As a hip-hop blogger, I’ve got to give Complex mad props. They always seem to find something that 99% of the population could care less about, but I always end up loving it. Take for instance this breakdown of Mobb Deep’s seminal album, The Infamous. In the piece, the Mobb tells the tale behind their most infamous hit, “Shook One Part II.”
What many people might not realize is that Mobb Deep already has 20 songs recorded by the time they they signed their deal with Loud. Yet, after they inked their deal, the company wanted them to record more songs to make sure this wasn’t a fluke. “We had a lot of songs. When we first signed to Loud we had a 20-song demo. So all of those songs we wanted to put on the album. But we started making new ones, and through process of elimination, we wanted all the new ones. We didn’t like the old ones no more” explained Prodigy.
So how did the song we know and love come to fruition? After signing their deal, Mobb Deep recorded “Shook Ones” [part 1], which didn’t really go over well with their label. If you scrutinize both songs, the lyrics are relatively the same, although the sequel’s beat is a lot iller. The crazy thing is, the public may have never heard the beat if it wasn’t for fate.
I made that beat inside my mother’s house in Queensbridge. That house gave me a lot of inspiration because something could happen outside and I could go upstairs and make a beat. Like, I would have this feeling like, ‘Let me go upstairs and make a beat of how I’m feeling right now.’ So I just popped the sample up and I almost even erased it because I didn’t even really like it too much. [Laughs.] At that time I was always in the house alone by myself making beats and sometimes if i didn’t have somebody to co-sign it I’d be like, ‘F*ck it, whatever.’ But then my friends were like, ‘Nah, this shit is fucking crazy.’ So I kept it. Thank God because we probably wouldn’t be here right now if I had erased that. – Havoc
After they failed to win Loud over with Part 1, the duo decided to make a sequel track because they were really feeling the overall vibe of the song. Even though P was heavily intoxicated during the writing process, he says he remembers it vividly. “I remember that clearly. We wrote that in the crib high on drugs. [Laughs.] Probably weed, probably was some dust in there, mad 40s, getting twisted” recalled Prodigy. “That was one of the first ones where we were like, ‘Whoa. This shit is ill. This shit sounds crazy right here. This is some other shit right here son. This ain’t normal.’” As we know, the rest is history…
By the way, Hav and P continue to make history through exciting collaborations with the likes of Tony Yayo….