RRR celebrate the talents of people while they are still with us, but regrettably on this occasion, our hearts are still heavy after learning about the recent passing of Albert Johnson, BKA Prodigy from Mobb Deep, FKA Poetical Prophets. Today, we want to celebrate both Prodigy and Havoc, by sharing a live set from July 2004 that as far as we can tell hasn’t been shared before. This recording of the London performance is as rare as hens in high tops.
In 1991, in an issue of The Source magazine, I read the Unsigned Hype blurb about the two young MCs from Queens, and I’ve followed their movements ever since. I wasnt a huge fan of the first LP but their vivid trife life expressions were often the soundtrack to a late night creep during the 90s, and beyond. I usually listened on cassette, and in 2017, I still feel a sense of satisfaction and pride, walking tall when sportin my Murder Muzik promo t-shirt.
Many have talked about the talents of Prodigy and Havoc, but not many can say theyve witnessed the energy of a live Mobb Deep set. Myself ? I cant either, I wasnt at this show, but I distinctly remember my old mate Miles [MURDER DOG] Dunbar talking about this 2004 set from The Forum [The old Town & Country Club in Kentish Town, North London]. He described it as if he had witnessed Jesus pulling turnaround jump-shots on stage in a Celtics jersey. As I was a regular contributor for Hip-Hop Connection at the time, I urged and pleaded him to write a review of the show. As you’ll hear on the tape, it was gnarly show, full of true fans, and of course, filled to the rafters with the North London equivilant of ‘killers and the 100$ billers’.
I have included his review of the show which [anyone worth their weight in anecdotal Rap allegories will recall] was the one when the stage got rushed by huge swathes of the audience, arguably several times over. On the tape, you’ll hear Alan the Chemist and Big Noyd on stage, and the photos in the review are courtesy of the long-established and all round nice guy Mr Paul Hampartsoumian. Paul was the in-house photographer for HHC, capturing the majority of live Rap sets the city had on offer throughout the 90s and onwards. As you can see, Paul had the vision to catch a perfectly composed pic of the stage, full rush. Big respect is automatic.
‘For real niggas who ain’t got no feelings’, this one is for you. Thug-hugs from RRR.