Few artists can claim almost two decades of musical consistency on their resume. Even fewer can claim to have produced classic material during that time span. Acclaimed hardcore hip-hop duo Mobb Deep is one of those precious few. "Shook Ones, Pt. 2," "Survival of the Fittest," "Hell on Earth," "Quiet Storm," "Burn," and "Twisted" - to the average eye, they read like song titles. To the student of hip-hop culture, though, they read like chapters in the book of hip-hop.
Hip-hop has been good to Havoc and Prodigy, the two halves of Mobb Deep, since they both met in high school in Manhattan in the late '80s. What originally began as a group soon became a movement, and then a sound. The movement started in 1993 with the release of Mobb Deep's debut, Juvenile Hell. But it was the 1994 classic The Infamous, which boasted tracks like "Shook Ones, Pt. 2" and "Survival of the Fittest," that secured the duo's stature as one of the most important acts in hip-hop. Two years later saw the release of Hell on Earth, a million-plus seller that placed Prodigy as one of the most influential emcees of his generation and Havoc as one of its most promising producers.
Through the end of the '90s and into the new millennium, Mobb Deep continued to release music that became the soundtrack to the streets on a worldwide scale, including the platinum-plus selling Murda Muzik (1996), which featured the hit track "Quiet Storm," and the acclaimed releases Infamy (2001), Amerikaz Nightmare (2004), and Blood Money (2006). The duo also signed to 50 Cent's label G-Unit Records in the middle of the last decade - a partnership that has resulted in increased exposure for many of the duo's most memorable tracks. Having recently released The Safe is Cracked (2009), and with their ninth album on the way in the coming months, Havoc and Prodigy continue to bolster their reputation as one of the most influential and prodigious duos in hip-hop.
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