By Zilla Rocca.
Prodigy was the most fearless great rapper ever.
He threatened to have the entire state of New York aim guns at 2Pac on “Drop a Gem on Em.”
He bucked at Jay-Z at the height of the Roc.
He wrote a book in jail that flayed most of his rapper friends.
He appeared on Alex Jones’ paranoia outlet.
He dropped a brick on G-Unit.
He went through more drama than the Baldwins.
He got punched in the face by Keith Murray.
He was bumrushed by Tru Life.
He taunted the West Coast with his hook on CNN’s “LA, LA.”
His verse on “Shook Ones Part II” has been sampled 227 times according to WhoSampled.com
He was incredibly prolific—9 solo projects, 12 projects in Mobb Deep.
He was calm and nihilistic as a youth, wild and arrogant as a grown man, forever trying to make sense of the pain in his life and the control systems that chop down society.
His most famous line is about his mind being old while his heart turns cold, or it’s about stabbing a brain with a nosebone, or it’s about throwing a TV at you.
His first album with Havoc, Juvenile Hell, was a direct ripoff of Onyx, so much so that he didn’t even count it as a debut.
The second album The Infamous is pop’s jazz crates covered in Hennessy and gun powder.
The third album Hell on Earth is gun opera/murder by stained glass/rap pain shit.
The fourth album Murda Muzik was heavily bootlegged, rejiggered, and put out with even more bangers in the early days of CD-R’s.
You could make a top 5 Mobb Deep album built on songs tossed out on soundtracks for throwaway flicks like Hoodlum, Steel, In Too Deep, and Black & White.
Prodigy was timeless because he rarely referenced any pop culture.
He wrote zero punchlines.
He put on the Alchemist.
“Quiet Storm,” a song that soundtracked a million freestyle sessions and chain snatchings, was built around the bass line from “White Lines” and P’s penchant for doing things for his kids.
How many East Coast club bangers mention a father building jungle gyms behind the crib for his kids’ enjoyment?
The reaallllllll….hip hop hip hop….
Sometimes his words didn’t rhyme at all.
Mobb Deep created the Thunn/Dunn language because their friend had a speech impediment.
“Thunn” = “Son.”
He rapped about Killer Black, the brother of Havoc who was killed, much more than Havoc ever did.
He bragged about hitting the hardware store to load up on hammers before going to The Tunnel.
His shit attracted millions like the moon attracts the sea.
He was one of the scariest street rappers of all time because he was eloquent.
The killer be the soft spoken.
I never heard him yell on a record.
He read books, drank too much, and dreamed up elaborate threats.
He didn’t birth any sons because he was too eerie to replicate, too icy, too agile of a rapper to pin down.
Prodigy never wanted to be your homie—he wanted to scare you straight.
He’s one of the greatest rappers ever.
Rest well, P.