Mobb Deep's "The Infamous" 1995 album does not need an introduction. Its instantly a classic to many of us.
As a music lover and Hip Hop head, I enjoy discovering unreleased material, old school HH etc. I recently decided to do my own research on the earlier Mobb Deep material.
Over the years couple demo tapes were circulating. But how can we be 100% sure either of these are the real deal. Unless Mobb Deep, Q Tip, Execs. Producers, Stretch Armstrong come forward, we really cannot be sure. So after diggin' and reading on the internet I found this article which goes into the making of "The Infamous" album.
I think it gives a good inside how the production came together. Remember, Mobb Deep already released an album before 1995, named Juvenile Hell from 1993. Before 1993, Havoc & Prodigy were known under the pseudo Poetical Prophets which would shape their persona's over time.
Most don't know that two people played a key role in delivering the Mobb Deep we know today, Q-Tip & Stretch Armstrong from the iconic weekly Hip Hop radio show (Stretch & Bobbito) during the 90s on WKCR 89.9 FM New York.
Q-Tip changed couple of the original songs and really enhanced the production level. But it was Stretch Armstrong who gave the "Infamous Demo Tape" to Steve Rifkind of Loud Records. From what I found during my research is that Shook Ones never was on the demo tape unlike many people like to believe.
Then there is the holy grail song "Paddy Shop" which to many Mobb Deep fans is the pivotal song that changed everything for them. It never made it to the album cut.
If you go to my Mixcloud page you can hear what to me is the demo tape that was given to Steve Rifkind prior to the production of The Infamous album. It consists mostly of beats done by Havoc. I do have other versions available that were aired during Stretch & Bobbito including the first time Shook Ones Part 1 & 2 were aired.