Episode 186: Mobb Deep

“Shook Ones, Pt. II”

 

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The rappers Prodigy and Havoc met when they were still in high school in New York. Havoc grew up in Queensbridge, the biggest public housing projects in the country, and as a teenager, Prodigy lived there for a while, too. The two of them formed Mobb Deep in 1991.

In 1995, they put out their second album, The Infamous. It was a success when it came out, but in the 25 years since then, the influence of the album has only grown. Complex named it one of the 10 best rap albums of the 90s, and Pitchfork gave the album a rare perfect score, 10 out of 10. The Washington Post called it a “masterpiece” of hardcore rap, and in Slate, it was called one of the best albums of the ’90s, and one of the very best hip-hop albums ever made.

Their biggest song from the album was “Shook Ones, Pt. II.” Havoc made the now-legendary beat that he and Prodigy rap over. To celebrate the 25th anniversary, Havoc told me the story of how the whole song came together. Prodigy passed away in 2017 from complications due to sickle-cell anemia, a debilitating disease he’d battled his entire life. But the legacy of Mobb Deep lives on. A new, expanded, 25th anniversary edition of The Infamous just came out in April.

You can buy or stream “Shook Ones, Pt. II” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Ensoniq ASR-10 sampler
Akai MPC sampler
“Jessica” – Herbie Hancock
“Kitty with the Bent Frame” – Quincy Jones

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Episode 185: 100 gecs

“Money Machine”

 

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100 gecs is a duo, made up of Laura Les and Dylan Brady. In 2016, they put out an EP called 100 Gecs, and three years later, they released their first album, called 1000 Gecs. It was named the Best Album of 2019 in Vice and in The New York Times. It was also on year-end lists in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Stereogum and more. Dylan lives in Los Angeles, and Laura in Chicago—they work remotely, and send files back and forth to each other. In this episode, the two of them break down how they made the song “Money Machine.”

You can buy or stream “Money Machine” here.


Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
King of the Hill
Minecraft music festival
SpongeBob SquarePants

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Episode 184: Laura Marling

“Song for Our Daughter”

 

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Laura Marling is a singer and songwriter from London. She won the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist—she’s been nominated five times for that, along with the Mercury Prize, and the Grammy for Best Folk Album. Since 2008, she’s released seven albums. The most recent album is called Song for Our Daughter. It’s also the name of the song that she takes apart in this episode.

You can buy or stream “Song for Our Daughter” here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

footnotes
Letter to My Daughter – Maya Angelou
Lucretia
Robertson Davies
Rob Moose – string arrangements

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