Posted by: vincentlopez | November 7, 2008

Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous…” ~ Only 4.5 mics???


Wu-Tang Clan Enter the 36 Chanbers – (4.5 mics)

The Notorious B.I.G.Ready to Die – (4.5 mics)

Mobb DeepThe Infamous… – (4.5 mics) ????


Now, most of the people I know (and maybe you, too) consider those three albums 5 mic classics with no discussion necessary.  However, The Source’s staff at the time disagreed and I must say that I agree with their 4.5 mic rating again.  The Infamous… is a ridiculously good album in my opinion.  They weren’t (and still aren’t) lyricists but their flow, voice, and delivery (Prodigy specifically) combined with incredible production that fit them, helped them to create a near classic.  I’d choose this album over 80% of the albums released since 2000.  I remember back in ’95 when most of my friends were telling me to buy this.  But at the time, I was heavily into O.C.’s Word…Life album and literally wouldn’t remove it from my tape deck.  On top of that, I was heavily anticipating the Raekwon album and refused to believe that another album in ’95 could possibly top it.  But after a month of hearing about it, I decided to tape it from a friend and haven’t looked back since.  So what do you think?  Do you consider The Infamous… a 5 mic classic?  And most importantly, which album is better: The Infamous… or Hell on Earth?  


Some other highlights from this issue:


– R.I.P. Eazy E…and he still doesn’t get the respect he deserves.

– Dead Serious inc. is offering $5,000 for criminals caught in the act

Tyson Beckford signs a modeling contract with Ralph Lauren

E-Vocalist of the B.U.M.S. with the hip-hop quotable for “Non-Stoppin’ The Groove”

– Microphone Check with Funkdoobiest, Double X Posse, and Tung Twista

Isaac Hayes (R.I.P.) is interviewed

Khalid Muhammad (R.I.P.) brings his message to hip-hop

Penny Hardaway helps the Orlando Magic reach the 1995 NBA Finals


Record Report:


Mobb DeepThe Infamous (4.5 mics)

AMGBallin’ Outta Control (3.5 mics)

The B.U.M.S.Lyfe and Tyme (3 mics)

Double X PosseRuff, Rugged & Raw (3.5 mics)

FunkdoobiestBrothas Doobie (3.5 mics)

Tung TwistaDa Resurrection (3 mics)

King JustMystics of the God (3.5 mics)

VA-Pump Ya Fist: Hip-Hop Inspired by the Black Panthers (3 mics)

Kid SensationSeatown Funk (2.5 mics)

CozKing of Kali (3 mics)

I Smooth 7Ghetto Love (3 mics)


Source June 1995 issue

Thanks to Verge @ and Travis @ for helping me with this fat tape.  The songs listed by Kool G Rap and 8 Off probably don’t exist so I had to improvise and add another song by them to the fat tape.


June 1995 fat tape





  1. I fully agree that Mobb Deep’s album The Infamous is a 5 mic classic. Long explanation short, Havoc and Prodigy shine bright as ever on the mic, the production did fit them very well, there’s NO filler whatsoever on this album, and you can certainly make a case that literally every song on this album is a classic in its own way. The Infamous has been a part of my collection since its release in 1995 (my favorite year in hip hop) just like Rae’s Cuban Linx album. As far as which album is better between Infamous and Hell On Earth, while Hell On Earth was and is an incredible album, but respectively, it’s not better than Infamous. It does give Infamous a run for its money, something that Mobb Deep’s later albums couldn’t do.

  2. the source was always infamous for misidentifying tracks on those fat tapes…

    thanks for the upload.

  3. First off

    Murda Muzik>

    (FTR: Them dudes got 4.5 THREE times in a row. Say what you will about The Source, but that’s still impressive to be considered)

    I’d give The Infamous 5 Mics all day, but the 4.5 isn’t a hard pill to swallow. On paper, they kinda made the same song 16 tracks straight. And Havoc’s production wasn’t nowhere near what it was on the future releases.

    But that’s why the ratings aren’t always directly associated with the actual music. Impact, credibility and presence are factored in as well and over a decade later, The Infamous as held up strongly to earn that .5

    In terms of album quality, Hell On Earth is a better album, but I’ll be damned if it has more rawness than The Infamous. I guess you could say the same for Murda Muzik, but that’s just masterwork all by itself.

  4. Oh yeah.

    R.I.P. to Penny Hardaway’s career after that season.

  5. I completely disagree with the statement that Mobb Deep were not lyricists and here’s my long-winded explanation –

  6. thank you vincent.

  7. Cosine RHS.

    Prodigy has never been a “flo-master” (c) Fab 5.
    He’s always been about nihilistic/fatalistic lyrics, that “I wanna look fly when I die” steez.

    • Prodigy was killin track like crazy b-4, whut u talkin about kid? ni99a always had genius flows that people (like me) that relate to him could understand. now if u dont relate to Prodigy’s flows, then u must lived a perfect life of some shit. now the gutter dudes could say what i’m saying definitely. trust me

  8. Oh yeah.

    R.I.P. to Penny Hardaway’s career after that season.


    Vincent, once again thanks for all these older hip hop magazines. I agree that The Infamous album is a 4.5 and that The Source sgould have never went back and edit the ratings back in 2002. But then I think The Source shouldn’t have had to go through all the Ray-a-nomics from Benzino.

    Eazy doesn’t get the props that he deserves. He was FAR from Rakim on the mic but his impact in hip hop is still huge. When giving props to dead rappers it’s always 2Pac Biggie Biggie 2Pac.

  9. To my surprise Kid Sensation is on the Fat Tape. I thought he was well done in 90 or so. Nice stuff. CHeers

  10. i was just listening to this album yesterday and it was a breath of fresh air to my ears. i love every song on that album without even skipping a track. prodigy did it for me with the lyrics and havoc came correct. it was such a rugged album and i love the storytelling. after those hip hop years. hip hop hasnt been the same since. those 3 albums are my favorites of all time and they were able to stand against the test of time. they deserve 5 mics. after more than 10 years. im still listening to it and so are countless others.

  11. I forgot to mention that The Infamous and Hell on Earth are two of my favorite albums to play while driving. There’s something about those cinematic sound effects that gets to me. And the sinister bass lines are ridiculous!

  12. thats good that you found those stickers and the poster. you should post them on your blog. and i just uploaded a new video for the freestyle. thank you. and yo. i met black thought a few times. heres a blog post on the first time i met him. the second one coming at a later time. enjoy.

  13. watching spiderman in the movies. how random but thats great. lol. you should blog about your stories of meeting emcees. im sure there are tons more that youve met. id love to hear about them!

  14. It shoulda been 5 mics. I slept on that record as well, but for about two months while my friends were straight buggin’ out over it. I was just into some other records at the time and didn’t think that it would appeal to me but once I got it in some headphones I was hooked. The first thing that got me was the production. Vincent…you’re right on about the cinematic sounds. I love it in the fall and winter because alot of it is just plain spooky sounding. I really love the beats on that record, particularly ‘Give Up The Goods’ and ‘Up North Trip’. And the rhymes are better than most so anyone who feels differently probably can’t get past the content, which was pretty grim for the most part but I think that that’s exactly what those guys were going for. Prodigy can rap his behind off but I never felt exactly the same way towards Havoc.

  15. Both of those LP’s by Mobb Deep are classics! I cant even begin to debate that. Its hard for me to choose one over the other, both of them hold special places in my heart!! I gotta go with both!

    yo vincent, u said Prodigy isnt a great lyricist? Now, no he isnt. But from ’95-’00, he had hip hop quotables galore. Whatever he was on during time put his rhymes into the stratosphere. Just listen to all his stuff he said during that time, he was on another level. I just wonder wtf happened to his rhymes skillz? its a mystery.

    Also yall better not sleep on King Just’s LP “Mystics of the God”!! That album is dope as hell, ill give it about 4 mics! You cant front on “No Flows on the Rodeo”!! Easy Mo Bee produced that record!!

    great post vincent!

  16. oh yea, Penny Hardaway was da damn sh*t!! He had all the skillz!! Young kids today just will never know how dope that man was. It almost brings a tear to my eyes!

    And those beats that Mobb Deep had back in those days were crazy, we used to call them drama/horror beats. They were great, its gets me amped everytime i hear them!

  17. Excellent question – I consider The Infamous… a five mic CLASSIC, however, Hell on Earth is farrrrr superior!

  18. “The Infamous” in my opinion is straight 5 mic material! It`s my fav` Mobb Deep album, still remember how I`d BuMP that joint in my Walkman all day. Played it so much that the labels on the cassette faded off…

    As for Eazy, I feel the same….always wondered if homie passed away from something else other that AIDS or was murdered, would he get more juice? Anyway, for y`all Eazy fanS here a lil` mix ya might enjoy (…

    STaY BLeSS`n…

  19. Mobb deep The Infamous is a no doubt hands down classic. There is no argument or discussion. But I must say that I disagree with you THIMK, this album, unfortunately was the pinnacle of Prodigy’s lyrical career. The imagery and realism that he put on paper made it seem like you were watching a movie for real. Lyrics isn’t always punchlines and such, its about the way you can convey your thoughts as a wordsmith and that album delivered. But like I said unfortunately he lost that somehow on later albums, though he did regain a little light on Quiet Storm with Lil Kim.

  20. The Infamous has been in rotation since i first heard it!!!!!.Im bumpin “Give Up The Goods” RIGHT NOW!

  21. Would you guys be so nice and give us more Source numbers from 1996? Thanx-a-lot!

  22. Yo, Vincent, i’m looking for a bunch of 1996 Source. I have the january issue, so I’d like to find the rest of the ’96 numbers. I can’t believe there isnn’t any text about Ganksta Nip, Point Blank, K-Rino and the rest of the South Park Coalition crew. Or there is???

  23. Mobb Deep not lyricists?! You got to be kidding me. Who do you consider a lyricist then? I bet you said that just because prodigys shit is always dark and violent and you think to be a lyricist you have to talk about “knowledge of self” uplifting bullshit and all that. Prodigy could rhyme circles around 99% of MCs out there and the other 1% are only on the same level maybe. With that said hes fallin off now because he doesnt even bother trying to make his shit rhyme but when he did rhyme no one was better.

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