The Alchemist (musician)
Daniel Alan Maman, professionally known as The Alchemist, is an American record producer, disc jockey and rapper. He began his music career in 1991 in the hip hop duo The Whooliganz under the moniker Mudfoot, along with now-actor Scott Caan. After rising to prominence in the late 1990s, as a close associate of Dilated Peoples and Mobb Deep, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's leading artists in the 2000s, has been hailed as one of the genre's leading producers, he is working as a DJ with Action Bronson. He produces for many artists, most of his recent production is for a close group of frequent collaborative rappers, he focuses on producing entire albums for rappers and Instrumental projects of his own. Together with his longtime collaborator Oh No, Woody Jackson and Tangerine Dream, he composed the official score to the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V; as a teenager, Maman began to identify with the rebellious lyrics and urban sounds of hip-hop, he began writing his own lyrics. He joined up with other like-minded artists who wrote lyrics and rebelled against their suburban surroundings.
These included Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town and Scott Caan, son of James Caan. In 1991, a 14-year-old Maman and Scott Caan decided to become a duo named The Whooliganz. While rhyming at a party in L. A. they attracted the attention of B-Real of Cypress Hill. He invited the teens to join his crew, The Soul Assassins, which included the groups House of Pain and Funkdoobiest. In 1993, the Whooliganz released their first single, "Put Your Handz Up." The song received little radio airplay and their record label, Tommy Boy Records, decided to shelve their album. Rejected, Scott focused his creative energy on acting while Al became interested in process of making hip-hop beats. DJ Muggs taught him how to use a sampler and mixing board. After helping to produce a few tracks for Cypress Hill, Al became the main producer for his childhood friend and his group Dilated Peoples; when Dilated Peoples debuted in 1998, they helped promote Maman as a key part of their sound. Alchemist produced several tracks on the debut album Focused Daily by Defari, another Dilated and Alkaholik affiliate.
In 1999, Muggs introduced Al to the popular hip-hop group Mobb Deep. Al produced two songs for their Murda Muzik album. Impressed by his production skills and street smarts, Mobb Deep continued using his beats on all their subsequent albums; as Alchemist's profile increased, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's most successful and prominent artists, such as Nas, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah and Snoop Dogg. He has remixed songs for bands and artists in other genres such as Linkin Park and Morcheeba. Al stayed loyal to his old friends, continuing to produce for Cypress Hill and Crazy Town, he enjoys producing for lesser-known underground rappers giving them some of his best beats. In 2004, six years after his rapping career folded, The Alchemist put out his debut album, 1st Infantry; the album yielded the single "Hold You Down", which hit number ninety-five on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005. In 1999, The Alchemist was set to produce three tracks for American rapper Ras Kass' then-upcoming album Van Gogh, scheduled for a late 2000 release at the time.
One of the said tracks was "Home Sweet Home", to be the lead single for Ras Kass' album. After The Alchemist received the first half of the payment for the beat, he said Ras Kass' record label was ignoring him, they met up in August, at the Source Awards in Pasadena, where Alchemist informed Kass that he'd been showcasing the beat to other artists. Jadakiss would go on to record "We Gonna Make It" over the same beat, on his 2001 release, Kiss Tha Game Goodbye; when Ras Kass took notice, he attempted to stop the release by releasing his version of the song on mixtapes, to no avail. This prompted Ras on a track from Van Gogh; the beef ended so he could concentrate on his legal problems but still cited a loss of respect for the producer. In an interview with www.hiphopgame.com, Ras admitted that he was being stubborn and refused to listen to what the Alchemist was trying to tell him. The two have since squashed the beef and Alchemist produced the song "Past and Present" and did the intro for the song that appeared on the 2006 mixtape Revenge of the Spit.
In 2011, Ras Kass appeared on fellow rapper Evidence's album Cats & Dogs, on a song called "The Red Carpet", produced by The Alchemist. The Alchemist is one of the music producers behind the 10th installment of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars released by Rockstar Games, he was on Tim Westwood TV, when Eminem, Royce Da 5'9" and Mr. Porter freestyled. During an interview with Worldwide Conspiracy Radio, The Alchemist revealed he would be dropping a 2-part project with fellow west coast producer Oh No entitled Gangrene, the first to be released in July, the second in November, both on Decon. Alchemist was the DJ for the Eminem set on the BBC1 chat-show Jonathan Ross on June 4, 2010. Alchemist is Eminem's official DJ, since DJ Green Lantern departed from Shady Records in 2005 because of a dispute related to the feud of 50 Cent and Jadakiss. In 2006, Eminem released. Since the Alchemist is his official DJ, he produced some of the tracks on the mixtape, as well as compiling the album in a mixtape fashion.
On December 18, 2013, he was named the runner-up for producer of the year by HipHopDX. "Retur
The Compact Cassette, Compact Audio Cassette or Musicassette commonly called the cassette tape or tape or cassette, is an analog magnetic tape recording format for audio recording and playback. It was developed by Philips in Hasselt and released in 1962. Compact cassettes come in two forms, either containing content as a prerecorded cassette, or as a recordable "blank" cassette. Both forms are reversible by the user; the compact cassette technology was designed for dictation machines, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and Reel-to-reel tape recording in most non-professional applications. Its uses ranged from portable audio to home recording to data storage for early microcomputers; the first cassette player designed for use in car dashboards was introduced in 1968. Between the early 1970s and the early 2000s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music, first alongside the LP record and the compact disc.
Compact Cassettes contain two miniature spools, between which the magnetically coated, polyester-type plastic film is passed and wound. These spools and their attendant parts are held inside a protective plastic shell, 4 by 2.5 by 0.5 inches at its largest dimensions. The tape itself was referred to as "eighth-inch" tape 1⁄8 inches wide, but it was larger: 0.15 inches. Two stereo pairs of tracks or two monaural audio tracks are available on the tape; this reversal is achieved either by flipping the cassette, or by the reversal of tape movement when the mechanism detects that the tape has come to an end. In 1935, decades before the introduction of the Compact Cassette, AEG released the first reel-to-reel tape recorder, with the commercial name "Magnetophon", it was based on the invention of the magnetic tape by Fritz Pfleumer, which used similar technology but with open reels. These instruments were expensive and difficult to use and were therefore used by professionals in radio stations and recording studios.
In 1958, following four years of development, RCA Victor introduced the stereo, quarter-inch, reel-to-reel RCA tape cartridge. However, it was a large cassette, offered few pre-recorded tapes. Despite the multiple versions, it failed. Consumer use of magnetic tape machines took off in the early 1960s, after playback machines reached a comfortable, user-friendly design; this was aided by the introduction of transistors which replaced the bulky and costly vacuum tubes of earlier designs. Reel-to-reel tape became more suitable to household use, but still remained an esoteric product. WIRAG, the Vienna division of Philips developed a cartridge, described as single-hole cassette, adapted from its German described name Einloch-Kassette. Tape and tape speed were identical with the Compact Cassette. Grundig came up with the DC-International derived from blue prints of the Compact Cassette in 1965, but failed on the demand of distributing companies. In 1962, Philips invented the Compact Cassette medium for audio storage, introducing it in Europe on 30 August 1963 at the Berlin Radio Show, in the United States in November 1964, with the trademark name Compact Cassette.
The team at Philips was led by Lou Ottens in Hasselt, Belgium."Philips was competing with Telefunken and Grundig in a race to establish its cassette tape as the worldwide standard, it wanted support from Japanese electronics manufacturers." However, the Philips' Compact Cassette became dominant as a result of Philips' decision to license the format free of charge. Philips released the Norelco Carry-Corder 150 recorder/player in the US in November 1964. By 1966 over 250,000 recorders had been sold in the US alone and Japan soon became the major source of recorders. By 1968, 85 manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million players. By the end of the 1960s, the cassette business was worth an estimated 150 million dollars. In the early years sound quality was mediocre, but it improved by the early 1970s when it caught up with the quality of 8-track tape and kept improving; the Compact Cassette went on to become a popular alternative to the 12-inch vinyl LP during the late 1970s. The mass production of "blank" Compact Cassettes began in 1964 in Germany.
Prerecorded music cassettes were launched in Europe in late 1965. The Mercury Record Company, a US affiliate of Philips, introduced M. C. to the US in July 1966. The initial offering consisted of 49 titles. However, the system had been designed for dictation and portable use, with the audio quality of early players not well suited for music; some early models had an unreliable mechanical design. In 1971, the Advent Corporation introduced their Model 201 tape deck that combined Dolby type B noise reduction and chromium oxide tape, with a commercial-grade tape transport mechanism supplied by the Wollensak camera division of 3M Corporation; this resulted in the format being taken more for musical use, started the era of high fidelity cassettes and players. Although the birth and growth of the cassette began in the 1960s, its cultural moment took place during the 1970s and 1980s; the cassette's popularity grew
The Source is an American hip hop and entertainment website, a magazine that publishes annually or semiannually. It is the world's longest-running rap periodical, being founded as a newsletter in 1988; the Source was started by David Mays, a Jewish Harvard University student in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mays decided to hire his friends, Jonathan Shecter, James Bernard and Ed Young, the four men became shareholders in the ownership of the magazine. At the time, Mays handled duties as the publisher for the magazine, Shecter was the editor-in-chief; the magazine's offices were moved from Massachusetts to New York City in 1990, a move, made with the intention to expand the magazine into a mainstream market publication. The magazine's annual awards show, known as The Source Awards, honors both hip-hop and R&B performers for their contributions to hip-hop; the Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest award given to an emcee who has contributed his/her time to succeeding in the hip-hop music industry.
The Source releases a compilation album of hip-hop hits. The magazine expanded overseas with a French-language version, alongside The Source Latino and The Source Japan magazine franchises; the company invested in mobile phones and ringtones under The Source Mobile Channel moniker, in which subscribers are offered their favorite choice of hip-hop ringtones. The Source invested in its own urban clothing apparel company; the Source announced in a press conference that the magazine was in possession of an old tape in which a young Eminem was rapping racial slurs against Black women. For his part, Eminem did not deny making the tapes, he apologized for making the tapes but exhorted the public to consider the origin of the allegations. Eminem sued The Source for defamation and copyright infringement; the federal courts ruled in The Source's favor, allowed a limited distribution of the tape's music and lyrics under Fair Use law. In 2005, after Eminem's motions against The Source were dismissed in federal court, lawyers for Eminem abruptly withdrew his lawsuit against The Source, stating that the rapper no longer had any issue with The Source.
Mays and Benzino both countered the withdrawal of the lawsuit. They both claimed they could expose the truth about Eminem and planned to release the racist tapes in a future magazine, it devoted its February 2004 issue to the discovery of the tapes, included a CD of the early Eminem songs with the magazine. Benzino and The Source would urge video and radio stations to ban Eminem's video, "Just Lose It", issue an apology to Michael Jackson; the video depicts Jackson in a negative light and the publication wanted to boycott the rapper. In spite of their efforts, BET was the only network to ban the video. BET claimed Benzino was not the reason for the banning, but rather that it was out of admiration of Jackson. Eminem released the single "Like Toy Soldiers" from Encore, in which he states he'll "walk away from it all before it gets any further". Benzino responded with the "diss" track, "Look Into My Eyes", in which he claims Eminem does not want to fight anymore because he was "scared". In 2005, after Kimberly Osorio had been unlawfully fired and Benzino appointed Joshua "Fahiym" Ratcliffe to the E.
I. C. Post at the publication; that same year he abruptly resigned after he was ordered to lower the rating of Little Brother's The Minstrel Show from four-and-a-half to four. Lil' Kim's release, The Naked Truth, received the five mic rating instead. Although critics speculated that Lil' Kim's manager was dating Dave Mays, this was the first time that a female rapper received the highest rating in the magazine. In 2006, Benzino formally announced that he was resigning as chief operations officer and co-owner of The Source, stating that his battle with Eminem and the magazine's publishers were hurting the revenue of The Source, but a few days Benzino announced that he had returned to The Source as co-owner. Industry insiders believed that The Source had staged a fake event in order to encourage advertisers to invest in the controversial magazine; the rapper refuted his claims about saving The Source, instead blamed Interscope's chairman Jimmy Iovine. Benzino believed that Iovine was pressuring to fire rap mogul L.
A. Reid; the reason why Benzino stepped down was to save Reid's position as president of Island Def Jam, or so he claimed. Benzino went on radio denouncing Def Jam's founder Russell Simmons for not participating in his smear campaign to antagonize Eminem, he had used racial comments about Simmons in the past, forcing Def Jam to pull a vast majority of their ads from The Source. That year and David Mays were forced out of The Source by its private-equity investors Black Enterprise / Greenwich Street Corporate Growth Partners. In January 2012, The Source and L. Londell McMillan held a press conference to announce that Kimberly Osorio was returning to the magazine as the Editor-In-Chief and VP of Content and Editorial of the Northstar Group, her return came over five years after she sued the magazine and its former owners, Dave Mays and Raymond "Benzino" Scott for sexual harassment, gender discrimination and defamation. The jury ruled that she was fired without following proper procedures and found that Benzino's public reference to her as trying to "extort" the company was defamatory.
In her suit, Osorio claimed that Benzino harassed other women on the staff. She complained th
Enta da Stage
Enta da Stage is the debut album of American East Coast hip hop group Black Moon, released on October 19, 1993 through Nervous Records. The album was produced by DJ Evil Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz. Enta da Stage features the debut of underground hip hop duo Smif-N-Wessun, as well as appearances from Havoc of Mobb Deep and Dru Ha, the co-founder of Duck Down Records. Despite being critically acclaimed and having two singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, the album sold poorly, is overlooked in favor of subsequent East Coast albums such as Enter the Wu-Tang, Liquid Swords, Ready to Die, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... and The Infamous. Nonetheless, Enta da Stage preceded those releases and served as a precursor to the resurgence of the New York hip hop scene in the mid-1990s; the roots of Black Moon go back to Brooklyn's Bushwick High School, where 5 ft and DJ Evil Dee met and formed a group called Unique Image. The two met Buckshot in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, formed a friendship based on similar musical aspirations.
The newly formed group recruited Evil Dee's older brother Mr. Walt, began recording the pre-production of their debut album at the Dewgarde Crib of Hits at Mr. Walt's house, their first group release was their 1992 single "Who Got da Props?", now hailed as a classic hip hop single. Black Moon signed to Nervous Records in 1992, based on the strength of the debut single, which peaked at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in early 1993. Buckshot soon formed a close relationship with Nervous employee Drew Friedman known as Dru Ha; the two formed a management company named "Duck Down Management", oversaw the release of Enta da Stage as co-executive producers. The group finished recording Enta da Stage at New York City's D&D Studios between late 1992 and early 1993, prepared it for a late 1993 release date. Much of the acclaim the album received was due to the performance of lead MC Buckshot, who went by the name Buckshot Shorty. Ten of the fourteen tracks on the album are Buckshot solo tracks, he appears on every song but "Son Get Wrec".
Buck, eighteen at the time of the recording, was a young man trying to establish himself and his crew in the hip hop world. In a 2005 interview with MVRemix.com, Buckshot described a day in his life while recording his debut: Enta da Stage was rough for me. It was a rough era. A lot of people don't know. I think I had just turned eighteen and I had the pressure of running a management company as an eighteen year old shorter than 5'6. I had that problem of people taking my representation seriously. So a day in the life around the Enta da Stage era was based on constant struggle and lettin' people know you respect Duck Down management as a real management company and not just as some little cute thing that Buckshot is doing. Nah, for real, we're management type deal. I was battling keeping Smif-n-Wessun in a good deal, I was battling trying to get Heltah Skeltah a good deal. I was battling trying to bring my record company into existence, so it was a hard time; the mindstate described in the above interview rules the content on the album, as the lyrics are loaded with violent narratives and braggadocio and little else, as Buckshot and 5 ft try to solidify their status in rap.
Allmusic's Chris Witt stated that "Emcees Buckshot and 5ft Accelerator attack their verses with an aggressive nihilism not heard since Kool G Rap's peak." 5 ft known as 5FT Accelerator, appears on three tracks here, his lyrical content does not differ from that of Buckshot's. Unlike work by New York City peers like Nas, the lyrical content found here does not peer into social issues or provide much substance. Allmusic's album review stated that "Theirs is a grim reality, filled with guns and violence. Buckshot displays none of the usual gangster remorse, he is a willful public menace."Buckshot was praised not only for his lyricism, but for his lyrical delivery and breath control, with his flow and dramatic, conversational vocal tones being seen as original and entertaining. In a 2005 interview with AllHipHop.com, hip hop producer 9th Wonder stated that Buckshot's style influenced his current sound, that the singles "Who Got da Props?" and "How Many MC's..." changed his life. The album features an original style of choruses, which are now known as "Black Moon hooks", in which they gather a large number of people in the booth to yell the lyrics.
These vocals were provided by a number of artists, including Smif-n-Wessun, Mr. Walt, Mobb Deep's Havoc and the trio themselves. "Niguz Talk Shit", "Who Got da Props?", "Ack Like U Want It", "Buck Em Down", "Black Smif-n-Wessun", "Son Get Wrec", "Make Munne" and "U da Man" all feature "Black Moon hooks". DJ Evil Dee and Mr. Walt of Da Beatminerz, who produced the album, put their samplers to use here, lacing the album with their signature basement sound, filled with hard drums, grimy horn arrangements and deep basslines. In the album's liner notes, DJ Evil Dee stated: "This album was done on blunted terms. Anyone, offended by the contents of the album, FUCK YOU. Nuff said." Allmusic describes the dark production: "The Beatminerz production crew craft subterranean beats to match Buckshot's mayhem. The tracks are dark, layered with muted jazz samples, bottomless." A few of the samples used here were recreated by a number of hip hop artists in the 1990s. The single "Buck Em Down" features a sample from Donald Byrd's "Wind Parade", a sample, re-used for Organized Konfusion's 1994 concept track "Stray Bullet".
"How Many MC's..." features a sample from Grover Washington, Jr.'s "Hydra", used for earl
Kejuan Muchita, better known by his stage name Havoc, is an American rapper and record producer. He was one half of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep with Prodigy. Havoc is from Queens, his brother Killa Black is deceased. Havoc is the lead producer of Mobb Deep, has produced songs for MCs such as Eminem, Foxy Brown, The Notorious B. I. G. Jadakiss, Styles P, Method Man, The Game, Puff Daddy, LL Cool J, La The Darkman, Big Noyd, Per Vers, O. G. C. Tragedy Khadafi, Capone-N-Noreaga, his own partner Prodigy on his solo work. In the spring of 2005, Mobb Deep was signed to fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent's record label G-Unit Records. In late 2009, 50 Cent dropped the pair from the label. Havoc is renowned among serious hip-hop fans as one of the prominent figures during the mid-1990s for his hard-hitting and stripped-down beats complementary to the RZA's work on Wu-Tang Clan projects. Popular music magazine Complex ranked Havoc among the top hip hop producers of 1995 after The Infamous. Beattips.com ranked him as the 24th most influential beatmaker of all time citing his dual abilities of rapping and producing.
Following The Infamous, he tweaked his skills and transitioned to a more atmospheric production style that incorporated samples from classical music, most notably visible on the 1996 album Hell on Earth. As a rapper, he is known for his consistent flow, he contributed background vocals and a verse on Black Moon's debut album Enta da Stage in 1993. In July 2009, Havoc was featured alongside Raekwon in J Dilla's music video for "24K Rap" off of the Jay Stay Paid album, the video was directed by Derek Pike. In 2010, Havoc produced a beat for Eminem which resulted in a song called "Untitled", a hidden track on Eminem's album Recovery and contributed to the iTunes bonus track to Raekwon's album Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang & Bad Meets Evil's Hell: The Sequel EP, he revealed. His third studio album 13 was released on May 7, 2013. Havoc worked with Kavinsky on his 2013 album OutRun, he sang the vocals for, "Suburbia", the sixth track on the album. In 2016, Havoc produced "Real Friends" and "Famous", two tracks on Kanye West's album The Life of Pablo.
Mobb Deep's career ended in 2017 after the death of Prodigy. 2007: The Kush 2009: Hidden Files 2013: 13 2014: 13 Reloaded 2016: The Silent Partner 2007: The One and Only 2009: From Now On 2013: Beats Collection 2013: Beats Collection 2 2007: "I'm the Boss" 2007: "Be There" 2009: "Watch Me" 2009: "Heart of the Grind" 2009: "H Is Back" 2009: "Always Have a Choice" 2010: "If You Love Me" 2012: "Same Shit, Different Day" 2012: "Separated" 2013: "Gritty" 2013: "Tell Me to My Face" 2013: "Gone" 2013: "Life We Chose" 2013: "Life We Chose" 2013: "Suburbia" on OutRun by Kavinsky Havoc is a playable character in the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY. MTV bio September 2007 Interview "Havoc Sits Down with Ei8ht" Interview with Hip Hop Lives Online – HHLO.net
The Infamous is the second studio album by the American hip hop duo Mobb Deep. It was released on April 1995, by Loud Records; the album features guest appearances by Nas, Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, who contributed to its production and mixing. Embedded with hyper-visual lyricism, dark soundscapes, gritty narratives, hard beats, it marked Mobb Deep's transition from a unknown rap duo to an influential and commercially successful one. Most of the left-over songs from the album became bonus tracks for Mobb Deep's The Infamous Mobb Deep album. Upon its release, The Infamous achieved notable commercial success, debuting at number 15 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts. On June 26, 1995, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America; the album produced four singles. The album's haunting style, defined by its evocative melodies, rugged beats, lyrics dealing with crime and poverty in inner city neighborhoods reflected the dark side of New York's urban landscape in a manner that received special recognition and critical praise.
Along with albums such as Enter the Wu-Tang and Ready to Die, The Infamous is credited as a major contributor to the East Coast Renaissance. Furthermore, the album is credited with helping to redefine the sound of hardcore hip-hop, using its production style, which incorporated eerie piano loops, distorted synthesizers, eighth-note hi-hats, sparse bass lines. During the spring of 1993, while the group was still in their late-teens, Mobb Deep released their first album Juvenile Hell under the 4th & B'way Records label; the album included production from several revered New York based producers, including Large Professor, DJ Premier, Public Enemy affiliate Kerwin Young, included the underground single "Hit It from the Back". Due to Juvenile Hell's failure to achieve significant commercial and critical success, the duo was dropped from their label several months after the album's release. Havoc and Prodigy described Juvenile Hell as a "learning experience". During the summer of 1993, Loud Records was looking for another group to sign, owing to the success of Wu-Tang Clan's first single, "Protect Ya Neck", by fall 1993, the label had signed Mobb Deep.
Recording for the album began in early 1994, ended one year in early 1995. Unlike the duo's first album, The Infamous was entirely self-produced by Havoc and Prodigy, with outside help from Matt Life, Schott Free and Q-Tip. Producer Matt Life recalled Q-Tip's involvements, stating, "Tip was involved in The Infamous from early on. More than people know. Tip was just a fan of theirs and I knew him from way back, so he was helpful, giving them advice, he came in in the sessions and said he'd help mix a couple records. And he ended up picking a couple of records they did to re-do. Except for "Drink Away the Pain", the songs that Tip produced were a full song before he got to them, he liked the lyrics on those original songs. It was the same song title, same hook, same rhymes, just new beats." Havoc commented "Q-Tip bent his style a little bit to get with what we was doing. Like with "Drink Away the Pain" you see him trying to get gangsta with it."On the group's decision to handle most of the production, Havoc commented, "We started producing because other producers was giving us shit that we didn't like, or they was just charging too much.
I didn't know nothing about producing music at the time, but I learned by watching others." The style of production on The Infamous was part of a change in New York City hip-hop from upbeat and jazz-influenced, into raw, gritty beats. This style of production characterized by dissonant, minor key samples and filtered bass lines became a hallmark of mid-1990s New York rap; the album spent 18 weeks on the US Billboard 200 for peaking at number 15, it spent 34 weeks on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts for peaking at number 3. The Infamous was certified gold, with shipments of 500,000 copies in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America on June 26, 1995. Upon its release, The Infamous received widespread critical acclaim. Entertainment Weekly's Tiarra Mukherjee gave it a B+ rating, stating, "Over self-produced, bare-bones beats, the pair's hard-edged rhymes paint a chilling picture of life on their mean streets, New York City's Queensbridge Housing Projects. Underground rap-heads, those who can break away from Jeep beats will rejoice."
The Source's Dimitry Leger stated, "Mobb Deep earn credibility, winning the crucial battle between style and substance, who's real and who's a move-faker. Havoc and Prodigy report what they know."Elliott Wilson from Vibe wrote a favorable review of the album as well, stated "Each song is a different chapter in the hard street life Havoc and Prodigy have experienced in their Queensbridge neighborhood... While describing their lives with brutal realism and raw imagery, Havoc's love for his hometown hits you in the head like a Mike Tyson comeback punch." NME gave the album an eight out of ten rating, noting its "Shuttering nitro beats and scratchy jazz samples cut back to reverberating piano chords and odd squealing horn breaks" stating, "As rappers they bring the clipped, rolling style of Rakim or EPMD, adding a chill menace to neighborhood boasts like'Right Back at You' and'Eye for a Eye'." Rolling Stone called it "a darkly
Wu-Tang Clan is an American hip hop group from New York City composed of East Coast rappers RZA, GZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa. Longtime collaborator Cappadonna became an official member in 2007. Wu-Tang Clan are regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time. Wu-Tang Clan has released four gold and platinum studio albums, their 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang, is considered one of the greatest albums in hip hop history. The group has introduced and launched the careers of a number of affiliated artists and groups, collectively known as the Wu-Tang Killa Bees. In 2008, About ranked them "the No. 1 greatest hip hop group of all time". Kris Ex of Rolling Stone called Wu-Tang Clan "the best rap group ever". In 2004, NME hailed them as one of the most influential groups of the last ten years. All in Together Now was never signed to a record label. See, me, GZA, ODB had a crew called FOI: Force of the Imperial Master, nah mean?
We made a song, called "All in Together Now", which became famous on tapes throughout Brooklyn, Downtown Staten Island, New York, all the way down to Miami. I remember Biz Markie, when he was famous and I wasn't famous, he was like: "Yo! I heard that shit! Your song with Ason Unique and The Specialist." I was the Scientist. So we never got. We never had a serious record deal under that title. Wu-Tang Clan was assembled in the early 1990s with RZA as the de facto leader and the group's producer. Method Man – who met RZA in 1990 after hearing a tape the producer recorded as Prince Rakeem – recalled: I went round his house. We went to the basement and I guess they was showin' off'cos I was there. There'd be his brother Devon on the decks. RZA was cuttin', Devon'd go cut off the light RZA's go cut on the light, Devon'd be cutting he'd go cut off the light, they was doing man. And Ol' Dirty was there and he'd echo every rhyme of RZA's while beatboxing,'cos, in style then; that was the beginning of Wu-Tang.
RZA and Ol' Dirty Bastard adopted the name for the group after Wu Tang. Their debut album loosely adopted a Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang theme, dividing the album into Shaolin and Wu-Tang sections; the group developed backronyms for the name, including "We Usually Take All Niggas' Garments", "Witty Unpredictable Talent And Natural Game", "Wisdom of the Universe, the Truth of Allah for the Nation of the Gods". Wu-Tang Clan became known in 1993 following the release of the independent single "Protect Ya Neck", which gave the group a sizable underground following after their tour with Kat Nu and Cypress Hill. Though there was some difficulty in finding a record label that would sign the Wu-Tang Clan while still allowing each member to record solo albums with other labels, Loud/RCA agreed, releasing their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang, in November 1993; this album turned out to be critically acclaimed, to date is regarded as one of the greatest hip hop/rap albums of all time. The success of Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers established the group as a creative and influential force in mid-1990s hip hop, allowing Ol' Dirty Bastard, GZA, RZA, Raekwon, U-God, Method Man, Ghostface Killah to negotiate solo contracts.
RZA spoke on the Wu-Tang Clan's unorthodox business model: We reinvented the way hip hop was structured, what I mean is, you have a group signed to a label, yet the infrastructure of our deal was like anyone else's We still could negotiate with any label we wanted, like Meth went with Def Jam, Rae stayed with Loud, Ghost went with Sony, GZA went with Geffen Records, feel me? And all these labels still put "Razor Sharp Records" on the credits Wu Tang was a financial movement. So what do you wanna diversify...? Your assets? RZA was the first to follow up on the success of Enter the Wu-Tang with a side project, founding the Gravediggaz with Prince Paul and Frukwan and Poetic; the Gravediggaz released 6 Feet Deep in August 1994, which became one of the best known works to emerge from hip hop's small subgenre of horrorcore. In November 1994, Method Man's solo debut album, was released, it was produced by RZA, who for the most part continued with the grimy, raw textures he explored on 36 Chambers. RZA's hands-on approach to Tical extended beyond his creating the beats to devising song concepts and structures.
The track "All I Need" from Tical was the winner of the "Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group" at the 1995 Grammy Awards. After the release of Tical, Ol' Dirty Bastard was the next member to launch a solo career, his debut album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version was released in March 1995, is considered a hip hop classic. The year 1995 saw the release of Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... and GZA's Liquid Swords, which would turn out to be the group's two most significant and well-received solo projects. Cuban Linx was a diverse, theatrical criminological epic that saw RZA move away from the raw, stripped-down beats of the early albums and towards a richer, cinematic sound more reliant on strings and classic soul samples; the album is notable in that it revived, expanded the Mafioso rap subgenre, which started to decline several years beforehand. Lavish living and the crime underworld are referenced throughout using quotes from the John Woo movie The Killer, with the mystique of the Wu-Tang Clan deepened by the adoption of crime boss aliases and the crew name Wu-Gambinos.
The album introduced a flurry of slang words to the rap lexicon, many artists have gone on to imitate its materialism. Cuban Linx featured all but one