In the early to mid-'90s, New York was cranking out some of the best hip-hop the world had ever heard. From Notorious B.I.G. to the Wu-Tang Clan, Nas to Big L, the Big Apple was brimming with talent and putting the rest of the country on notice that New York was home to many hip-hop kings, including the group Mobb Deep. Formed in 1992 in Queensbridge by Havoc and Prodigy, Mobb Deep saw success with their second full-length, The Infamous, an album chock-full of harrowing stories about life on the streets, dodging the police, and violent behavior. The group also collaborated with Queensbridge hero Nas, and pretty much anything they touched from 1995 to 1999 is considered holy hip-hop.
After selling over 3 million records, Mobb Deep briefly disbanded before reforming in 2012 and subsequently adding "The Infamous" to their name. Calling themselves Infamous is a pretty bold statement, but seeing as how The Infamous shaped what New York hip-hop would become when it transitioned into the '00s, the duo definitely deserve the title. The interesting thing about this gig is that it's at the Young Avenue Deli — not exactly known as a hip-hop hub. However, the Midtown destination has hosted some certified amazing rap concerts, including fellow New York rap artist Raekwon. Speaking of Raekwon, he appears on The Infamous classic "Eye for an Eye," along with Nas, making it an instant hit and my personal favorite song that Mobb Deep has ever created. If you're a fan of New York hip-hop (who isn't?) then this show should already be on your radar, but I'd recommend getting there early to make sure you can get it in. Remember, "there's a war going on outside that no man is safe from. You can run, but you can't hide forever." — Chris Shaw
The Infamous Mobb Deep, Tuesday, March 15th at the Young Avenue Deli. 8 p.m. $20.