Posts tagged "Prodigy"

Prodigy Tosses The Cartoon Dice And Takes His Chances In Our Worst Album Cover Of The Year Race

hnic2-cvr.jpg

The cluttered cover of soon-to-be-incarcerated Mobb Deep member Prodigy’s sequel to 2000′s H.N.I.C. is a Where’s Waldo-style mural of the myriad reasons the Queensbridge MC is a target for hip hop cops and the fashion police alike: pills, needles, gambling, and bizarre asymmetrical jackets with black and white stripes on one side, and red zig zags on the other.

Prodigy: Laid Up In The Hospital Or “Getting That Show Bread”?

AP060329027431.jpgRapper Prodigy was granted yet another reprieve in beginning his 3 1/2 year jail bid for gun possession yesterday. His lawyer, Irving Cohen, claimed that severe lung pain had landed the Mobb Deep member (who suffers from sickle cell anemia) in the hospital, and that his client might also be looking at hip replacement surgery in the near future. But a day after he was supposedly admitted, Prodigy posted a message on his blog claiming he was in as robust health as could be expected given his condition. Oh and he was definitely not hospitalized on Tuesday, repudiating his own defense team. This should make for a fun chat at that next lawyer-client working brunch.

Prodigy wrote: “Who cares what they say, they say a lot. Spell/ pronounce my name right when it’s time … I did Connecticut twice in a row, B.B. King’s in New York, then Boston, Albany and New Hampshire. So I don’t know why they wanna say I’m sick in the hospital. I’m very good, getting that show bread.”

Well, “they” possibly might want to say that to keep you out of jail, even if only for one more week. It’s kind of “their” job. Still, Prodigy’s management backs up the rapper’s claim that he’s been out on the touring circuit rather than stuck in a hospital bed, while Mr. Cohen has remained mum on the issue for the time being. And whether he’s currently illin’ or not, Prodigy is still set to begin his sentence next Wednesday.

Mobb Deep’s Prodigy Claims He Wasn’t Hospitalized [MTV; Photo: AP]

AP060329027431.jpgThe start of Prodigy’s 3 1/2-year jail term for gun possession has been delayed by at least another week because the Mobb Deep member was hospitalized yesterday after developing complications from his sickle cell anemia. According to Prodigy’s lawyer, Irving Cohen, he’s suffering from severe lung pain and may need a hip replacement; Cohen referred to Prodigy’s current health troubles as a “severe situation.” [Page Six via Nah Right / Photo: AP]

Can Hip-Hop Still Be Artistically Viable When It’s Getting Spanked By The Arcade Fire Sales-wise?

turftalk.jpgAs a way of profiling three artists who made three solid hip-hop albums this year–Turf Talk, Prodigy, and Project Pat–the New York Times‘ Kelefa Sanneh has written another entry in the “hip-hop: possibly dead, definitely changing” trend piece parade. The reasons, in case you’ve been otherwise occupied: sales are in the crapper, hip-hop sales are really in the crapper, one-hit ringtones rule, albums by former backpack outliers are (shockingly, right?) selling better than albums by the one-hit ringtoners, and the genre’s mainstream is taking the reality of the new model harder than most thanks to its longstanding “if you’re not getting money, you ain’t shit” philosophy. The difference being, Sanneh argues, that the rappers themselves are (sometimes) finally realizing the need to scale back their ambitions and “keep grinding” on the indie circuit. But what if hip-hop’s multitudes can’t be contained by the indie circuit alone? What if the genre needs the money men to foster creativity? What the underground needs the promise of the giant gold tank to keep that grind rolling?

Under-the-radar releases, weird tour schedules, modest sales figures: none of this is new. The success of Southern hip-hop in the last decade was built on a foundation of independent and independent-minded rappers, many of whom worked with the scrappy regional distributor Southwest Wholesale, which is now closed, like many of the little shops it used to serve. In an earlier era these regional scenes were farm teams for the industry, grooming the top players and then sending them up to the big leagues. But what if there are no big leagues anymore? What if there’s no major label willing or able to help Turf Talk get his platinum plaque? Would his next album sound as brash? Will his musical descendants be as motivated? The mainstream hip-hop industry relies on a thriving underground, but isn’t the reverse also true?
Eventually, a (new?) group of executives will find a business model that doesn’t depend on shiny plastic discs, or digital tracks bundled together to approximate them. But for now the major league is starting to look a lot like the minor one. And in ways good and bad and utterly unpredictable, rappers may have to reconsider their place in the universe, and their audience. Some will redouble their commitment to nonsense, like Project Pat. Some will wallow in their misery, like Prodigy. Some will merely revel in their own loudmouthiness, like Turf Talk, hoping someone will pay attention. But if sales keep falling, more and more rappers will have to face the fact that they aren’t addressing a crowd, just a sliver of one.

Well the second graf kinda undercuts the questions raised in the first by basically chalking up the future of the biz to “who knows,” which is probably sensible response at this point and the major headache/obstacle in writing any state-of-the-industry article these days. But the one thing Sanneh’s article ignores almost entirely is the hip-hop underground that never saw itself as a “farm team” for the industry but as a refusenik/D.I.Y. wing of the genre itself, a market smaller than that mixtapes-to-riches model that folks like Project Pat and Turf Talk once followed but even more tenacious and unlikely to abandon hip-hop for accounting when sales dip below 25,000. Cross-genre comparisons are always imperfect, especially given the whole “who knows” aspect, but if the major-label market for Daughtries dried up tomorrow, it’s unlikely rock’s underground would suddenly decide the genre was creatively bankrupt, just as it’s unlikely their rap peers will either. And if there’s a possibility that the lack of renumeration means Turf Talk’s “musical desecendants” be less “motivated” or “brash,” there’s also the possibility they will take the genre further out aesthetically, become even more committed to producing interesting (if commercially unviable) regional variations, or (less excitingly) find a way to mimic the stagnant post-gangsta landscape on a smaller scale. Or perhaps ringles or the killer comet will mess up everything up even further. Who knows!

The Shrinking Market Is Changing The Face Of Hip-Hop [New York Times]

Did The Five-Oh Attempt To Frame 50 Cent?

50.jpgIt’s gotta suck to be the guy who made one of the year’s only rap albums worth listening to from beginning to end and to also be going away for a weapons charge. No, I don’t mean T.I. I’m talking about Prodigy from Mobb Deep, whose stark, retro-leaning Return Of The Mac is (yeah, I’m gonna say it) the year’s only truly essential hip-hop long-player, proving that sometimes even a (tangentially) G-Unit affilliated rapper can turn out a winner. But now Prodigy tells XXL that he could have avoided jail time by fingering his pal 50.

P went on to urge listeners to invest in cameras and other surveillance equipment for their vehicles in order to protect themselves from what he sees as a recent increase in racial profiling. He even went so far as to claim that New York cops offered him a chance to setup 50 Cent in exchange for exoneration on his own charges. “They were actually trying to get me to plant evidence in his car,” he explained. “They wanted me to put drugs or guns in his car.”

‘Course there’s nothing to back up Prodigy’s claim, but those hip-hop coppers have a shady enough history that any wild accusation seems within the realm of possibility. If they existed. Which of course they don’t. Right? You can also listen to the full interview with P here.

Prodigy Speaks On Prison Sentence [XXL]
Guess Prodigy Didn’t Read These Signs… [Pardon Me Duke]

Leak Of The Day: Ghostface And Prodigy Recount Their Medical Histories

DJ Green Lantern has a new mixtape out, and it’s got a star-studded cast, with verses by the likes of Nas, Mike Jones, and Redman, as well as the obligatory Lil Wayne appearance. Nah Right has posted a Jay-Z freestyle from the mix (UPDATE: the whole tape is now up there), but we’re pretty into the downbeat “Trials Of Life,” where Ghostface and Prodigy drop verses about the health problems they’ve had to work through:

Ghostface and Prodigy – Trials Of Life [MP3, link expired; via Nah Right]
DJ Green Lantern – Sirius Invasion [mixtapekings.com]