The Making of Mobb Deep's "The Infamous"

"Right Back At You" f/ Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, & Big Noyd

Produced by: Mobb Deep

Co-produced by: Schott Free

Prodigy: “We made that all at Platinum Island. We were in the studio, it was me, Matty C, Schott Free, and a bunch of our niggas. Hav started making the beat right there. Me, Hav, and Noyd laid our verses. As soon as we made it Matty and them were like, ‘We should throw Ghost and them on there,’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, that’s a good idea.’ They called them niggas, and Ghost and Rae came and laid their vocals on the same day.

“We told Noyd to rhyme last because Noyd’s rhyme was crazy. Noyd was the closer. Noyd’s just hyperactive when he raps and he spits that real hustling shit. So we threw him at the end of the song because we knew he had the most powerful verse.

“I don’t really remember how long it took, but it wasn’t really that long. We knock shit out quick. Rae and Ghost went in there and they did [their verses] little piece by piece, back and fourth. I don’t think they went into the booth together. They went in separately, one at a time.”

Havoc: “That sample was actually given to me by Schott Free. He was like, ‘Yo, I got this Les McCann sample, you need to flip it.’ I’m like, ‘Aight cool.’ I don’t even know how Raekwon and Ghostface ended up on it. But shit, if we could I woulda got the whole Wu on the fucking album because we were just big fans of them.

“Schott Free [gave me the sample] but that wasn’t a normal thing. That was the first time that had happened, but that’s just how cool we were. It didn’t feel like they were A&Rs. We took on a friendship. We would all get high, go drinking, go to each other’s houses. It was all very personal even though they had a job to do. It worked both ways, like I’m giving this to you as a friend and I’m giving this to you cause I think it would be dope. It was unprecedented. My last dealings with A&Rs was someone sitting behind a desk, not knowing nothing about hip-hop. With [Schott] it was a real laid-back business relationship that ultimately turned into a sound friendship. I was just with Schott last week.”

Raekwon: “That’s another scenario where the brothers called us in and they wanted to do a joint. At that time we were just about trying to pull New York up. They called me and Ghost, and we came down to the studio, and they were like, ‘Yo, this is the one we want to do,’ and we were loving the beat. At that time Havoc was coming crazy with the beats. Me and Ghost said ‘Fuck it.’ Other than just going in there and just doing two 16’s, we decided to mix it together.

Matty C a.k.a. Matt Life (Executive Producer and A&R for Loud Records): “Schott Free is an MC and that’s a loop he’s had in his basement forever. Originally it was two other kids—Hype from Staten Island from a group called the Red Eye—just doing a rough version before [Raekwon and Ghostface Killah] got on it. Red Eye was the name of the group. They were in ‘Unsigned Hype’ and they were from Manis Harbor and Havoc and Hype got to be cool. Hype spit on it and then Rae and Ghost spit on it afterwards.

“It was amazing because off of the making of The Infamous, they started making [Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...] and they kept mentioning they got the charge off of The Infamous. And Mobb Deep wanted to fuck with Loud Records because Wu was on there. So it was reciprocal, that love was going back and forth. The groups were affecting each other and that made it all that much better.”

Big Noyd: “He wasn’t close to us but one of my friends that lived on our block, we don’t really know what happened to him. We don’t know if he got his marijuana spiked or some liquor he was drinking got spiked, but he kinda bugged out. He went from normal to where you couldn’t even recognize him. He would say crazy things. He would still remember who everybody was, but he wasn’t the same.

“One time he came up to me and started telling people that I owed him money, that he had given me a fucking brick. If you heard the story from him, you would think we were big-time drug dealers. The whole story was bizarre and that’s when people started realizing there’s something wrong with him. But it’s an incident that really happened. When it was studio time, I had to get to the lab, and that was one of the things that was on my mind. Like, ‘You must be crazy/Pulled out the heat and almost blazed me.’”

Schott Free (Executive Producer and A&R for Loud Records): “I remember I said, ‘Yo let me throw one of these little Staten Island cats on.’ So he hit me with this kid named HDM, Hype Da Madman, and Hype had spit on it. Hav loved Hype and he wanted to leave it, but P was just like, 'I want him to say something else. Just tell him to come to the studio and lay down this other shit.' Hype—being the type of dude he was—was like, 'Fuck that. Fuck you. That version is hot man. I’m not changing shit.' So he didn't change the verse so Hav was like, 'He's gonna have to come up off of there. We'll do something else.’ So I said, 'If it's not gonna be him, let me keep it Staten Island. Let me get Rae or Ghost up on it.’ They was cool with that and he just called Rae and Ghost. You can imagine my boy HDM wish he woulda changed his verse right? This story coulda been different, but he didn't.”

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