Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mobb Deep "Hell On Earth" (The Source, 12/96)


"...You should be aware of two ying-yangish type facts: hip-hop's preoccupation with the gangsta aesthetic is problematic, and Mobb Deep are probably the most intense, most authentic, most powerful practitioners of a specifically Eastern hardcore feel to touch the mic this decade! The duo's second effort, Hell On Earth, is a tour de force. All of the elements that the Mobb have been lauded for - Havoc's pulsing production, P's icily cold poetics, and a creeping sense of aggression that invests the most herb-ivore type n!gga with temporary ice-grill capacity - have been taken to new heights; creating an album that, although lacking a single shot with the body-rocking power of "Shook Ones Pt.2." is a more comprehensive effort than their classic debut. To put it simply, them n!ggas have just gotten better." You can check out visuals to the apocalyptic "G.O.D. Part III" below...


"A Mobb Deep album ain't complete without mad referencing of QBC. The Bridge pervades the album, not only in a contextual sense, but also through the flavorful blessings of several of the Mobb crew, including the infamous Rapper Noyd. Labelmate Raekwon ("Nighttime Vultures"), Wu-Banger Method Man ("Extortion"), and Bridge Messiah Nas ("Give It Up Fast") also add their particular verbal alchemy to the mix.... But this is still a thoroughly Mobb joint, with all its angst-causing glory. 'Cause for every gun skit and sliced-grill, there's a solemn refrain - "I'm tired of living life this way / Crime pays but for how long?" from "Animal Instinct" - and moments of sheer joy in being moved by hip-hop's power. In the end, Mobb Deep may not be the site upon which to resolve the schisms in hip-hop's soul, but them two two brothas shake, rattle and roll said soul like no one else." - The Source, December 1996. (Updated: video changed) // Full review is available below...