Mobb Deep – The Making of ‘Shook Ones, Pt. II


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No artists quite captured the grime and shadowy activity of ‘90s NYC hood life as starkly as Havoc and Prodigy. As Mobb Deep, they were ciphers of the struggle, spitting vivid stories about life in QueensBridge that hinged on, as they famously put it, survival of the fittest. “Shook Ones Pt. II” is their opus, and as hip-hop celebrates five decades, the track holds an important place in the genre’s rich tapestry. The ominous and iconic beat was first cooked up by Havoc in his apartment. Stakes were high for the duo following an underwhelming first project on a major label. “The assignment was clear,” Havoc told us for Footnotes. “We needed to redeem ourselves after a failed album the year before.” This is the crux of Mobb Deep’s ethos; When “every man for they self in this land,” can one keep pushing forward when demise is around every corner? They certainly pushed through and triumphed with “Shook Ones Pt. II.” Havoc paints a picture of the wild time he and his late pal had shooting the video. “Everyone on set was hype because the record had gained so much traction,” he recalls. Watch the whole thing for nuggets about the making of those Hennessy jerseys and an almost electrocution, too.