June 17, 2013

prodigy-alchemist-albert-einsteinAsk Deen about this theories of Relativity Records.

I’m too lazy to go back and find exactly what I wrote about my expectations for Prodigy and The Alchemist’s ‘Albert Einstein’, but I’m fairly certain that I said I’d probably be satisfied with the project if The Alchemist refrained from handing Prodigy those psychedelic beats he’s been obsessed with in the last few years.

I’m pleased to report that I got that and a lot more. As a matter of fact, this is easily Prodigy’s best effort since 2007’s ‘Return of the Mac‘, which, not coincidentally, was also entirely produced by The Alchemist. The difference between the two projects is that ‘Albert Einstein‘ grants Prodigy a wider sonic palette to work with, whereas ‘Return of the Mac‘ was a little more beholden to its blaxploitation theme. I recall the big joke back then, despite Prodigy’s fairly impressive performance on the project, was that the beats “carried” him. I thought that joke was unfair back then and I still feel that way, but if we accept the premise of the joke for analysis’ sake, I’d suggest that Prodigy may have finally returned the favor.

Everything about Illuminati P’s work on ‘Albert Einstein‘ is utterly impressive. I’m not going to sit here and say that he’s “back” or that he sounds as good as he did when he was arguably one of the best rappers on the planet, pre-Mobb Deep’s ‘Infamy‘, but he hasn’t sounded this good in eons. His trademark outrageous threats just sound more colorful when he sounds engaged and he sounds engaged when he’s rapping over Alchemist production. In fact, I’d suggest that Prodigy should give serious thought to never rapping over anyone else’s beats ever. Not even Havoc’s shit – if HL’s review of a Mobb Deep concert is anything to go by, Havoc still ain’t really messin with P like that, so it’s best we keep it all ALC going forward.

Prodigy doesn’t completely abandon his post-‘Infamy‘ reliance on cadence over basic rhyming, but he’s definitely incorporated more of his old self into the the verses on this project. And that’s probably because he’s essentially dealing in his stock-in-trade throughout: nihilistic shit talking and vividly cartoonish violence. On last year’s ‘HNIC 3‘, P fancied himself a ladies’ man and to put it colloquially, he basically shit the fucking bed. That shit sucked. Now that he’s back to rapping about what comes naturally to him – homicide and other assorted criminal activities – he’s rapping as if his life depends on it. At this juncture, I’d love to quote some of the shit he says, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. Gems throughout the damn tape. All over some of the best beats you’ll hear this year – even if this batch doesn’t necessarily qualify as The Alchemist’s most spectacular crop (hey, I have high standards for the guy).

So I guess what I’m saying is that… wait. I almost forgot to mention several other awesome things that you’ll hear on ‘Albert Einstein‘. There’s a ridiculously dope collaboration with Roc Marciano on ‘Death Sentence’ and if there’s truly a God above Based God we’ll hear more of that combo. Domo Genesis stops by to further his claim to being one of the best young niggas rappin today, while Havoc & Raekwon do their that shit they’ve done forever just as well as they’ve generally done it. Pause. Oh and Action Bronson stops by too and makes me wish that I could afford whatever the fuck he was smoking when he wrote his verse.

So let’s try this again. I suppose what I’m saying is that ‘Albert Einstein‘ is pretty fucking good. And I’ll admit to being biased in favor of a certain kind of rap (peep the moniker again), but I’ll go out on a limb and state that this is easily one of the best rap albums anyone will make in 2013. If you disagree, you’re sweet like bear meat.

Stream: Prodigy & Alchemist – Albert Einstein

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!