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Best of Mobb Deep by Mister Cee

Rest in Peace Prodigy!


J-Love – Nas’ Finest

Nas is undoubtably one of the greatest emcees to ever lend his voice to the microphone so when a mixtape surfaces with 90 minutes of his lyrics it’s a certified banger. Fellow Queensbridge representative J-Love let’s everyone know who wears the crown in the QBC with the Nas’ Finest tape. Classic joints (e.g. NY State of Mind) from Nas’ 5-mic debut album Illmatic, deft lyricism (e.g. I gave you power) from his critically acclaimed second album It was written, hot b-sides (e.g. On the real), exclusive remixes and more fill this mixtape end to end. Keep your ears open for the rare alternative versions of It Aint hard to Tell on each side under the titles Nas will Prevail and Deja Vu. I don’t think I’ve heard either of these tracks anywhere else – ever!

I can’t post something about Nas without giving a few examples of his stellar lyrics:

On NY State of Mind
I’ve taken rappers to a new plateau, through rap slow
My rhymin’ is a vitamin held without a capsule
The smooth criminal on beat breaks
Never put me in your box if your shit eats tapes

On I gave you power
Besides me it’s bullets, two vests and then a nine
There’s a grenade in a box, and that tech that kept crying
Cause he ain’t been cleaned in a year he’s rusty, it’s clear
He’s bout to fall to pieces cause of his murder career

On Verbal Intercourse
Live on the run, police paying me to give in my gun
Trick my wisdom with the system that imprisoned my son
Smoke a gold leaf I hold heat, nonchalantly
I’m raunchy, the things I do is real it never haunts me

On Calm down
All the way doooooown
Music make these thuuuugs…calm down
Music make these thugs calm down
Music make these thuuuugs…calm down

The only letdown on this mixtape is J-Love’s less than inspired scratches that don’t do the music justice. Major props to J-Love for putting out this incredible body of work by Nas but sometimes it’s best to let the rapper do the talking and everyone else should sit back and listen.

Side A

Life is like a dice game
Eye for an eye feat Raekwon and Mobb Deep
NY state of mind
I gave you power
Nas will prevail
The message
Number 1 with a bullet feat. Kool G Rap and White Boy
Fast Life (remix) feat. Kool G Rap
One love
Understanding feat. Biz Markie and AZ
Rhymes Cash Weed Cars

Side B

Deja Vu
It ain’t hard to tell
Verbal Intercourse feat. Raekwon and Ghostface Killah
On the real feat. Cormega
Just another day in the projects
One love (remix) feat. Sadat X
Give it up fast feat. Mobb Deep
The world is yours
Silent murder
Shoot outs
Live at the BBQ feat. Akinyele, Pete Nice and Large Professor
Life’s a bitch feat. AZ
Calm down feat. Tragedy Khadafi and Noreaga

DJ Juice – Volume 33

J-U-Ice! Before DJ Juice got famous for his audiovisual mix and blend production he had a strong mixtape game that always came correct in balancing out the rap music with a little R&B flavour. Volume 33 is no exception with artists like Mona Lisa and R. Kelly getting their shine alongside the likes of Mobb Deep and Redman. There are also some wicked remixes featured in this 90-minute playlist: Gina Thompson’s The things you do featuring Raekwon and Xzibit’s Eyes May Shine featuring Mobb Deep are among my favourites.

Speaking of Mobb Deep, the Queensbridge duo had just released their critically acclaimed third album Hell On Earth not long before the January 1997 release of DJ Juice’s Volume 33. The Infamous Mobb weren’t the only rappers releasing new material that year with Def Squad members Redman and Keith Murray also dropping solo albums. So was Foxy Brown, Puff Daddy and a handful of others. 1997 was the year Hip Hop had established itself as a leader in mainstream music choice with big bucks rolling in every which way. To be honest, I also found 1997 to be the tipping point where the money started to spoil the game. With lyrics filling up with bling and bravado, the recording booth wasn’t big enough for some egos and pretty soon rappers thought their talent extended to the production booth too which made for a general drop quality of the beats they put out.

Personal opinions aside, DJ Juice came correct with Volume 33 and highlighted some of the better sounds to blast out of speakers that season.

Side A

Just the way – Alfonzo Hunter
The things you do (DJ Juice remix) – Raekwon / Gina Thompson / Mr. Mike Nitty / Craig Mack
The lover in you (DJ juice remix) – Babyface / LL Cool J
Get up (remix) – Lost Boyz
Ill na na – Foxy Brown / Method Man
1969 Old Shit – James Brown / Marva Wright
Eyes may shine (remix) – Xzibit / Mobb Deep
Do what you feel – Redman / Method Man
It’s in the game (NFL Jams) – Method Man
It’s all about the benjamins – Puff Daddy / The Lox
GOD part 3 (DJ Juice remix) – Mobb Deep
Soopaman Luva 3 – Redman
God don’t like ugly – OGC
Outro – Pink Panther

Side B

Phone sex part 1 – Juice 97
Street dreams (DJ Juice remix) – Nas / R. Kelly
You should know (DJ Juice remix) – Donell Jones
Come see me (remix) – 112
Can’t nobody hold me down – Puff Daddy / Mase
Whateva man – Erick Sermon / Redman
Hot to def – Keith Murray
Not tonight – Lil’Kim
Blood sport – Mobb Deep
You said (DJ Juice remix) – Mona Lisa
Like it like that part 1 freestyle – Tracy Lee
Leave your style cramped – PMD
Make it hot – McGruff
All pro – Big Noyd / Mobb Deep
Just the way you like it – Mase / Tasha
Outro 97 – Jeopardy