This is one of the strangest Reviews I've ever had to do because basically I've reviewed this album once which you can check here but this time it's a brand new version. A lot of people blame the delay of this final release due to heavy Bootlegging of the albums first version but I've heard the duo say themselves that this wasn't the problem, its just they needed more time, the problems with Loud's distributor added to this delay leaving us all waiting longer. Now what everyone wants to know is it better than the original 16 tracks that the infamous served us up on our promo copy earlier this year. Well I'll put you out of your misery and tell you the answer is definitely YES. For the final version Havoc & Prodigy haven't re-done or re recorded any of the original tracks (with the exception of the remix of Quiet Storm) but they have recorded new songs, and left a few out. I wasn't happy with their choice to omit '3 from NYC', 'Nobody likes me' (you can now pick this up on the Violator album), 'Thrill me' and 'Mobb comin' thru' then keep some of the weaker cuts like 'Let a ho be a ho' 'Where you from' with 8ball and the mediocre opener of 'Streets Raised me.' An opening track is very important in setting an albums mood and getting off to a good start and I really ain't seen a great intro to an album in a long while, this just sounds like a filler track which sounded promising with an intense intro.
The rest of the tracks that they did keep are amazing though, you got the violent organ grinding of 'Allustrious' which has been a soundtrack favorite along with the greatness of the originally titled 'Guns, money and pussy' repackaged as 'Adrenaline.' While we're on the subject of Repackaging, 'Whats your Poision' with fellow QB dweller Cormega was called 'Deer Park' then 'How ya want it' before finally settling on the new title. Thankfully 'The Realest' was also kept with Kool G Rap, this sees the duo at their best assisted by a moody bass driven track provided by the Alchemist. This track is still definitely my favorite moment of the album if it's just for G raps verse alone. 'Quiet Storm' is now a year old since I first heard it and unbelievably I still ain't tired of it so the Remix with Lil Kim is an added bonus, she adds a different vibe, plus Havoc gets to bust a verse on what was originally a Prodigy solo track.
The new tracks (6 in total) were well worth the wait, my main complaint with the original version of the album was the tracks sounding too alike, the new songs now break that monotony up and bring in that badly needed element called Variety. The tracks rely heavily on guests but that's another bonus as the original was missing something, whether it was Nas, Raekwon or the Infamous Mobb, it didn't seem complete. Lil Cease comes thru on the funky bass of 'I'm going out' and although people question his ability he seems to fit in well busting the 3rd verse with havoc and prodigy. Nas comes through on the next single from the album 'Its mine' jacking 'the boy is mine' for the hook but that's the only commercial thing about it, its still pretty light in production but you know the Mobb don't fail when it comes to delivering the subject matter. In my opinion Raekwon's track 'Can't fuck wit it' is the weakest of the 4 tracks he has done with Mobb deep but its still damn good as he brings a nice verse to the table. 'Thug Muzik' and 'Spread Love' are both great examples of what Mobb deep can do when they need to round off an album of great tracks, the former really bring home that 'Murda Muzik' is lyrical and not physical.
Havoc & Prodigy have finally delivered an album after a year of delays that was worth the wait, although its not their greatest release it is one of their best and they've proven they can improve on what was originally an album that could satisfy the hip-hop community. So whether you're a Thug music fan or just a straight up lover of hip-hop this should find a way into your record collections in 1999.