Iconic rapper Prodigy of Mobb Deep just passed a couple of day ago, and the debate has already begun. The question is, Where does Prodigy rank among hip hop’s top lyricist?” I know it is a tough question with many answers and so many emcees to choose from. I think the majority of hip hop heads top four is Biggie, Tupac, Nas, and Jay Z. From there the list can go anywhere, it’s just a matter of opinion.
Mobb Deep itself was one of the duo’s responsible for bringing New York rap back on the map in the mid 90s’. They helped forge a sound rough, rugged and raw of New York street rap over thumping beats.
The duo gave us street anthems, not just songs. Mobb Deep painted a grim picture through lyrics of life in the projects.
First you have to look at Prodigy’s overall body of work, as a duo they had three classic successful albums, “The Infamous” (1995), “Hell on Earth” (1996), and, “Murda Muzik” (1999). The Infamous album is full of timeless records such “Shook Ones (Part II)”, “Survival of the Fittest” “Temperature’s Rising”, and “Give Up the Goods (Just Step)”.
The Hell on Earth album produced hit singles “Drop a Gem on ’em” and “Front Lines (Hell on Earth)”
Murda Musik had its fair share of gems “Quiet Storm” “Quiet Storm (remix)” “It’s Mine”. These three albums by themselves became more than just underground classics.
Also you have to take in account Prodigy’s solo albums H.N.I.C. (2000), Return of the Mac (2007), H.N.I.C. Pt. 2 (2008), H.N.I.C. 3 (2009), and Albert Einstein (2013). The Alchemist was the frequent collaborator as the producer on the albums. One can argue H.N.I.C. Pt. 2, H.N.I.C. 3 were underground gems you can appreciate.
I think later on Prodigy was over looked or slept on, but real hip hop heads new he had fire on his tongue. He may have passed away to soon, but left a great catalog of music. Most rappers now are just one hit wonders but Prodigy’s music will stand the test of time.
Where would you rank him?