Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Mobb Deep 20th Anniversary tour: Shepherd̢۪s Bush Empire, London 2/5/15

Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15
Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Prodigy) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Prodigy) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Prodigy) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Prodigy) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15 Mobb Deep (Havoc) 20th Anniversary tour 2015: Shepherd's Bush Empire 2/5/15

"Mobb Deep is gonna keep the hardcore hip hop alive...There̢۪s a lot of dope shit out there, but we̢۪re not done yet." So vows Prodigy, one half of legendary hip hop duo Mobb Deep to an appreciative crowd. He and Havoc then proceeded to tear through their classic track, "Shook Ones Part II," sending the audience into a frenzy.

The pair were performing at London̢۪s Shepherd̢۪s Bush Empire in a series of shows to mark 20 years since "The Infamous" was released. The record, released when both were teenagers, remains a definitive hip hop LP, still sounding as raw and gritty as it did in 1995. And the duo apparently have no intention of slowing down.

In the days before the show, I̢۪d been engrossed in Prodigy̢۪s autobiography, detailing the rise of one of the most talked-about and controversial rap acts in the world. They̢۪ve survived fall outs, and reformed following Prodigy̢۪s release from prison on a gun charge. The duo may have endured their fair share of drama, but both rappers looked confident, and their years of recording and performing together showed.

The familiar bars of "Survival Of The Fittest" sounded as Prodigy and Havoc walked out on stage.

They drew heavily from their debut, with an early version of "Eye For An Eye" showing that their flow remains strong, two decades later.

It was a timely reminder of the depth of Mobb Deep̢۪s back catalogue, with tracks from their eight studio albums featuring throughout the night.

"Murda Muzik," "Quiet Storm" and "Temperature Rising" were among the highlights, but it was "Shook Ones Part II" that really got the crowd jumping.

The show finished with the duo performing "Cradle to the Grave" from "The Infamous."

After so long in the game, it was good to see the old timers can still sound fresh.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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