Deep Album Cuts Vol. 94: Mobb Deep

On Tuesday, shortly after the news hit that Prodigy had died, I contributed to a Rolling Stone list of his best tracks. But I also wanted to jump back and dig a little more into Mobb Deep's impressive catalog.

Mobb Deep deep album cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Hold Down The Fort
2. Eye For A Eye (Your Beef Is Mines) f/ Nas and Raekwon
3. Up North Trip
4. Drink Away The Pain (Situations) f/ Q-Tip
5. Trife Life
6. Give Up The Goods (Just Step) f/ Big Noyd
7. Still Shinin'
8. Extortion f/ Method Man
9. Apostle's Warning
10. What's Ya Poison f/ Cormega
11. The Realest f/ Kool G Rap
12. Thug Muzik
13. Where Ya From f/ 8Ball
14. Clap
15. Nothing Like Home f/ Littles
16. Win Or Lose
17. We Up
18. Smoke It
19. Pearly Gates f/ 50 Cent

Track 1 from Juvenile Hell (1993)
Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 from The Infamous (1995)
Tracks 7, 8 and 9 from Hell On Earth (1996)
Tracks 10, 11, 12 and 13 from Murda Muzik (1999)
Tracks 14 and 15 from Infamy (2001)
Tracks 16 and 17 from Amerikaz Nightmare (2004)
Tracks 18 and 19 from Blood Money (2006)

Honorable mention to the group's 8th and final album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, which isn't available on streaming services. I actually interviewed Prodigy in 2014 shortly before that album was released, and I also went one of their in store promotional appearances for Blood Money in 2006 and interviewed Havoc. And it's been interesting this week to revisit the Blood Money standout "Pearl Gates" and Prodigy's hilarious, profane, oddly poignant verse where he threatens Jesus ("I'ma beat him like the movie"). They still censor that verse even on the explicit version of the album, which is so stupid, but I've heard it uncensored on the radio this week, which made me smile.

Mobb Deep sold millions of records despite only some very sparing concessions to radio, and even their biggest hits are often as grimy and bleak as their album tracks. And "Eye For A Eye" and "The Realest" feel like definitive Mobb Deep songs even though they were never singles. I love Havoc's ear for samples, like the way "Nothing Like Home" flipped the Lenny Williams sample a couple years before Twista and Kanye had a hit with it. And this week digging into Juvenile Hell, I realized that Havoc used the drums from Little Feat's "Fool Yourself" (a.k.a. the "Bonita Applebaum" break) on "Hold Down The Fort" years before he more famously used them on "G.O.D. Pt. III." And it's interesting to hear a deep cut like "Clap" that puts a different spin on the very unique drum kit from the same album's lead single, "The Learning (Burn)."

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vol. 67: Maxwell
Vol. 68: Parliament-Funkadelic
Vol. 69: Chevelle
Vol. 70: Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
Vol. 71: Fantasia
Vol. 72: Heart
Vol. 73: Pitbull
Vol. 74: Nas
Vol. 75: Monica
Vol. 76: The Cars
Vol. 77: 112
Vol. 78: 2Pac
Vol. 79: Nelly
Vol. 80: Meat Loaf
Vol. 81: AC/DC
Vol. 82: Bruce Springsteen
Vol. 83: Pearl Jam
Vol. 84: Green Day
Vol. 85: George Michael and Wham!
Vol. 86: New Edition
Vol. 87: Chuck Berry
Vol. 88: Electric Light Orchestra
Vol. 89: Chic
Vol. 90: Journey
Vol. 91: Yes
Vol. 92: Soundgarden
Vol. 93: The Allman Brothers Band
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