyone from Wu-Tang and Big Pun to Organized Konfusion and Common. The Rascals flip is ingenious and P’s last verse is a prime example of how silky he can get with words. Plus he pees on you.
“First Day Of Spring”
Besides “L.A. L.A.,” this song is one of the rare instances where Mobb Deep and Tragedy Khadafi appeared on the same song. Prodigy isn’t even missed here, though a verse from him would make this a classic, but Trag and Hav do the piano justice.
“In The Long Run”
Many remember the beef between Prodigy and Keith Murray, and as legend goes Keith actually snuffed Prodigy (Ed. Note: And Mobb may or may not have tossed KM in the river during a boat party). On “In The Long Run” P confirms this himself, while also letting Keith know that unbeknownst to him, he was this close to getting shot. This was a bonus track from Hell On Earth.
It might take you a second listen to catch what Prodigy is doing with his verse on this untitled cut, complete with pounding cuts and a rare verse from Godfather Pt. III. Imagine how many quick little unreleased joints the Mobb has like this.
“Light Em Up”
It’s hard to say when “Light ‘Em Up” was recorded, though it sounds like it belongs on the demo tape from before The Infamous, but note how nihilistic Prodigy sounds. He starts by saying he wants to boost the crime rate, and then he says he’s ready to die. ‘Pac claimed that Biggie got that phrase from him for his debut album, but who wants to bet that Prodigy was the first one to say it on wax?
“Perfect Plot” (Feat. Big Noyd)
This is a later cut, but Prodigy is talking about chocolate clouds and duck fuckers, so you can tell he’s still got it. “Perfect Plot” showed up as a B-side on a white label single with “QB Meets South Suicide” on the front featuring Onyx. Both are worth your time.