Prodigy Reviews

Prodigy & Alchemist – Albert Einstein album review

There’s a lot to be said for the producer-artist dynamic in Hip-Hop. Mind you this is the era where anyone can be a “producer” and anyone can be a “rapper”, and that inconvenient convenience saturates the game. The chemistry between an MC and Producer who know each others’ ins and outs is sorely lacking and should be appreciated in it’s few instances. Where “Rapper ____” and 8 different producers on one project fail, Prodigy and Alchemist have delivered together for years now.

Even though Prodigy may not be at his 1990s height lyrically, he’s managed to carve out a nice second (and third) act as an underground stalwart rhyming over the grimy soundscape of a producer seemingly molded in part by the original Mobb Deep catalog. Funny how that works. Between tracks on Prodigy’s classic HNIC, various other moments and 2006’s unheralded Return of the Mac, when the two get together it’s as close to the gritty glory of the 1990s as many artists old or young get.

That dynamic is intact on Albert Einstein, which may be their best collaboration yet. Riding the wave of Alchemist’s unprecedented run of collaboration projects, he helps Prodigy create a project with direct elements of New Yitty’s dark roots, that still manages to push the boundaries of that original format.

The album comes in at 16 tracks but manages to feel like even more with Alchemist’s deeply layered, shape shifting beats. It’s an album that manages to be tightly sinister and cloudy at varying moments and still sound cohesive. It can be boundlessly imaginative (the standout “Bible Paper”) and loop focused (“Give Em Hell”) and works together to sonically channel the dark New York streets.

Prodigy sounds re-invigorated after an HNIC project that was criticized for too many commercial excursions. It’s as if he’s resolved to ride the last chapters of his career like the first: brutishly callous and menacing as ever. While not as lyrically dexterous or energetic with his delivery as past projects, his knack for telling the QB narrative is still intact. He’s mastered living within his liquor soaked world of ghetto paranoia, challenging all comers on and delivering vivid lines like “throw him in the acid and get rid of the gooey mess.”

This is the perfect example of chemistry working to the fullest degree. Though Prodigy is no longer a lyrical wunderkind, he has the veteran’s sense of what he wants to do with a record and Alchemist’s otherwordly production picks up the slack in ways the average producer wouldn’t be able to. The features (from Raekwon to Action Bronson to Havoc) contribute seamlessly because of familiarity with Prodigy and/or Alchemist. Everyone involved is familiar with the soundscape they entered and collectively made a well put together album.


Prodigy – H.N.I.C. 3 album review

Prodigy, half of Queensbridge duo, Mobb Deep, releases his third installment of the H.N.I.C. series, H.N.I.C. 3. This album features Wiz Khalifa, T.I., Willie Taylor of Day26 and Havoc. This album is strange, and awkward. P’s lyrics seem to be constructed lazily, and his lyrical content strays very far from what we have known him for. Moreover, the production is generally snooze-worthy. The end result is something that should have never seen the light of day.

After spending time in prison, Prodigy changed his lyrical style from his formerly intricate and cleverly delivered rhyme structures, to a generally non-rhyming scheme. P definitely gives us a taste of the latter in this release, which at times, is very comedic (in a bad way).

Lyrical content is the primary source of my criticism. We know Prodigy as the “hardcore” Queens rapper that helped to bless the game with albums such as Hell on Earth, The Infamous, and Murda Muzik. These are what we know P and the M-O-B-B for—rather, P delivers multiple love songs over sappy beats. This is not the lane he should be exploring so late in his career.

There are few, if any, notable tracks on this album. “Get Money” offers a catchy club-banger track, but one which cannot possibly save such a poor album.

H.N.I.C. 3 sounds like a sell-out project. Love songs and terrible lyrics on top of boring production is a combination that should be avoided at all costs. It is a disappointing result, especially from a rapper that has proven to be so capable, even in the late H.N.I.C. 1 and 2. Easily one of the worst albums this year– a real chore to get through.

Diplomats/Dipset Press Releases Tour Dates Wu-Tang Clan

Red Bull Music Academy World Tour – New York “Celebrating The Boroughs’ Most Iconic Hip Hop Albums” with Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Slick Rick, Black Moon, Big Daddy Kane, The Diplomats & Vado

Red Bull Music Academy World Tour – New York “Celebrating The Boroughs’ Most Iconic Hip Hop Albums” with Wu Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Slick Rick, Black Moon,
Big Daddy Kane, The Diplomats & Vado

Over the course of five days, five classic albums from the five boroughs of New York City will be revisited in discussions and workshops throughout New York City. From September 25 – 30 Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island and Manhattan will be the landing spots for each lecture and performance that will pay homage to arguably the most influential youth culture of our time – Hip Hop – right where it all began. At night, the artists will re-create their seminal work for a concert, bridging the gap from old to new school hip-hop.

Red Bull Music Academy has embarked on a World Tour going straight to the heart of today’s most crucial musical movements, and taking listeners beyond the beat. New York City is one of 10 groundbreaking celebrations and explorations around the globe that will feature signature concerts, workshops, art installations, studio sessions and parties in extraordinary locations.

Below is a list of the venues, dates, facilitators and performers for each borough.

QUEENS – Sun, Sep 25 featuring Mobb Deep’s ‘The Infamous’
Queens, birthplace of hip-hop pioneers such as MC Shan, LL Cool J, Nas, Run DMC and A Tribe Called Quest, will be the first borough focus for the Red Bull Music Academy World Tour. “The Infamous,” Mobb Deep’s magnum opus, is still one of the most influential pieces of work to come out of the 90s hip-hop movement and was instrumental in putting the Queensbridge Housing Projects back on the map.

In Conversation with Mobb Deep – The Making of ‘The Infamous’
Performance with Mobb Deep & Lloyd Banks & Mobb Deep
Webster Hall – 125 E 11th St. New York, NY 10003-5301

BRONX – Tue, Sep 27 featuring Slick Rick’s “The Great Adventures Of…”
Slick Rick’s “The Great Adventures Of…” has clearly stood the test of time as a classic body of work. Tracks “Children’s Story” and “Mona Lisa” are two of the most recognizable songs of all time and Rick’s music has been covered by fellow hip-hop heavyweights like Nas and Black Star.

In Conversation with Slick Rick & D-Nice – The Making of ‘The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick’
430pm Doors

Performance with Slick Rick – 8pm Doors, 9pm Show
Paradise Theater – 2403 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10468 – Tix $10,

STATEN ISLAND – Wed, Sep 28 featuring Wu-Tang Clan’s “Enter the 36 Chambers”
The Wu-Tang Clan effectively bum rushed the hip-hop industry with a debut album that not only put Staten Island on the map but revolutionized the concept of a crew album as all members of the Wu followed “Enter the 36 Chambers” with classic solo albums.

In Conversation with Wu-Tang Clan – The Making of ’36 Chambers’
430pm Doors

Performance with Wu-Tang (Masta Killa, GZA, Raekwon the Chef, U-God, Ghostface Killah) – 8pm Doors, 9pm Show
Eve Ultra Lounge – 2354 Arthur Kill Rd. Staten Island, NY. 10309 – Tix $15,

BROOKLYN – Thu, Sep 29 featuring Black Moon’s “Enta the Stage”
Black Moon’s “Enta the Stage” marked the birth of the Boot Camp Clik, a Brooklyn based crew who would emerge as one of the top independent hip-hop labels of all time. “Who Got the Props?,” “I Got Cha Opin” and “How Many Emcees?” remain some of the most revered tracks of all time in New York’s deep hip-hop history.

In Conversation with Black Moon & Dru Ha – The Making of ‘Enta Da Stage’
430pm Doors

Performance with Black Moon and Big Daddy Kane – 8pm Doors, 9pm Show
South Paw – 125 Fifth Ave. (St Johns + Sterling) Brooklyn, NY 11217 – Tix $10,

MANHATTAN – Fri, Sep 30 featuring The Diplomats’ “Diplomatic Immunity”
The Dipset Crew/Diplomats sprung to life off of the success of founding member Cam’ron and his Confessions of Fire album. The Dipset truly emerged as a crew after introducing a young Juelz Santana on Cam’ron’s third album “Come Home With Me.” It was only a matter of time before Juelz, Cam and Jim Jones would orchestrate “Diplomatic Immunity,” the Diplomats’ first crew album.

In Conversation with The Diplomats – The Making of ‘Diplomatic Immunity’
430pm Doors
Harlem School of Arts – 645 St. Nicholas Ave., New York, NY 10030

Performance with The Diplomats & Vado – 8pm Doors, 9pm Show
Best Buy Theater – 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 – Tix $20,

About Red Bull Music Academy
The Red Bull Music Academy World Tour serves as a lead up to the 14th edition of the annual Red Bull Music Academy, which will be held in Madrid, October – November 2011. Other stops on the World Tour include Berlin, Cape Town, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Rome, São Paulo and Toronto. Each event will highlight elements of the Red Bull Music Academy experience on a unique journey through sound. Encouraging DIY initiatives, exploring technology, crossing generations and letting cultures clash: all the while facilitating creative exchange between music lovers around the globe.

For more than 13 years, the Red Bull Music Academy has scratched beneath the surface of the music that moves us, bringing musical masterminds from over 30 countries together for workshops, concerts and studio sessions, and investigating the intricate musical histories of each host city, as well as the overarching musical threads that unite us all.

Mobb Deep Prodigy Videos

Prodigy of Mobb Deep – The Life video

Prodigy of Mobb Deep – The Life video

From HNIC part 2, directed by DanTheMan

Prodigy can speak more than one language?

Software Morphs Rapper Prodigy Into Global Cipher
By Jenna Wortham

When Prodigy’s next album drops, it could debut in nearly 1,500 different languages without the rapper having to so much as crack a translation dictionary.

The lyrics to “H.N.I.C. Part 2” will be translated using proprietary speech-conversion software developed by Voxonic. The company says the software can deliver Prodigy’s lyrics in his own voice, in any spoken language.

“The prospect of having fans understand what I’m saying and repeat it in their language (drew me to) the company,” said Prodigy in a phone interview just before he began a jail term for illegal gun possession. “Now, fans will like more than just the beat or the rhythm. They’ll understand what I’m saying and relate to it.”

So far, one of Prodigy’s singles has been converted into Spanish, with negotiations ongoing to translate songs into German, French and Italian. The entire album, scheduled to drop March 9, could be released in any spoken language, from Urdu or Japanese to any of the 11 official languages recognized in South Africa. The music is being released by Voxonic’s Vox Music Group in partnership with AAO Music/Reality.

As voice-recognition technology improves, translation tools are being utilized from the internet to war zones — sometimes with unexpected results. Voxonic has high hopes for its application, both in the entertainment industry and beyond.

Voxonic president and avid rap music fan Arie Deutsch picked Prodigy for the project largely because of the rapper’s global appeal. One-half of the platinum-selling duo Mobb Deep, Prodigy boasts a loyal international fan base thanks to the group’s performances overseas since 1995.

“Hip-hop is a big genre internationally, but you have people around the world saying the words and not understanding them,” said Deutsch. “This will change that.”

Here’s how the Voxonic translation process works. After translating the lyrics by hand, the text is rerecorded by a professional speaker in the selected language. Proprietary software is used to extract phonemes, or basic sounds, from Prodigy’s original recording to create a voice model. The model is then applied to the spoken translation to produce the new lyrics in Prodigy’s voice.

“A 10-minute sample is all we need to imprint his voice in Spanish, Italian or any language,” said Deutsch.

Voxonic’s software is able to convert any bit of recorded text into 1,468 different languages with 99 percent accuracy, according to the company.

Peter Mahoney, vice president and general manager at Nuance, a speech technology company, said he has seen steady improvement in the accuracy of speech software over the last several years.

“Processors are getting faster and scientists are inventing better algorithms,” he said. “That allows us to do more sophisticated things that you couldn’t do before.”

Some musicologists wonder what will get lost in translation.

Mark Katz, professor of music at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of Capturing Sound: How Technology Has Changed Music, was skeptical about whether the vocally morphed tracks would remain intelligible and authentic.

“What do you do about a song like Kelis’ ‘Milkshake’?” he asked. “We all know what it means, but how would you convey that in 1,400 languages? You couldn’t, and the song wouldn’t be the same.”

H. Samy Alim, a professor of anthropology at the University of California at Los Angeles who specializes in global hip-hop culture and sociolinguistics, also doubted the newly minted songs would retain the clever wordplay and innovative rhyme schemes inherent in popular music. Alim admitted he would “love to hear what it sounds like,” but said the industry — already overflowing with multilingual artists — isn’t exactly screaming for Voxonic’s product.

“Who wants to hear a poorly translated version of their favorite American song?” he said.

Besides, he laughed, “How do you translate ‘fo shizzle’ in a way that retains its creativity and humor for a global audience?”

Prodigy said hearing his automated self rapping in another language was a surreal experience: “It’s definitely weird. But this is going to be world-changing, and it sounds incredible.”

Other applications for the technology include movie dubbing and political speeches, but Deutsch is wagering on massive international crossover appeal in the music industry. And so is Prodigy, who was recently brought on as a partner at Vox Music Group.

“I can’t wait to hear myself rap in Arabic,” he said.

Original Source

Press Releases



Queensbridge, NY—Infamous Mobb (Ty Nitty, Gambino and Godfather Pt. 3) followed the precedent established by fellow Queensbridge cohorts Mobb Deep; Mobb Deep would latter introduced the trio on “Animal Instinct/Drop A Gem On Em” from their 1996 release Hell On Earth (Infamous Mobb would also go on to guest appear on two other Mobb Deep LP’s 1999’s Murda Muzik and 2001’s Infamy and Prodigy’s solo-debut H.N.I.C.

By the time Infamous Mobb readied their 2002 debut, Special Edition, they had also gone on to appear on DJ Muggs Soul Assassins Vol. 1, Nas’ Queensbridge The Album and two subsequent releases from their Infamous cohort Big Noyd.

Infamous Mobb’s debut, Special Edition, featured extensive production work by Alchemist (who produced seven tracks), Havoc and DJ Muggs, along with appearances from Havoc, Prodigy and Screwball’s Hostyle. Infamous Mobb returned in 2004 with their sophomore LP, Blood Thicker Then Water Vol.1, which again featured the dark production of Alchemist and guest appearances from Prodigy, Big Noyd and The UN. The album was also accompanied by a bonus DVD including numerous music videos as well as in-depth interviews with various members of the “Queensbridge Sound” of which Infamous Mobb are an integral part.

Infamous Mobb makes a triumphant return to the scene in 2007 with their third dose of Reality Rap, (which will be released on 11-6-07 by Sure Shot Records) a similarly impressive album of grimy beats and street-smart raps. It took Infamous Mobb a few years to get Reality Rap ready for public consumption, as got tangled up in label dealings, but whatever the reason, the wait was worthwhile as the trio is obviously hungry here and they come across as energized throughout the album. Joining Infamous Mobb are guests such as Alchemist, Prodigy, Havoc, Erick Sermon and Big Noyd and it of course helps when you have a bevy of rap’s chief producers working alongside you as Alchemist, Havoc, Evidence and Erick Sermon all chip in to create an ominous, harsh and always banging sound template.

Tracklisting and credits for Infamous Mobb’s Reality Rap:

1.) Capital Q (produced by E Blaze)
2.) Who Can You Trust (produced by Urilius)
3.) Border Line (produced by Enrico Alexander)
4.) Betti Bye Bye (produced by Erick Sermon)
5.) Itz A Gift (produced by Steve Sola)
6.) Blauu! f/Havoc (produced by Havoc)
7.) Get It Poppin (produced by Sid Roams)
8.) Streetz Of NY f/Erick Sermon (produced by Sid Roams)
9.) Music 4 The User (produced by Evidence)
10.) We Here (U Know) (produced by A Dog)
11.) That Smell (produced by King Benny
12.) Reality Rap (produced by Alchemist)
13.) The Cypher
14.) Double El f/Big Noyd (produced by Chaze)
15.) Closer (produced by Sid Roams)
16.) Handle Ya Business f/Prodigy (produced by Steve Sola)
17.) Hustle Hard f/Alchemist (produced by Alchemist)

Infamous Mobb Interview

Havoc Mobb Deep Press Releases Videos

Havoc – I’m The Boss video

Lead-single, “I’m The Boss,” from Havoc’s solo-debut, The Kush (9-18-07),

Havoc Mobb Deep

Mobb Deep’s Havoc To Release Debut On Nature Sounds




Mobb Deep’s Havoc To Release Debut On Nature Sounds

NY, NY—–Nature Sounds Records announces the eagerly-anticipated debut, The Kush, from Mobb Deep’s Havoc.

Havoc is one half of the musical force that rap fans have to come to know and love as Mobb Deep. For the past 14-years, Havoc (along with partner Prodigy) have become one of Hip-Hop’s most influential entities and has released a string of indelible LP’s including acclaimed classics like The Infamous, Hell On Earth and Amerikaz Nightmare. To date, Mobb Deep has sold over 4 millions records.

While Havoc’s partner Prodigy has already leaped into the solo-realm, Havoc has previously not done so due to a hectic recording schedule with Mobb Deep where he has produced some of the most essential Hip-Hop tracks of the last decade (“Shook Ones Pt.2,” “Drop A Gem On Em,” “Quiet Storm,” and “The Learning” among just a handful of classics) and due to the fact that he is one of Hip-Hop’s most sought after producers (as he has previously worked with a who’s who list of artists including: Nas, Capone & Noreaga, Foxy Brown, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Mariah Carey, Lloyd Banks, The Game, Jadakiss, Lil Kim, Method Man, Notorious B.I.G., etc) as Havoc reaffirms “I was always ready (to drop a solo-album), but the reason why it took me so long is because the timing wasn’t right. I was always working on Mobb Deep material and working with other artists and I used allot of the material I was going to use for a solo-LP for Mobb Deep records.” However, that all changes with the release of Havoc’s debut, The Kush, (the prequel to his official solo-LP) on 9-18-07.

Havoc’s debut has been buzzed about for quite some time and is eagerly anticipated by the group’s fan base and fans of the duo’s hardcore brand of NY hip-hop. Over the years, Havoc’s eerily chilling production has influenced countless producers, set the bar for NYC producers and become the identity for the “Queensbridge sound.” That trend continues with The Kush, as the LP is entirely self-produced by Havoc and as he laments he’s keeping it grimy “basically, The Kush is dark and gutter, I really wanted to go that direction.”

Forsaking littering The Kush with numerous guest-appearances, Havoc choose to keep things entirely in-house and make it an all-family endeavor by design states Havoc “Besides Prodigy, I did not want a bunch of big stars on it, as it would have taken away from the real objective of the LP, which is grimy and down to earth.”

After working with virtually every big name artist in the Urban genre and creating some of the most timeless music Hip-Hop fans have had the pleasure to lay ears upon, Havoc did not need to step out of his zone to stay motivated for The Kush, as he states “the thing that keeps me motivated is just my love of music, I just love to create. The Kush represents me as an individual and my growth as a producer and lyricist.”

The Kush; another Queensbridge classic!

Tracklisting and credits for Havoc’s The Kush:

1.) NY For Life (produced by Havoc)
2.) I’m The Boss (produced by Havoc)
3.) By My Side f/40 Glocc (produced by Havoc)
4.) One Less Nigga (produced by Havoc)
5.) Ride Out f/Nyce (produced by Havoc)
6.) Balling Out f/Un Pachino (produced by Havoc)
7.) What’s Poppin Tonite (produced by Havoc)
8.) Class By Myself f/Nitti (produced by Havoc)
9.) Set Me Free f/Prodigy & Nyce (produced by Havoc)
10.) Be There (produced by Havoc)
11.) Hit Me Up f/Un Pacihno (produced by Havoc)
12.) Get Off My Dick (produced by Havoc)


Prodigy (Mobb Deep) Interview

Prodigywritten by Hugo Lunny

Mobb Deep have a legacy which few groups can compare with. Though they don’t have many hits under their belt, the group has a loyal following that has helped push their signature sound throughout the globe, allowing for a career spanning over a decade.

Times have changed, and Hip Hop can make the right person a huge amount, now, Mobb Deep have moved into that arena through joining the powerhouse that is G-Unit/Interscope and allying themselves with 50 Cent, Eminem and Dre. The duo are scheduled to release their first G-Unit affiliated record on May 2nd entitled “Blood Money.”

I spoke with Prodigy about this and other things, but, well… He didn’t say much.

Original Article