Since debuting on the classic Mobb Deep album "Hell On Earth", the Infamous Mobb have patiently waited for their time to show the world their brand of Queens Bridge Hip-Hop. Consisting of Ty Nitty, Gambino & Godfather, the Infamous Mobb have spawned themselves a strong backing due to their outstanding guest appearances on various QB projects and an uncompromising, real to life image. On their debut album "Special Edition", the IM3 give us exactly what we expected, classic QB production combined with the harsh depiction's of "reality rap"
The borough of Queens has had a history of producing classic debut albums over the years. While "Special Edition" isn't another classic, it definitely carries the same aura. The IM3 bring a gritty, raw and intense hunger to the table reminiscent of earlier Queens artists who went onto big success. While not the best lyricist, the Infamous Mobb get by on their intensity and ability to convey their message and feeling throughout each song. "Special Edition" isn't filled with anything monumental or mind-blowing, and basically is as unoriginal as you can get. However, you have to take the album for what it is worth and realize its intention isn't to strike any thought provoking rhymes or original concepts. "Special Edition" is quite simply an album for the streets!
What makes "Special Edition" a solid debut by the Infamous Mobb is the production. We haven't witnesses such raw intense production since the glory days of Mobb Deep and CNN. With Alchemist producing 7 tracks and acting as one of the albums executive producers, you know great production is never going to be at a minimum on "Special Edition". Havoc, DJ Muggs & Ax among others, also lend their hand to the production team which quite simply put forth some of their best work seen in recent memory. "Speical Edition" is not only one of the best produced albums of the year, but is quite simply the best QB produced album since "Hell On Earth".
Right from the start we are hit on the head with that car thumping, eerie, melodic production that is simply hard to duplicate. "IM3" "Killa Queens" featuring Noyd & Prodigy, "Make A Livin" featuring V-12 & Chinky, and "B.I.G. T.W.I.N.S." are all classic showcases of sinister production that gives you a surreal feeling of being alone in a dark alley at night. The IM3 have a unique knack of being able to transpose that feeling and emotion they are conveying on each song into you even though lyrically they aren't say much. It's the feeling of tracks like the amazing DJ Muggs produced track "We Will Survive", and the Alchemist bangers "We Strive" & "Special Edition" that make "Special Edition" one of the realest albums we have heard in quite some time.
"We Don't Give A " & "War" are both Havoc produced tracks, which are simply some of Havoc's best work in years. We haven't witness production like this by Havoc since "Murda Music" and is the type of production we thought we would hear on "Infamy" but never showed up. "Mobb Niggaz the Sequel" is one of the albums true highlights thanks to Alchemists job behind the boards. But not to be forgotten, Ty Nitty, Godfather & Gambino all put forth a solid effort with each of their respective verses.
While "Special Edition" wont win any awards for creativity, it will win over the hearts of diehard Mobb Deep fans who have been longing for a return for that classic Queens Bridge sound that has been missing from the Mobb the last couple of years. Some fans may be turned of by the albums repetitive nature and uninspiring topics. However, those looking for nothing else but a raw street enthused album that holds nothing back will definitely embrace "Special Edition". The Infamous Mobb have been in this game for a minute now and its good to see them finally get the chance they deserve to showcase not only their talents but prove that they aren't merely a weak affiliate group, but a separate entity in their own right. And if "Special Edition" is any indication, the Infamous Mobb are ready to run with the Queens Bridge torch, and take it to the next level.