November 19, 2016

Mobb Deep "Hell On Earth" (Hip Hop Connection, 1997)

"While 1994's "The Infamous" was a record as startling as anything else released that year, Mobb Deep were quickly overlooked as Wu-mania took over the hip-hop industry. Which was unfortunate, because "Shook Ones Pt.2" was an urban drama played out to the hilt, balladeering its way across an emotional landscape ravaged by loss of innocence and cultural segregation. And though the formula hasn't changed significantly for "Hell On Earth" - the duo still choose to produce themselves - their third album finds Mobb Deep more concerned with the present rather than the afterlife..." Cont'd...

"Drop A Gem On 'Em, a thinly-veiled broadside against the late Tupac Shakur (well, he started it!) uses the same sweeping cinematica perfected by themselves on "The Infamous," as they calmly negotiate their grievances against the rapper. "Animal Instinct" and "Still Shining" carry similar themes, as if New York is the place where dreams are made and broke. In this respect the album differs little from their contemporaries and, earnest as that sounds, is no significant departure. But then, what did you expect - a fusion of Swahili and salsa? Granted, on many tracks the song remains the same, but then the original was such a devastating bona fide classic anyway." - HHC.