As hip-hop continues to grow older, a few classics from the golden era are approaching their 20-year anniversary. Mobb Deep’s Infamous is one of those classics and the duo has come together to release The Infamous Mobb Deep. The double album features all new cuts and a second disc full of unreleased gems from the vaults.

Disc one truly marks the return of the Mobb. No more appealing to execs and radio, just murder music. It’s nostalgically shocking to hear the grimy guitars of “Taking You Off Here”. Havoc goes straight for the throat with murder rap after murder rap. Prodigy ups the ante spitting visuals like ‘No tapping out on that concrete canvas.’ Then there’s “Get Down”, which feels like the perfect blend of old Mobb and new Mobb with a touch of 50 Cent. It is just bright enough to get some late night radio spins, but shadowy enough to embody the darkness of Queensbridge alleyways.

Havoc is in rare form, providing neck-breaking loops like the ghostly piano on “Gimme All That”. However, it’s New Jersey’s Illmind that brings out that old Mobb rawness. “Dirt” and “Check The Credits” play like thriller movies, and to use a Havoc quotable from “Murdera”, could, ‘blend like an earth tone.’

The dynamic duo softens up a bit on “All A Dream” and “Low” featuring Mack Wilds to mixed results. To their credit, both tracks are executed well and don’t feel forced.

It seems that finally a golden era act is listening to its fans and bringing it back to its inception. And the results are infamous.

On Repeat: Get Down, Dirt, Gimme All That

Production 4 | Lyrics 4 | Flow 4 | Creativity 3 | Overall 4

Sean Watson