Mobb Deep “Front Lines (Hell On Earth)” (1996)

Produced by: Mobb Deep

Prodigy: “We had a lot of people who died during the making of that album, we had at least five of our friends and family members die. It took us two years to make that album because of all the death that was happening around us. The shit was really devastating to our lives and we kept pushing on. We continued to make the album and we continued to record songs, but our minds were fucked up. We were in our zone from all those losses that we took those past two years. That’s what ‘Hell On Earth’ was about, we felt that we were living in hell.

“If you listen to that album, it’s crazy dark. You could tell that we were angry and upset making that album. When we made ‘Hell On Earth’ that was just one of those songs, but that was a single. Since we pulled ‘Drop a Gem on ‘Em,’ we put ‘Hell On Earth’ out. If you listen to that song you’ll be like, ‘This ain’t no single. Why would you use this for a single?’ It sounds like some dark, hardcore, grimy shit.

“You could tell that we didn’t give a fuck at the time. We were doing whatever the fuck we wanted. We were going against the grain. We didn’t give a fuck if it was a party record or radio record. We said, ‘This is what we want for the single and this is what it’s gonna be.’ A lot of people respected that shit when it came out because nobody was putting out songs like that.

“We lost Havoc’s brother Killer Black, my man Twin’s brother, we lost one of our man’s Yammy from the projects, I lost my father, and there were other people that were around us. The people that we lost were the strongest people around us. You’re talking about people that would kill somebody for Mobb Deep, on some real shit.

“When something goes down and we in the club, these are going to be the niggas that are going to pop off, no questions asked, no hesitation, none of that shit. It doesn’t matter who it is. These niggas that died were the reason niggas were scared of Mobb Deep. Anybody from Queensbridge knew about Yammy, Killer Black, and Scarface Twin. When we lost these niggas we lost a lot of power and strength because it’s hard to find niggas like that.”

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