Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones Part II” was the second part to “Shook Ones” which was their first song for Loud Records in 1994. The newer version was the group’s moment of newfound commercial viability but more importantly a critical chapter in New York’s street-oriented hip-hop. Prodigy and Havoc rapped like unapologetic gangsters over a self-produced beat that made them sound like characters in a surreal Western. The use of a stove’s twitching flame to cook crack as the opening meter was creative and reflected the world they were rapping about. The guitar riff, manic horns and the chorus recognizing no such thing as “halfway crooks” became one of the most esteemed sounds in ’90s hip-hop. The success of their sophomore album The Infamous was largely connected to “Shook Ones Part II” in addition to three other singles. Mobb Deep became one of the biggest rap duos and legends of the East Coast’s harder style which also helped to affirm New York’s dominance after the rise of the West Coast.
Mobb Deep’s eighth album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, was released in 2014. Prodigy died in 2017 from an accidental choking while being treated for sickle cell anemia. Havoc is working on music for the last Mobb Deep album and he went on a tour in 2019 to mark the 20th anniversary of their 1999 Murda Muzik album.