Mobb Deep – Peer Pressure
“It’s called Juvenile Hell, You won’t last long” proclaims Prodigy on Mobb Deep’s intro to their debut album. That’s right, a top ten album of all time, The Infamous, wasn’t Mobb Deep’s first album. The spring of 93 Mobb Deep unleashed Juvenile Hell.
They were late teens jumping into the game and offered more realism than Illegal, 2 Low, Da Youngstas, ABC, Chi Ali and the other adolescent rappers of the early 90’s. Mobb Deep fully represented Queensbridge, NY. They effortlessly told the listener stories from their project and the fact they were not to be effed with. Havoc was still honing his production skills so he called on legendary DJ Premier to craft the music for their first single, “Peer Pressure” released September 28th, 1992.
“Peer Pressure” produced by DJ Premier
The other songs on their debut may have been filled with The Mobb issuing threats and how they like to “Hit It From The Back”, but “Peer Pressure” offered a glimpse into their lives. Prodigy is able to vividly explain his goals as a youth, but was unable to achieve than due to his environment. Over a head nodding Premier beat, P rhymes:
Most don’t understand how it is
In the world of today growin up as a young black teen
I used to dream, of bein an architect
Easier said than done, believe me it’s hard to get
Out of the projects, without forgettin where you came from
My parents told me from day one
Finish school and avoid all obstacles
But my environment, makes it so impossible
A video was also shot for “Peer Pressure” which included menacing looks, grimey Queens sreets and tattoos before they became necessary.
Mobb Deep – Peer Pressure
P really flexed his story telling chops as he goes on to discuss a childhood friend who ultimately took his own life. Kenny just couldn’t deal with the pressure.
Good little Kenny who would believe
He dropped out of school to start to smoke weed
I saw the signs but I didn’t pay attention
Because he got offended everytime that I would mention
The drinkin, the smokin, the low school grades
And sleepin in class laid back with his black shades
Nowadays you catch Kenny hangin in the hallways
With his crew findin more ways
To break out of school, and hit the block and get buckwild
Stay out of the way of a mad child
Cause he’s a product of, hell
Kenny never fell but he’s gonna fall overall
So let’s take a trip to the ghetto
Where Kenny got drunk and bought a burner off his man so
He pulled the trigger and the suicide note right
“I’m glad it’s finally over and I’m finally dead
And no more, do I have to feel, lesser, or
Deal with the peer pressure
There was even a remix version that made the album. Large Professor cooked up a slower track for the Mobb to rhyme over.
Mobb Deep – Peer Pressure (Large Professor Remix)
“Peer Pressure” along with the rest of the album was instrumental in the success Mobb Deep would have. It allowed Havoc to refine his production and boosted Prodigy into a top tier lyricist of the 90’s.
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