Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Free At Last And Back In The Lab: Prodigy's Return

Ever since Prodigy, Grammy Award winning rapper and member of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep which also consists of Havoc, entered the industry, he took it by storm. Countless classic albums by Mobb Deep and Prodigy alone have solidified the Queensbridge duo as hip hop legends.

Havoc and Prodigy started rhyming in 1986, then later they both attended the High School of Art and Design in New York City. Havoc took the role of producer and secondary MC, while Prodigy assumed the position of primary MC. Originally dubbing themselves the Poetical Profits, the duo later changed its name to Mobb Deep in order to "reflect their reputation on the streets." To this fan, Mobb Deep is perhaps one of the greatest hard-core East Coast hip-hop groups of all times. Prodigy and Havoc are best known for their dark and hardcore delivery, gritty instrumentals and their never-ending vivid exploitation of the harsh realities in today's ghetto neighbourhoods. Below are two of my favourite Mobb Deep videos; Shook Ones Part II and Quiet Storm. Quiet Storm is probably in my top 5 videos of all time.

Mobb Deep as a group have released 9 albums: Juvenile Hell (1993), The Infamous (1995), Hell on Earth (1996), Murda Muzik (1999), Infamy (2001), Amerikaz Nightmare (2004), Blood Money (2006), The Infamous Archives (2007), The Safe Is Cracked (2009).

Recently, Prodigy served a three-year prison sentence in a midstate correctional facility. He was officially released on March 7, 2011.

Prodigy comes from a musical family—his grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his uncle Keg Johnson are remembered for their contributions to the Bebop era of jazz. In the year 2000, Prodigy took a temporary break from the group and released his first solo effort. "H.N.I.C." which stands as an acronym for "Head N**** In Charge". Prodigy enlisted a number of producers for the album, including The Alchemist, EZ Elpee, Rockwilder, Just Blaze and his Mobb Deep partner Havoc. The single "Keep It Thoro" (embedded below) received moderate video and radio rotation. A sequel, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2 was released April 22, 2008.

Since his release from prison, Prodigy has been locked up inside the studio with Havoc, close affiliate The Alchemist, a hip hop producer, DJ and rapper from Beverly Hills, California. I stumbled upon a UStream of Prodigy in the booth and the excitement became a constant build up until I saw Prodigy enter the recording booth and start reciting these rhymes that had me reminiscing the old Prodigy. A new song has been released titled, "Dog Shit" which features previous affiliate turned enemy and now friend, Nas.

It feels like it's the return of the late 90's. Keep your eyes out for new music by Mobb Deep and Prodigy.


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