Throwback Thursdays Vol 24

Having yet to dedicate a TT to my favourite hip-hop act it’s fair to say I’m a little bit like a kid in a toy store right now. I can only apologise in advance for what may come across as a rather biased review.

Out of all Mobb Deep’s back catalogue (and what a back catalogue!) I wouldn’t have predicted I would be dropping this one. It is, without doubt, a banger. However, ‘banger’ isn’t always the term I would associate with the Mobb. ‘Gritty’ and ‘harrowing’ are much more on point (I’m yet to hear a more perfect example of these words than the Hell On Earth LP). The point is, and bare with me there is one, is that Quiet Storm signals an end of an era. Many (and I’m not sure where I fall on this) feel Quiet Storm was Havoc’s last first-class beat. Others savour Quiet Storm as a dying breed (released March 1999) before hip-hop as we knew and loved was changed forever. Wherever your opinion lies, no one can deny Mobb Deep’s contribution to hip-hop.

Murda Musik (Hav and P’s fourth effort) was the last of the pedigree which we could associate with the likes of The Infamous (1995), Hell On Earth (1996), and to some extent Juvenile Hell (1992). The album itself shows glimpses of that classic Mobb formula (Adrenaline, What’s Ya Poison, Streets Raised Me and of course, It’s Mine) but Quiet Storm blows these all out of the water. The formula had been updated.

Thunder claps in the background and a feint sense of rain patter can be made out. “Just been through it all man/Blood sweat and tears/Niggaz is dead and shit/What the fuck else can happen yo?” Prodigy lays on a sombre intro before the pulsating baseline creeps in giving the listener the impression that Quiet Storm is different. It has a real sense of purpose. It’s a goose bumping moment.

Once you have got over the intro, P kicks into full flow. Assuming his pre-Infamy flow he hungrily attacks Havoc’s thumping baseline with expert delivery and discipline. He keeps his tempo yet without getting over-excited and delivers each and every bar flawlessly. It is this remarkable chemistry which has seen the duo stay together, through thick and thin, for approaching 20 years. Not many rap groups can make that claim.

Quiet Storm single-handedly saved Murda Musik. No one is disappointed more than me to say that Mobb Deep have since failed to replicate anything even slightly genre-defining after. 11 years on and we are still waiting…

Free P.

(R&B heads out there, you might recognise 112’s sampling of Quiet Storm on their number one hit It’s Over Now).

Mobb Deep – Quiet Storm

Mobb Deep (feat Lil Kim) – Quiet Storm (Remix)

Murray’s BDK Rating:ger

Up Next Week…

Pretty special record from the most genius member of the Wu Tang Clan.

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