‘HELL ON EARTH’ MOBB DEEP’S THIRD ALBUM TURNS 25!

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On that date in 1996, the Mobb Deep team released the album titled Hell On Earth. The project, produced by Mobb, was released under the epic Loud / RCA label and featured many members of the QB / Mobb family including the hoarse-voiced Twin Gambino, Big Noyd and a few others. 

Mobb Deep became a street sensation with their second album, The Infamous , and the duo didn’t need to change their style on Hell on Earth . The first words of the disc announce: “You know how we did on the Infamous album, don’t you? Okay, well, we’ll do it again ” , and that’s exactly what they did. 

Hell on Earth refines Mobb Deep’s formula , amplifying much of what made The Infamous so successful . The dark tales of the street are even more violent and extreme, and the production is even more squeaky and spooky. It is still carried by RZA’s work with the Wu-Tang Clan, but it is more dramatic: sinister strings and piano pieces, supported by deep, echoing rhythms. While the overall vibe is pretty much the same as before, it’s a bit more sophisticated and cinematic. For these reasons, some Mobb fans prefer Hell on Earth to The Infamous., although it lacks some of the thematic unity and clearly outlined details that made The Infamous universe so cohesive. 

Hell on Earth also lacks freshness and novelty, but while Mobb Deep seems to repeat itself there, it does so very effectively. The album is superbly whimsical and haunting, with notably the swirling atmospheres of the horror film  GOD, Pt. III in which Prodigy transmits his knowledge of the street, and the hypnotic Hell on Earth (Front Lines) . Drop a Gem on ‘Em’ is another highlight, a line-up that openly threatened Tupac Shakur and his cronies, not to mention Give It Up Fast with Noyd and Nas, and the remarkable appearances of Method Man, Raekwon, QB Nas.

This certified gold classic was unmistakably part of the East Coast arsenal against the West Coast at the height of the rivalry. He is also the project that confirmed Havoc’s skills as a producer, which led to several other projects outside of the Mobb.

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