The legendary Mobb Deep came equipped for war­fare on tour cel­eb­rat­ing the 20th Anniversary of their fourth album Murda Muzik. The Infam­ous Mobb Deep are a pion­eer­ing rap group to emerge from New York City in the 90’s era, a group which per­fec­ted a sig­nat­ory sound which meant some of their tracks instantly became time­less clas­sics. A grit­ti­er rap group, their tracks often con­tained graph­ic imagery of grow­ing up in Queens­bridge Houses and Mobb Deep are some of QB’s finest who provided the soundtrack to the streets. Murda Muzik dropped on August 17 1999 with col­lab­or­a­tions from vari­ous oth­er includ­ing, Cor­mega on What’s Ya Pois­on and Big Noyd on Streets Raised Me. This one album alone houses sev­er­al hits includ­ing the crowd pleas­ing Shook Ones and Quiet Storm on which Hav­oc has sampled, White Lines (Don’t Do it) by Melle Mel. The mix­ture of dope lyr­ics and beats, it’s hard to believe it’s been over twenty years since this album came out as it still has the same impact when played now.

Mid world tour, Mobb Deep’s flight from Bul­garia to Lon­don had been can­celled so they had to make the which meant they came straight from the air­port to the Lon­don stage, not even stop­ping at the hotel, ‘We know we had fans wait­ing’ – Big Noyd. DJ L.E.S took to the stage with Big Noyd hyp­ing up the crowd ready for Hav­oc to rush out per­form­ing Sur­viv­al of the Fit­test, what a hard tune to start with, the crowd was ready recit­ing rhyme for rhyme, instantly the energy levels went up, this is what we had come for!

They per­formed vari­ous tracks not just those on Murda Muzik, so there were bangers for every­one to wild out. Observing some the young­er faces at the Lon­don show at the Oval, the crowd was more diverse than I had expec­ted. If any­thing, the diversity was a testi­mony of the longev­ity of Mobb Deep, and their mass appeal even to a young­er audi­ence. Hav­oc and Big Noyd are cha­ris­mat­ic storytellers hail­ing from Queens­bridge, who cap­tiv­ated us with their move­ments on the stage mim­ick­ing actions to their words. We were engaged.

As the show con­tin­ued, The Realest by Prodigy blared out of the speak­ers, Hav­oc let his verse roll out. It’s always emo­tion­al to hear P’s voice but there was some­thing cath­artic about being in the same room as P’s fam­ily — Hav­oc, Big Noyd and L.E.S. With the bass pump­ing through the floor, we were cel­eb­rat­ing Prodigy’s life and diverse dis­co­graphy togeth­er which gave me a warm fuzzy feel­ing inside. As L.E.S played Thug Music, Hav­oc shared that this was one of his favor­ite Prodigy songs — Rest in Peace P we will nev­er for­get you.

More of my favor­ites Eye for an Eye and Right Back at You had me hyped. Then came anoth­er of favor­ites tracks —  It’s Mine on which Nas’ men­tion of Bar­bra Streis­and on his drives me crazy every time I hear it. Havoc’s use of the sample from Tony’s Theme from the movie Scar­face, is enchant­ing. Hav­oc has done an amaz­ing job on the pro­duc­tion here, I had instant feel­ing of nos­tal­gia think­ing of the lux­uri­ous music video pro­duced by Hype Wil­li­ams to this song. ‘We had a lot of fun shoot­ing that’ Hav­oc later told me.

The dark­er sounds of God­fath­er Part 3 had some of the more hard­core fans going crazy. The melody of Get Away always takes me away to anoth­er zone, and hear­ing Temperature’s Rising was also spe­cial for me, that brought back a lot of memor­ies as well. The Learn­ing (Burn) feat. Big Noyd & Vita got every­one boun­cing, that instru­ment­al is killer but L.E.S kept the party jump­ing mix­ing it into 50 Cent — Outta Con­trol ft. Mobb Deep which was a real treat for fans.

There were many tracks I was left long­ing for such as, U.S.A (aiight then), but Mobb Deep’s dis­co­graphy is so rich its always impossible to do it justice in just one show. The show ended with Shook Ones Part 2, the tune that is guar­an­teed to get the crowd jump­ing with excite­ment every time leav­ing us want­ing more.

A great night of real hip hop. I caught up with them after the show to ask how they man­aged to come straight from the air­port to do the show with noth­ing but energy and good vibes.

HAV­OC: The secret is not want­ing to let your fans down, so even if we don’t got no fuck­ing energy we got to fake it like we got energy for the fans. People have paid their money to come and see you so you can’t just be like, I’m tired. You got to pull that energy from deep with­in and be like fuck it.

NOYD: That’s exactly what it is. When the fans are there you, draw energy from them.

Full Mobb Deep Inter­view for I Am Hip Hop com­ing soon, watch this space!


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Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide

Faizah works in clin­ic­al research by pro­fes­sion and has been an avid Hip Hop lov­er since the early 90’s, hav­ing cre­ated her own Hip Hop event, ‘Breakin’ Bound­ar­ies’ in the early 2000’s which was pre­dom­in­antly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with sev­er­al inter­na­tion­al events pro­moters and dan­cers to inspire oth­ers through this art­form.

About Faizah Cyanide

Faizah Cyanide
Faizah works in clinical research by profession and has been an avid Hip Hop lover since the early 90's, having created her own Hip Hop event, 'Breakin' Boundaries' in the early 2000's which was predominantly based around the concept of bboy battles, she has worked with several international events promoters and dancers to inspire others through this artform.