Twenty-five years ago, Mobb Deep released their celebrated album The Infamous to critical acclaim and heavy rotation. The album would eventually go gold and be labeled a classic album by music fans thanks to its eerie production, grim portrayal of New York street life and unapologetic representation of the Queensbridge public housing neighborhood.
In a 2011 Red Bull Music Academy interview with writer and entrepreneur Sacha Jenkins, Mobb Deep explained how they came up with the title for the album. Prodigy explained:
“The Infamous, that came from one of our homeboys that got killed, god bless the dead. His name is Jammy, and he was from Brooklyn, from Brownsville, and he had moved to Queensbridge, and he was back and forth always. Jammy was like one of our strongest in the crew. He was a Golden Gloves boxer, and he was out there busting his hammer, too. He was a dangerous dude. We used to chill all the time. He had this tattoo on his arm that said ‘The Most Infamous.'”
He continued, “He gave us that name. He was like, ‘Yo! Y’all the infamous Mobb Deep. Y’all infamous.’ We just ran with it from there.”
The name clearly stuck for years to come, considering Mobb Deep went on to become one of the most respected rap groups to come out of ’90s hip hop. Although Prodigy passed away in 2017 after a life-long fight with sickle-cell anemia, Havoc continues to carry on the legacy of Mobb Deep and The Infamous by producing song for artists like Kanye West and by appearing on tracks like “Squad Up” with fellow rappers Method Man and Street Life.
Despite Havoc rolling solo, Prodigy will no doubt stay in his heart and memory. You can check out the legacy the two have built via photos below.