5/29 Mobb Deep Cervantes Ballroom by Donato Ruscitti
An eager crowd of hip-hop heads packed Cervantes’ ballroom floor, chanting ‘Mobb Deep’ as the duo’s DJ entered the stage. The sound of gunshots rained through the venue’s speaker system, as the classic, east-coast hip-hop group burst onto stage. Within moments, Mobb Deep launched into ‘Survival of the Fittest,’ their 1995 classic. The audience instantaneously traveled back to a 90’s rap show through the definite 90’s production and Mobb Deep’s undeniable stage presence. The group continued through older songs before announcing they would perform material off of their new album, ‘Survival of the Fittest.’ This is the duo’s first album since their heated breakup in 2012. This tour marks Mobb Deep’s twentieth anniversary.
The audience looked surprisingly young, proving Mobb Deep’s ability to remain relevant despite the ever-changing music industry. Even support act, Izm White, couldn’t help but geek out on stage behind Mobb Deep, photographing most of the show and occasionally taking puffs from a doobie. The show appeared to be a dream for old school, hip-hop heads. Between songs, the duo shouted out condolences for Tupac Shakur, Big L, Easy E, and other fallen rap heroes. The compact show left Cervantes’ crowd in a nostalgic fever, an audience who I assume grew up on Mobb Deep’s music.