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From 'Shook Ones, Part II' to 'Quiet Storm': Revisit the Samples Behind 5 Classic Mobb Deep Cuts
Havoc's sample-based production style had many Mobb Deep stans digging through the crates. Not only did the producer/rhymer born Kejuan Muchita take on little-known gems for the duo's repertoire, his beats provided the perfect backdrop for the bold and aggressive bars of his Mobb mate, Albert "Prodigy" Johnson.
In honor of Prodigy, who passed away Tuesday, and the Infamous duo's impact on hip-hop, dust off these records that helped contribute to some of the Mobb's most iconic tracks below.
"Shook Ones, Part II"
Mariah Carey's Butterfly track "The Roof" spun Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones, Part II" into a sultry track about a steamy one-night stand that involved some Moet, a little rain and a rooftop -- a flip authentic enough to the street-classic original for Prodigy and Havoc themselves to show up on the official remix. The Infamous single itself, though, samples several tracks: "Jessica," by jazz legend Herbie Hancock, soul composer Quincy Jones' "Kitty With A Bent Frame," and Australian jazz group Daly Wilson Big Band's "Dirty Feet."
This dark and gritty offering from Hav and Prodigy off 1999's Murda Muzik was featured on the soundtrack for In Too Deep, and also had Lil Kim on an alternative version with an intensely red visual directed by Hype Williams. That chest-pounding bass line was lifted from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's "White Lines (Don't Do It)." The single also contained elements of Smokey Robinson's "Quiet Storm."
"Hey Luv (Anything)" (feat. 112)
Hav and P took the Rap&B route with this 112 collaboration, still keeping their lines for the ladies 'hood. The Havoc-produced melody contains traces of the melodic offering "Micol" off the album La Seduzione (translation: "The Seduction") from Italian guitarist/composer Saro Liotta.
"Although the beat reminded me of "Quiet Storm," this guitar-riff sample over the drums and bass line reminded me of romancing a woman while her man was close by so I had to whisper in her ear on the down low," Prodigy wrote in his My Infamous Life memoir about the track.
Mobb Deep, "Give Up The Goods (Just Step)"
Queens continued to get the money with this Big Noyd-assisted Infamous single. Two songs that contributed to its beat: "That's All Right With Me" by Esther Phillips and "It's a New Day" from Skull Snaps.
Mobb Deep, "Survival of the Fittest"
The duo repped the street life with this quintessentially New York hip-hop single (which also nods to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution) off the Infamous album. The beat's piano melody samples Barry Harris Trio and Al Cohn's "Skylark." Lyrically, Kanye West borrows and tweaks a signature P lyric ("There's a war goin' on outside no man is safe from") for the Watch The Throne track "Murder to Excellence."