Thursday, February 21, 2008

He Broke Bread, Ribs, 100 Dollar Bills...

Not sure how much breaking Prodigy will be doing behind bars. After his sentencing date was pushed back due to so-called health reasons, the HNIC will begin his 3 1/2 year sentence very shortly. That gun shit might be cool on records, but damn P, you should have practiced what you preached- "rock you in your face, stab your brain with your nosebone." Take the assault charge- you'll be out in a minute.

I'd like to thank the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Edward McLaughlin for giving me some time to reflect on P's career. In recent years his hip hop prowess has declined, in part due to signing with G-Unit, as well as the changing climate of the hip hop industry. But don't get it twisted, Prodigy is responsible for some of the essential tracks in the hip hop canon. He was also a major proponent of the Dun Language movement. The Infamous places itself among the best hip hop albums ever. Shook Ones, Survival of the Fittest, Temperature's Rising, Eye For An Eye, Give Up The Goods- I should just list the entire album, because every track's a banger. I still forget Up North Trip is on there since I could only afford cassette tapes back then.

I'm always bothered when people refer to Mobb's first album as The Infamous, completely slighting Juvenile Hell. Released in 1992 on Island/4th and Broadway, many treats are present. Peer Pressure, Hit It From the Back, Locked in Spofford, Me and My Crew, and so on. The Mobb sounds young, but it sets the table for what's to come.

Hell On Earth
dropped in 1996 and continued to keep Mobb in the upper echelons of rap status. The drums on this album always irked me though- a hollowness, too drum machine sounding compared to Infamous. Regardless- Hell On Earth, Still Shinin', Drop a Gem on 'Em, G.O.D. Part III, Get Dealt With and the rest of the album can still be put into rotation and get the head bobbing. "The Saga Begins..."

1999 brought us Murda Muzik, responsible for Mobb's biggest record since Shook Ones. Quiet Storm caused a frenzy, and still does. "The P drops 40 inch cables, drink white label, my chain hang down to my dick, my piece bang glass tables." You killing them P. The remix with Lil' Kim got people even more open- the OG is better though. Also on the album were The Realest, It's Mine and one or 2 other joints worth peeping. Decent album.

Prodigy dropped his first solo album, H.N.I.C., in 2000. Keep It Thoro, responsible for the title of this post, was the lead single and that shit is one of the grimiest records that still get the ditty bop bopping. Trials of Love, Gun Play, You Can Never Feel My Pain were some of the better tracks. I recall liking the album more back then. Fuck it- still worth a listen.

dropped in 2001 to a lukewarm reception. Murda Muzik wasn't that hot and people were somewhat skeptical. Things were changing, but Mobb still brought some heat. Burn was my shit, and still is. Incorporating more R&B elements, Pray for Me, Hey Luv, and Get Away pulled it off.

I'll be honest- I stopped paying attention after that. Amerikaz Nightmare dropped in 2004 on Jive and aside from Got It Twisted, Real Gangstaz, and Win or Lose, I didn't listen to the album. The only thing going for it was that it had colored vinyl.

Mobb dropped Blood Money in 2006. Pearly Gates was the dopest track on the album but due to P's controversial lyrics, a little censoring was necessary. Guaranteed to upset the few pious individuals that frequent the site, listen to the original version HERE. Prodigy released Return of the Mac in 2007. I never heard the entire album, but dig Legends and Bang On 'Em. Produced by Alchemist, I'm sure it's worth a listen.

P and Mobb dropped a lot of other shit over the years, be it white label 12"s or cameo appearances. Some worth mentioning are Backwards, Young Love, Cop Hell, I Shot Ya Remix, L.A. L.A., The Game, Back At You, and the list goes on. Maybe I'll make a mix including all of them.

A lot of times in hip hop you're only as good as your last release. Your earlier shit becomes cloudy and people write you off. Hip hop is some fickle shit. I'm guilty of it too. When Prodigy starting fucking with 50 I don't think anybody cared. Seemed like a publicity stunt from both parties. Mobb Deep is Mobb Deep- they have no business being part of G-Unit. But who am I to critique your paper chase. Do what you got to do. Recently I've been hearing some better joints from Prodigy, Return of the Mac had some heat and H.N.I.C. 2 scheduled to drop later this year has some heaters. Who would have known Prodigy was this thoughtful.

For your listening pleasure...

You're Not Like Me & I'm Not Like You- Hosted By Prodigy


buckemdown said...

Damn homie - at least you stopped paying attention 2 albums later than I did. I'm barely familiar with HNIC, although I have the album, but after that I got nothing. Can't believe that shit was 2000 too. Wow, it's been a minute. Infamous is probably one my top 10 albums of all-time too. I found Hell on Earth an exceptionally strong Sophomore album as well. Not sure what happened after that. I think maybe after I saw how tall Prodigy was, or rather wasn't, that shit never was the same. Still dug a lot of their singles after that even. But How, you forgot to mention of P's best lines which he delivered on a freestyle he did over the "Frontin'" beat... "I call you Pharrell cause that's your name." That shit still cracks me up to this day. Fessed Jay.

dfacedxa said...

"I'm always bothered when people refer to Mobb's first album as The Infamous, completely slighting Juvenile Hell. "
yeah i feel the same way. its a lil flavor for the non believers. large pro and premo got beats on there so dont sleep.

on hell on earth "The drums on this album always irked me though- a hollowness, too drum machine sounding compared to Infamous" this i also agree with even tho i like the drums on this album better than any of the later work. The drums do have a more hollowness to them they are missing the fullness of the previous album. They switched up production setups for this album. the previous album is repeatedly stated as being done on an ensoniq eps16. not as documented is the fact they owned an akai mpc 60 that i think havoc used at home. also qtip at the time was using the mpc60 and he did drink away the pain. for hell on earth havoc switched to an mpc 2000 and i think a triton. mpc 2000 was akai's first affordable mpc built to meet the demands of the many producers that couldnt shell out for the more expensive pieces like the previous akai ensoniq and e-mu products. They fired the designer of the original mpc's and used more affordable components(convertors, screen, casing..etc) to make an mpc half the price of its predecessor. They successfully sold many more units that previous mpc's but the sound was one of the things compromised. the drums sound thinner from the machine. then on top of that they are processed more in the mixing process to overcompensate for the way the machine sounded, which can take away from the natural sound of the drums. reguardless the drums on infamous are much better sound wise . the eps n mpc60 bang much tougher for drums.

as far as albums after hell on earth i bought the two afterwards and either lost them or gave them away because i couldnt fuck wit em. i gotta go back and listen to the murda muzik joint tho, i fucks wit some of them alc instrumentals.

Sais said...

I stopped listening after the second album really but i tried to fuq with hnic but hte magic was kinda gone

HowFresh said...

Dface- good looks on that little production lesson. Now it all makes sense.