I ain’t gonna front: Prodigy lost me AGAIN for a minute. “Again” because a lotta Mobb/Elementary P fans fanuted their way off the bandwagon after Jay-Z apparently eviscerated P on the Summer Jam screen (fickle twats), while the rest of us waited until P first refused, then forgot how to rhyme completely. I never really jumped ship all the way, but being a Mobb Deep/Prodigy fan was difficult during most of the last decade. I still enjoyed the music — word to the extremely underrated “Amerikaz Nightmare”– but I couldn’t argue that they were one of the best groups working during the 2000s when Outkast and Clipse were killing shit.
Then Prodigy changed all that with 2007’s Return of the Mac – with a little help from the Alchemist. It wasn’t an instant classic or a complete return to form, but he re-established a well-worn aesthetic and stuck to it over a consistent set of beats without using his voice and cadence as crutches. That was enough for me in 2007 and five years later, I’ll happily declare that project a classic. Come yell at me on Twitter if you feel like it. I don’t care. Shit’s dope.
Return of the Mac didn’t spark an artistic renaissance, but it at least provided a road map for what we could expect from Heavy Metal P in the future. In other words, it was great enough to allow me (and others) to accept the newest version of Prodigy without constantly bitching about the fact that he’d lost a step. Most of the stuff we’ve heard since 2007 has been acceptable, but honestly, nothing he’s done in the interim (and yes, jail, I know) has approached Return of the Mac heights, to say nothing of P’s murderous/top 5 dead or alive run between 1994 and 2000. Yes, I really think that. Fight me.
When you combine that with Mobb Deep’s relative dormancy (the best things about that Black Cocaine EP were the Nas verses) to the “unpleasantness” between Havoc and P earlier this year (that’s all I’m saying about that) and I was THIS CLOSE to muting Prodigy again. Then I watched/heard this shit. Thank you Based Gawd. I suppose the subject matter helps, given the rumors emanating out of the aforementioned unpleasantness, but the subject matter is easily the least interesting thing about this song.
There’s the production by Ty Fyffe – gully, but far from dated. Oh and it’s good. Then there’s Prodigy employing a variety of flows throughout the track – especially on the 2nd verse. Best of all is the energy on display here – Prodigy sounds interested and that’s usually half the battle for post-Summer Jam P.
I still have to get over the weird fact that Wiz Khalifa, T.I. and one of the guys from Day 26 are going to be on HNIC 3, but once I’m done with that I might be able to muster some genuine excitement for this project. HNIC 2 sucked. Just wanted to get that out there in the most abrupt manner possible. Now back to the matter at hand. The track listing reveals two Alchemist tracks to start the project, so I’m pretty sure I like three songs already.
You know what? I’m already pretty psyched about this shit. Fuck it. I call myself “Mobbdeen” on the innernets. I should really just engage in my Mobb stanning with zero reservations. Seriously. P and Hav made The Infamous, Hell On Earth, AND Murda Muzik. They’ve earned my undying loyalty. But I’ll chill for now. No one likes an obvious stan.
Upon further reflection, I’m beginning to suspect that the thing I like most about this song is the overly dramatic and well produced video. This video has inspired me to change my ultimate life goal – now I aim to fanute a broad (just one for me – I’m no glutton) that’s as loyal as both of Prodigy’s. I’d sleep better at night knowing that I had a woman so gangsta and loyal – not to mention pretty.
Yep. That’s it. Baby steps…
MP3: Prodigy – “Pretty Thug” (Left-Click)