Havoc-Life We Chose ft. Lloyd Banks

Having fallen out of love with hip-hop a little (we’ll end up back together, as we always do), it’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of posting some rap with a nice speaker-rattling bang to it.

Cue Mobb Deep’s Havoc, and the latest single from his upcoming 13 album, due on 7th May. The production is going to be a real winner with the hip-hop heads, taking a somewhat grand sample and allowing it to spread through the intro and the hook, whilst distorting it into a darker vibe for the verses. The latter sections also benefit from great percussion, with low, bassy drums that add a ton of power and drive to proceedings, whilst the transitions either side of their introduction help segment the song extremely well. Hav’s verses are as gritty as you’d expect, with his aggressive lyricism being a welcome change from hip-hop’s recent output, whilst Banks is a great fit on this pounding production, with his distinctive tones complementing it well throughout his verse. A good slice of rap for those heads looking for something a little hard to knock in the car, and be sure to check that album out in a few weeks.

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Havoc-Tell Me To My Face ft. Royce Da 5'9"

I was pretty reluctant to listen to this for two reasons: firstly, hip-hop has been legitimately poor in recent weeks (with a couple of small exceptions), and secondly the whole Mobb Deep split ridiculousness really soured my view on them both. However, there’s nothing like good music to win you over, and this first single from Hav’s upcoming 13 album will do just that.

The production is a great blend of that trademark ominous style of Hav’s mixed with a lively edge, combining dramatic synths with soft keys and a pounding, bass-heavy percussion that drives the track along well. Easily one of Hav’s best beats in recent times, and his raps are suited well enough too, with his natural lyrical aggressiveness capped well with a confident, slightly laidback delivery, whilst his hook scales the beat back and spotlights his unquestioned intensity. Royce’s contribution is a welcome return to the scene, his ranges of flows being extremely watertight, packing in wit, a touch of introspection and more into a verse of great quality, capping off what is certainly an enjoyable all-round hip-hop jam.

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Havoc-Separated (Real From The Fake)

It first broke into the newstream a little while back, but over the last couple of weeks it’s become extremely clear that Mobb Deep are definitely not on good terms. Havoc stated they were on an ‘indefinite hiatus’, and given the aggressive tweets Hav shot out back in April, it’s near-impossible to see how they’d ever reconcile.

Havoc’s probably given up on that too, given the nature of this track. The entire track is built to run Prodigy down, as Hav goes at Prodigy’s recent musical output, questions his sexual orientation and generally doesn’t divert from making digs for the full 3 minutes. I suppose it’s morbidly entertaining for a while, but soon enough the disappointment over the break-up and somewhat petty nature of the track kicks in, and instead of being an aggressive, vicious hip-hop joint to get some attention, it comes off as a rather timid bitching session.

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Quick Throwback: Mobb Deep – Temperature’s Rising (1995)

In memory of the UK’s 2012 summer, here’s one of my personal favourite summer joints from the M.O.B.B.’s classic sophomore The Infamous. This is so smooth it almost hurts. Q-Tip teams up with Hav to craft a head-nodding drum loop which finds its roots firmly in the funky ATCQ playbook. Lyrically both P and Hav are champions throughout, on this occasion stringing together a harsh portrayal of growing up in QB. It goes without saying that the title of this joint isn’t dedicated to the weather…

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Mobb Deep-Waterboarding (Prod. Alchemist)

Being the Mobb Deep stan I am, readers will understand the enormity of this song when I claim it’s the closet thing I’ve heard to that 90′s Mobb since… well… the 90′s. Unbelievably left off their recently released Black Cocaine EP, Waterboarding combines that classic eerie cocktail of Alchemist behind the boards and P spitting that harrowing fire which once upon a time made him top 3 in the game (What up Indi). The piercing, sporadic piano keys, low-lying baseline supplemented by jazzy horns replicates that gutter sound all Mobb fans are clamouring for on their upcoming full length LP. This is that QB shit.

Mobb Deep-Waterboarding (Prod. Alchemist) 

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Mobb Deep and Bounty Killer-Dead Man’s Shoes

The first release from Mobb Deep’s upcoming Black Cocaine EP, and to my knowledge their first new project since 2006′s Blood Money album.

A dark, intense production signals an immediate return to the classic Mobb Deep sound, with bleak synths, creepy organ samples and crashing percussion combining for a hard-hitting beat that feels both familiar and refreshing simultaneously. The raps are aggressive enough to capitalise on the production without being too abrasive, as both Prodigy and Havoc come through sounding hungry and focused, whilst the distorted Bounty Killer vocal sample finishes things off by enhancing the eerie atmosphere on the track. It’s great to have Mobb back, and this is a welcome injection into a hip-hop scene really lacking this gritty sort of material.

Mobb Deep-Dead Man’s Shoes ft. Bounty Killer

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Jay Electronica and Mobb Deep-Call of Duty

The enigmatic Jay Electronica returned to the spotlight last night with the release of some new material, for the first time in months. He was rather active on Twitter in the build-up to the release, and amongst his Tweets was an appeal to Mobb Deep to jump on a track with him: he got his wish as they come by for the assist here.

Prodigy assumes hook duty, including a rather surprising ‘put your diamonds in the sky’ line given Mobb’s tumultuous history with Jay-Z, alongside a solid verse with a laidback, mellow delivery that contrasts favourably with the intense, lively production. Electronica’s verses are enjoyable too, with some strong lines showing a little more self-awareness and timestamping, with his acknowledgment of the mythical nature of his ‘upcoming’ debut album being notable, as he cleverly spins the Detox comparisons in a more favourable manner. Not quite as spectacular a track as I’d expected, but a very simple, effective slice of hip-hop that will get some plays.

Jay Electronica-Call of Duty ft. Mobb Deep

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Mobb Deep and Nas-Dog Sh*t

DAMN. Prodigy’s wasted no time in getting back on that ‘murda muzik’ tip with his Mobb Deep cohort Havoc, and here they’ve combined with The Alchemist and the almighty Nas for a throwback slice of hip-hop that will undoubtedly satisfy the real heads over here.

Al serves up a haunting production comprised of creeping keys, intense synths and a quiet yet threatening production, all combining to set up the dark, gritty sort of backdrop that suits Mobb so well. The raps are fitting from the duo, with sombre deliveries highlighted that soft, quiet threat of the production, and Nas comes through with a short but enjoyable verse of his own. The hip-hop heads know not to question a line-up of this calibre, and it certainly delivers the kind of hip-hop I’ve not heard in quite some time.

Mobb Deep-Dog Shit ft. Nas

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Two Raekwon Bonus Cuts

With all the excellent album releases already this month (R.E.K.S., Avenger’s Airwaves, :03 From Gold, Lasers) it’s been easy for me to sleep on certain projects. One project which keeps rising to the top though is Rae’s most recent effort, the accomplished Shaolin vs Wu-Tang which continues Rae’s inroads into bringing those 90′s soundscapes back.

Here are two tracks which were left on Rae’s cutting room floor. Wu-Crime has that signature Wu sound and welcomes vocals from GZA and Priest. The second, Your World & My World with Mobb Deep’s Havoc, is somewhat more darker but neither would have sounded out of place on the LP.

Wu-Crime ft. GZA & Killah Priest

Your World & My World ft. Havoc

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Mobb Deep Back Together In The Studio [Video]

We’ve seen the pictures, now here’s some footage from Havoc and his recently-released partner in crime Prodigy back in the studio tearing it up again.

The real question on all Mobb Deep fan’s minds is what Mobb Deep we are going to get from now on? Before P went to jail, releases such as his anticipated H.N.I.C.2 and the unexpected Product Of The 80′s saw P returning to that signature, gutter QB sound which the Mobb pioneered. However, we all know what went before; the nightmare which was G-Unit Records and 2006′s Blood Money. Giving Raekwon a call might not be such a bad idea…

Let’s hope P got that fire back in his belly after his stint in the pen!

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Havoc-Back On My Bullshit

New Havoc for you Heads out there. Let’s not waste too much time on the track itself when PRODIGY GETS HOME IN 5 DAYS!

Can’t wait for the two to get back in the booth together and expect (hope) to see a fired up Prodigy with lots of new gutter material to satisfy his loyal Mobb Deep fans. Hope H can bring the heaters on production too, with his last killer beat probably this one.

Havoc-Back On My Bullshit

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Consequence, Q-Tip, Large Professor and Havoc of Mobb Deep-Fake ID

Holy hip-hop Batman, what a lineup!

The video here is a trailer for the track released earlier today, which is worth watching to get a feel for the full track (which is available below).

The production is instantly likeable, as vintage melodies are allowed to slide over some simple drum work to deliver a retro, positive hip-hop production that matches the stature of the rappers involved.

On the rare occasions he emerges, it’s great to hear Havoc on a mic, and that novelty is certainly clouding my judgement on best verse, here even though his contribution is short. Cons dominates most of the track though, hence there’s probably no ‘competition’ to be had. Definitely worth grabbing for the hip-hop heads.

Consequence-Fake ID ft. Havoc, Q-Tip and Large Professor

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Quick Throwback: Mobb Deep-Give Up The Goods

One of the 14 songs from The Infamous which helped me fall in love with hip-hop.

ATCQ’s Q-Tip on the boards (his one of three cuts on the album) laces a soothing, instant classic for P, Havoc and an on-fire Big Noyd to drop some street wisdom. Does it get any better than this?

Indi – Prodigy: Top 3 emcee mid-nineties.

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DJ Absolut/Havoc/Sheek Louch/Joell Ortiz/Cassidy

One for the heads this morning. With a heavy-hitting lineup here it’s worth checking just to see who brings their A-game. The chorus is a bit generically annoying but Ortiz’ verse is a pleasure and without doubt takes the throne on this one.

DJ Absolut-If You Love Me ft. Havoc, Sheek Louch, Joell Ortiz & Cassidy

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Smif-N-Wessun / Havoc - Death Is Forever [Video]

How peculiar. I was tweeting only yesterday about Smif-N-Wessun after briefly reviewing their debut on this very site and up pops Tek with a joint and video from his upcoming 24KT mixtape.

Although Havoc features on vocals, I am unable at this time to confirm whether it’s his board work or not. However, it is a stylish East Coast effort and great to see these three vets all coming together to hold NY down and remind us that death isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for ever.

Tek (feat Havoc & General Steele) – Death Is Forever

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Havoc / Big Noyd Perform Live

Gotta love this.

Mobb Deep’s Havoc and long-time collaborator Big Noyd performing a medley of old school Mobb tracks live.

Always fun watching Havoc perform without Prodigy because I remember him once saying how he sometimes forgets his lyrics and has to ask his side-kick to remind him!

The energy looks crazy in there!

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Raekwon + Mobb Deep + Alchemist = OMG

I thought collaborations like this didn’t exist anymore!

Apologies for skimping a little bit on the AZ post, but I had to get this out to the Heads out there ASAP.

Alchemist drops a terrifying backdrop for Havoc, Raekwon and always-appreciated Prodigy verses. Similar kinda chorus to Method Man’s All I Need from back in ’94 so you can imagine the track before you’ve even clicked the glorious, hip-hop-reviving red text below.

No idea where it’s from and quite frankly I don’t care. Just keep ‘em coming!

Raekwon (feat Mobb Deep) – Road To Riches

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Throwback Thursdays Vol 26

Ajay and Myself are having a bit of a ‘Mobb Deep week’, which always goes down well where I’m concerned (This throwback is for you too buddy!). Big Noyd is / was always Mobb Deep’s side-kick, making appearances on all Mobb LP’s up until Blood Money (apparently 50 didn’t see him fitting into the ‘grand plan’).

Being Mobb’s sidekick meant N.O.Y.D. was graced with the presence of cast-off Havoc beats and as uninspiring as that sounds, in fact, some of them Hav was crazy to let go. This week’s throwback is definitely one of those.

→ Continue Reading

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Unreleased Mobb Deep, Produced By Alchemist

Everything sounds good about this one. Unreleased music is always a good thing. Unreleased music from the legendary Mobb Deep is an even better thing. Any music over on Alchemist beat is just being spoilt. Hip-hop fans, you know what to do.

Mobb Deep-Whole Lotta Thug

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Havoc/Cory Gunz/Nyce

New track by Havoc with Cory Gunz and Nyce featuring. This track is great, Havoc’s production always ensures that classic hip hop feel – Cory Gunz takes advantage and shows his credentials.

That’s How You feel ft. Nyce & Cory Gunz

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Unreleased Mobb Deep and The Game

Piles of good music for you today (being posted the night before too!).

Kicking off with two tracks below, neither of which are technically new, but both are unreleased oldies which have recently surfaced. The Mobb Deep track is from the sessions for Hell On Earth, and The Game track is from somewhere around Game’s first two albums but it isn’t confirmed when specifically.

Mobb Deep-Tha World

The Game-Breakin’ Rules ft. Busta Rhymes

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Sunday’s Classic Collabo: Lloyd Banks/Mobb Deep

To quote Joe Budden, “I think Banks was dope and then he fell the fuck off and then he got right back up.” The track I’ve chosen for today is actually from during the period where “he fell the fuck off”.

One of the very few decent tracks from his sophomore album, Rotten Apple, Banks enlisted fellow G-Unit label mates Mobb Deep on this track to great effect.

The production talents of Havoc, along with Prodigy’s lyrical grittiness are a perfect compliment to Banks’ own style. Mobb Deep fans in particular should definitely get the track below, as well as those who love New York Hip Hop.

Get Clapped ft. Mobb Deep

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