R.I.P Dun: Prodigy of Mobb Deep Dies

One of my favorite rappers of all time died today and I don’t know where to begin. I got the text from my bro, J.R. Bang that simply read “Prodigy Dead?!” My only response at the time was “Ni** What!?” Mind you I’m driving and this wasn’t the safest thing to be doing in the first place. Then he shares with me the IG post from Nas. Then I knew the unfortunate reality was setting in. Soon many other legends and respected people in the industry and TMZ would confirm the unfortunate news. Pee was gone.

It’s crazy to say that. Cause of death is said to be due to complications with Sickle Cell Anemia. A battle that has been long and hard for Pee whether under the influence or clean. Prodigy was 42 years old.

Prodigy and Mobb Deep in general are one of my greatest influences on how I listen to hip-hop. I remember my mind being blown away when I heard the Infamous album. No, I don’t own a copy of Juvenile Hell, but with my introduction being “Shook Ones Part II”, I’ve been an instant and consistent fan ever since.

This isn’t prisoner of the moment or mourning talk for me. I’ve said this on other platforms before. You can make the argument that from 1995-2001, Prodigy earned a spot on every rap fans top 5 with just bars and excluding nobody. Without any reaches, I don’t know 5-10 other rappers that have as many Iconic intros and verses that you can start off with one line and a true hip-hop crowd can finish the verse. Here are just a few examples.

 

I got you stuck off the realness…
There’s a war going on outside no man is safe from…
Ayo Queens get the money long time no cash…
I put my lifetime in between the papers lines…
I break bread, ribs hundred dollar bills….

That just 5 and most of them are from 1 album. Those are the one the surface fans know and love most. The true fans will finish when you say.

Yo, it’s the P E Double Push a Lex bubble in the winter…
Life is a gamble we scramble for money…
Yo, The saga begins, Begin War…

Listen. I could do this all month. Maybe I’m a super fan and I lost you on some of this. I’m just genuinely hurt by the passing of Prodigy. Even though I was very critical of everything after America’s Nightmare and Return of The Mac with Alchemist; I can’t deny that Mobb Deep is one of the greatest tandems/groups to ever enter the rap game. There will never be another Mobb Deep and their impact is like none other in hip-hop.

Rapper’s aren’t even allowed to rap like Prodigy did coming up, nor could they paint the picture quite like Pee. The “rap beefs” with Jay, Nas, Pac, Keith Murray, Tru Life and Joe Budden may not have been great lyrical moments. It also may be the only moments younger fans may know or even care about. What I would recommend is doing your Googles on who Prodigy is and what Mobb Deep means to the Queens borough as well as hip-hop. So many Iconic quotes, styles and sounds. They are true originators to a lot of things you love and you probably don’t even know it.


Nas kicks the doors further open for a new Queens movement . Mobb Deep gets in mainstream. That opens the door for a Cormega when he comes home. A Nature, a Capone N Noreaga, and a L.O.X. It gives life to an Alchemist production style and makes a DMX take it even further when that grimy era of rap makes it back to the forefront. It helps create an energy of a 50 Cent and G-Unit, then revamps and inspires a Joey Bada$$ and a A$AP Mob. Mobb Deep are staples in the “Golden Era of Hip-Hop”. The 90’s sound different without Prodigy and Havoc.

I don’t care what you like. If you do rap music, Prodigy and Havoc have influenced you. Murda Muzik is what it is and spelled how it’s spelt because of Mobb Deep. Mob is spelled “Mobb” because of the duo. I don’t remember “Dun” “Dark production” or Army Suits and bandana’s being extremely popular outside of New York before Mobb Deep hit the scene. Things like that are what make Legends, Icons, Pioneers and G.O.A.T’s in the world of hip-hop.

R.I.P. Prodigy! One of the most underrated contributors to the world of hip-hop.

Yo, I’m finished with what I had to say. Y’all can continue on…
– Prodigy

Be Safe. Be Humble. Live Hip-Hop.

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