On this day in Hip Hop history, “The Infamous” Mobb Deep released their third studio LP Hell On Earth. This album was a follow up to their highly successful sophomore project The Infamous. The style they created with The Infamous made them a household name in East Coast rap and led to their decision to refine that same style on their third LP. The opening line of Hell on Earth is in fact in homage to the duo’s successful second album saying, “You know how we did on the Infamous album, right? All right, well, we gon’ do it again”. Only this time, Havoc and Prodigy came harder.
This album was released at the height of the legendary East Coast vs. West Coast beef, between the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. With that being the mood of the era, the sound of the album was even more violent and dark than what Mobb Deep had previously put out. Obviously siding with the coast they lived on, Mobb Deep spent a few bars on this project dissing West Coast rappers and West Coast rap as a whole. The duo even went as far as to openly diss the late Tupac Shakur in their track “Drop a Gem on ‘Em” which was a response to ‘Pac’s “Hit Em Up”.
Regardless of the beef, the East Coast loved this album. Although it did blow up as big as “The Infamous”, it was very close in its acclaim. It came with that bleak and grungy street sound that was made popular in New York in the early 90s by groups like Wu Tang Clan. This album also had strong features from New York rap legends Method Man, Raekwon, and fellow Queens native Nas. The standout singles “G.O.D., Pt. III” and “Hell on Earth (Front Lines)” had high reception with both critics and listeners in New York City. The album itself peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 chart and claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart so its accolades speak for themselves.