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The Safe Is Cracked

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The Safe Is Cracked album cover
01
Mobb Deep
1:34
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02
Heat
4:36
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03
Watch Ya Self
3:32
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04
M.O.B.
3:13
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05
Can't Win 4 Losin
2:51
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06
Yea, Yea, Yea
2:53
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07
That Crack
2:51
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08
Infamous
3:06
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09
What Goes On
2:59
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10
Position
3:04
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11
Get Ot Our Way
3:15
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12
You Wanna See Me Fall
3:08
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13
Don't Play
3:46
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14
Mobb Deep II
1:20
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Album Information
EXPLICIT

Total Tracks: 14   Total Length: 42:08

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Holding Effort From The Infamous Mobb

Murgatroyd

There are several good songs here, but no great ones. That said, both Prodigy & Havoc sound energized and engaged and there are some inspired verses. I love the phone calls that open & close the album - just P being P. If you're a fan you will want this - if not, get the first album and get with it!

eMusic Features

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Who Is…Boldy James

By Christina Lee, Contributor

As a teen, Boldy James rapped to relieve the stress he suffered as a drug dealer. Now 30, that past is decidedly in his rearview mirror; he and his family have moved from west Detroit — "the drug zone," he once said — to the city's outskirts. However, at the start of his debut album My 1st Chemistry Set, he introduces himself as a "Concreature" — a creature of concrete (i.e. the streets). Then, he… more »

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Interview: Mobb Deep’s Prodigy

By Jayson Greene, Senior Editor

"I used to be cold and emotionless. I think my disease, sickle cell anemia, made me that way. I now know that good is the correct way to be. You have to choose a side." This flat, affectless statement, made early on in Albert "Prodigy" Johnson's My Infamous Life, sets the tone for his memoir, which takes us on a tour through the recesses of one of rap's darkest minds. As Prodigy, one half of… more »

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Six Degrees of Illmatic

By Jayson Greene, Senior Editor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

0

Six Degrees of Illmatic

By Jayson Greene, Senior Editor

It used to be easier to pretend that an album was its own perfectly self-contained artifact. The great records certainly feel that way. But albums are more permeable than solid, their motivations, executions and inspirations informed by, and often stolen from, their peers and forbearers. It all sounds awfully formal, but it's not. It's the very nature of music — of art, even. The Six Degrees features examine the relationships between classic records and five… more »

They Say All Music Guide

Throughout their 15-year-plus career, Mobb Deep has seen their share of ups and downs. After their sophomore effort, the now-classic the Infamous set the bar for unflinching, reality-based East Coast thug rap, and their follow-up, Hell on Earth, upped the ante for bloody, gunplay-driven imagery to almost cartoonish proportions, the duo fell into a cut-and-paste routine delivering a handful of more-of-the-same efforts (see “Murda Musik,” “Infamy”). Then came the notorious 2001 Summer Jam festival when the Mobb’s street cred suffered a blow thanks to Jay-Z’s revelation of a certain photograph that likened Prodigy to the African-American equivalent of Billy Elliot. For finicky hardcore rap fans whose concept of respect almost always corresponds to “realness,” Prodigy’s (and Havoc’s, by extension) thug image was called into question. Despite the duo’s consistently murky and ever-more violent output since then, the Mobb Deep brand never fully recover from Jigga’s suckerpunch, even after a short-lived affiliation with 50 Cent and G-Unit — arguably the East Coast outfit which most projects uncontested “realness.” Their eighth full-length effort, The Safe Is Cracked, represents a symbolic return to Mobb Deep’s underground roots. Released on West Coast indie label Siccness (best known for putting out the ultraviolent, horrorcore of Brotha Lynch Hung) with nearly zero promotional support behind it, The Safe Is Cracked is a collection of grimy, street-level cuts, heavy on lyrical nihilism and spine-tingling production– the sort that earned Mobb Deep the respect of hardcore hip-hop heads way back when– and bookended by two audio excerpts from a DJ Envy telephone interview with an incarcerated Prodigy (just to add an extra touch of “realness”). Still, it’s not an official studio LP; the tracks included stretch back as far as 2004, a few sound like they were intended for the Blood Money track list (the piano plink beat of “Yea Yea Yea,” for instance, feels like it was tailor-made for 50′s flow) but, in contrast to that mediocre Interscope release, there’s nothing here that could be considered radio-friendly. Always known for antagonistic lyrics, Prodigy pushes his screw-faced skulking even further, explaining why he refuses to be cheerful on the haunting album-opener “Heat”– “I don’t even tease myself no more/Or put smiles on my face, man that shit is all wrong.” Havoc and Prodigy then move into downright silly territory on “Watch Ya Self” as they rock over a shlocky Count Dracula organ loop, warning their enemies, “Watch yourself/Your life could end up like a horror flick” without a hint of self-irony. Elsewhere, paranoia and mistrust abound with Prodigy musing, “They wanna put us in boxes, them coffins and them jail cells/They wanna catch us on tape snitchin’ on ourselves” on “Can’t Win 4 Losin’,” and spitting over the rowdy, electric-guitar-driven beat of “Get Out Our Way” with authority, “Y’all die coward’s deaths/We go down in infamy/They shook of us/They wanna do us like ‘Pac, Biggie.” The most compelling songs here– “M.O.B.,” “Position” and “You Wanna See Me Fall” — are built on vintage soul samples, in which Havoc composes melodic beatscapes which nicely offset his and Prodigy’s hard-edged vocals and brutal subject matter. All things considered, The Safe Is Cracked is far from a classic but it proves that one of QB’s finest acts still has plenty of fire. – Matt Rinaldi

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