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Mobb Deep - Survival of the Fittest

Yeah.. Sendin this one out.. To my man Killa B
No doubt indeed.. Without weed.. Knowhati'msayin?
That old real shit..

There's a war goin on outside no man is safe from
You could run but you can't hide forever
From these streets that we done took
You walkin witcha head down scared to look
You shook cause ain't no such things as halfway crooks
They never around when the beef cooks in my part of town
It's similar to Vietnam
Now we all grown up and old, and beyond the cop's control
They better have the riot gear ready
Tryin to bag me and get rocked steady
By the mac one-double, I touch you
And leave you with not much to go home wit
My skin is thick, cause I be up in the mix of action
If I'm not at home, puffin lye relaxin
New York got a nigga depressed
So I wear a slug-proof underneath my Guess
God bless my soul, before I put my foot down and begin to stroll
And to the drama I built, and all unfinished beef
You will soon be killed, put us together
It's like mixin vodka and milk
I'm goin out blastin, takin my enemies with me
And if not, they scarred, so they will never forget me
Lord forgive me the Hennesey got me not knowin how to act
I'm fallin and I can't turn back
Or maybe it's the words from my man Killa Black
That I can't say so it's left a untold fact, until my death
My goal's to stay alive
Survival of the fit only the strong survive

Chorus: Mobb Deep

Yo, yo
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(We still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(Thug life, we still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(We still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
(we livin this til the day that we die)
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(survival of the fit only the strong..)

I'm trapped, in between two worlds, tryin to get dough y'know
When the dough get low the jewels go, but never that
As long as fiends smoke crack
I'll be on the block hustlin countin my stacks
No doubt, watchin my back and proceed with caution
Five-oh lurkin, no time to get lost in -- the system
Niggaz usin fake names to get out quick
My brother did it and got bagged with two ounces
I-llegal world where squads hit the block hard
Ask my man Twin when he got bagged, that fucked me up God
But shit happens for a reason
You find out who's your true peoples when you're upstate bleedin
You can't find a shorty to troop your bid witchu
Hit wit a 2 to 4 it's difficult
Wild on the streets I try to maintain
Tight with my loot, cause hoes like to run game
Some niggaz like to trick but I ain't wit that trickin shit
I'm like a Jew, savin dough so I can big whip
Pushin a Lex, now I'm set, ready to jet
No matter how much loot I get I'm stayin in the projects, forever
Jakes on the blocks we out-clever
If beef, we never seperate and pull together
When worse comes to worse and my peoples come first
Try to react and get them motherfuckin feelings hurt
My crew's all about loot
Fuck lookin cute, I'm strictly Timb boots and army certified suits
Puffin L's, laid back, enjoyin the smell
In the Bridge gettin down it ain't hard to tell
You better realize

Chorus: Mobb Deep

We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(We still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(Thug life, we still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(We still livin it)
We livin this til the day that we die
Survival of the fit only the strong survive
(Thug life, we still livin it)
(the strong survive)

Look in the eyes and get wise
Look alive, in ninety-five, word up
Hypnotic thug life, get that ass paralyzed
Knahmsayin? Mobb Deep and all that..

Prodigy: “We made that in Hav’s crib, in Queensbridge. We’d make the beats in Hav’s crib [but lay vocals in the studio]. Or sometimes, we’d make the beat in the crib, write half of the song in the crib, then go to the studio and finish it. That was one of the ones where Hav ain’t really like the beat. He was about to erase that shit. There’s a lot of joints like that, where he was about to trash them and we had to change his mind. I was out somewhere on the block chilling probably, I came in the crib, and Hav had the beat playing. “I was like, ‘Damn. What the fuck is this?’ He’s like, ‘It’s some bullshit, I’m about to fucking scratch this shit and do another one.’ I was like ‘Nah, don’t scratch that nigga, hold up. Let niggas hear this.’ And I called niggas over like, ‘Yo, listen to this fucking beat this nigga just made.’ And everybody was like, ‘Yo, that shit is crazy.’ Then we both just started writing rhymes to it and it came out good. We knocked that out all in one day. So, I had to save that one. “Hav’s pops was a DJ, so Hav had a lot of records from the ‘70s and the ‘80s. We both had a good record collection. Hav was already listening to records before I met him. He was trying to sample on a cassette player, hit record, pause, record, and pause, and making the beats like that. When he met me, we bought the equipment. That’s when he started to really get into making beats. I actually showed him how to sample, how to do this, and how to sequence the shit. Once he got the hang of it he just went in and started going crazy." Havoc: “I was just making beats in my crib in the projects. We had already put out ‘Shook Ones’ and our confidence was up. At that time, I was into sampling a lot of jazz records so I found this loop. I put it together. I tried to make it sound as crispy as I could when we were in the studio recording it. “I remember my cousin Ferg being in the studio. He was from Brooklyn, he was running the streets wild, and he was like 16 at the time, so I said, ‘Yo, go in the booth and just go ad-lib behind the chorus.’ And he was just like, ‘Yeah, thug life we still living it.’ And this is way before Tupac [started saying ‘Thug Life’] and I don’t know if he felt like he came with that first. But this is from the heart, when we did that we didn’t know nothing about no Tupac. My little cousin went back there [and did the hook] and the shit was dope. He wasn’t an actual rapper at that time. I know he used to write his little rhymes, but that’s not actually why I put him in the booth—I put him in there to get that raw, unbiased energy. “ that was our thing. We were just straight hood. It wasn’t no pretty boy shit. It was like, ‘Yo, let’s throw on our Timbs.’ It didn’t get more harder than that. We weren’t the kind of muthafuckas that was in the mirror for like a half an hour, nah. Nine times out of ten, we wearing the same pants for the week. We had our Timbs with our 40s on the block. It wasn’t a gimmick. That’s what we was wearing.” Matty C a.k.a. Matt Life (Executive Producer and A&R for Loud Records): “The original version of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ had James Brown going ‘Gotta get over before we get under!’ during the chorus and that had to come out. What the publishers wanted for that little sample wasn’t worth it. That was my first time dealing with those issues and helping the group make those calls about what was worth keeping.” Schott Free (Executive Producer and A&R for Loud Records):“I remember leaving the office and going to the studio with Havoc. He was smoking a thousand cigarettes while chopping away at something and he had had the drums up for a minute. I remember he caught that one piano piece lovely. The whole crew was like, ‘Oooo.’ He came with the rhyme and format and everything like that. “Then Tip gets a hold of it. Tip leaves the loop just like it is—the same way that Havoc caught it—but then just infiltrates it entirely on the drum situation. It intensifies the entire record. If you ever hear the original, it’s ill, it’s gloomy, it’s street, but it’s nowhere as huge as Tip made it when he just changed up the drums. He just implemented that over the loop that Hav had and then just added so much on top of it."

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