On Sunday night, Mobb Deep put on a powerful, bare-bones show that served as a not-so-gentle reminder that they wrote the great American songbook for East Coast gangster rap almost 20 years ago, and did it within a span of two perfect albums. While they've had bigger, more club-focused hits since, the crowd clearly favored the brutal album cuts off both The Infamous and Hell on Earth.
Working through a dense library of songs, the set felt a lot shorter than its one-and-a-half-hour runtime, with the only respite being a shout out to deceased rap soldiers, including former archrival Tupac, a gesture my date found "so cute and adorable!" A good smattering of enthused and very mohawked punk rockers made it clear that the Mobb's influence stretched beyond rap listeners, and that their stories of hustle, oppression, and intimidation struck a universal and ominous chord.
At the end of what could possibly have been the smallest (albeit sold out) crowd they've played for in a decade, Prodigy exclaimed it was "One of the best shows on tour!" With all of the love beaming in the room, we could believe it.
Lots more photos after the jump.