Much more successful than their debut, The Infamous is hailed as a New York classic. Its gritty underground style is a staple in the hardcore movement going on at this time in New York. This album helped New York Hip Hop separate itself from the mediocre backpacker style that was popular a few years prior. Havoc and Prodigy‘s production shaped a new sound that could separate them from any NYC crime rhymer at the time.
Helping to pave the way for future artists like The Diplomats or A$AP Mob, The Infamous promoted a sound a lifestyle that appealed to a side of New York that wasn’t being spoken to or about by the politically charged artists that came in the late 80s and early 90s. Much like Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Mobb Deep acted as street prophets, spitting the truths of the hood without trying to be outwardly righteous about it. Featuring artists like Ghostface Killah, Nas, and Q-Tip, this project is a titan among its peers.
The album was a commercial success debuting at #15 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the R&B/Hip Hop charts. The album was certified gold within the first month of its release, and the three singles from the project all made appearances on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, with “Shook Ones Pt. II” and Survival of the Fittest” both making it on to the Billboard Hot 100.