Mobb Deep, Juvenile Hell (LP)


Ships on: June 27, 2024

You cannot mention rap’s most timeless duos without naming Mobb Deep. Originally named Poetical Prophets, Havoc and Prodigy turned heads in 1991 through magazine's now legendary "Unsigned Hype" column. As a production unit and a rap troupe, the pair displayed know-how and insight well beyond their years, making it easy to forget that both Havoc and Prodigy were in their late teens in 1993 when Juvenile Hell was released. Raw, unrelenting, and overtly-confident, Juvenile Hell was the infant stages of what would be defined as the Queensbridge Sound—grimy street narratives over cold, sonorous production underpinned with bravado and melancholy.

The prodigious pair were keenly aware of their career stage and brought in established producers to help aid the album, namely DJ Premier on the minimal, angst-filled thumper “Peer Pressure” and Large Professor whose remix of said track gave it an extra shot in the arm. The homespun music video was a local TV hit and “Hit It From The Back,” a track produced by Prodigy and Method Max, also charted at No. 18 on the Hot Rap Singles chart in 1993.

Juvenile Hellis an early storyboard depicting two street musicians who worked in tandem to speak their mind and relate their surroundings to the world. Juvenile Hell remains is an enduring Queensbridge debut made by young minds in lockstep that proved influential for decades thereafter. The album has been reissued on standard black vinyl.