How Mobb Deep’s Shook Ones Made New York Gangster

Mobb Deep is the rap duo from Queens consisting of Prodigy and Havoc. The two met while they were both students at the High School Of Art And Design in Manhattan, a school that produced creatives like Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs, among others.

In 1991, Prodigy and Havoc formed a rap group and they originally called the group Poetical Prophets. It wasn’t until the following year in 1992 that they became officially known as Mobb Deep.

Prodigy has explained how their group name Mobb Deep came about. He said, “we need[ed] something that described how we were living. When [we] got together to hang out, there would be thirty to forty of us, like a mob. The slang we used when we saw a whole bunch of guys together was . . . ‘deep.’ Both words together sounded good. Mobb Deep.”



In 1993 Mobb Deep released their debut album, Juvenile Hell. Prodigy and Havoc were roughly 18 and 19 years old, respectively, when the album was released. Juvenile Hell failed to chart so the duo was dropped by their label, 4th & B’way.

However, the group would get a new record deal and in 1995 would release what many consider a Hip Hop classic album, The Infamous. The album was largely produced by group member Havoc.

Havoc explains how he got into music production.


Unlike their debut album, Hell On Earth, The Infamous achieved notable commercial success. It debuted at number 15 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts.

Shook Ones, Part II was the lead single of The Infamous album. Rapper and The Source Magazine co-founder, Benzino has gone on the record and stated that when Mobb Deep dropped Shook Ones Part II that’s when New York became gangster. Here’s what he said.

In 2020, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Infamous as one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Rapper Memphis Bleek has also gone on the record and praised Prodigy and the Mobb Deep The Infamous album (view video).

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And as always we like to close with a saying, quote or adage and today’s is from Pordicy: YOU GOTTA BE CAREFUL AND JUST LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.

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