Return Of The Mac
It has been a very long time since Prodigy sounded like the emcee who spit timeless quotables like "I live my lifetime in between the paper's
lines." Post-Hell On Earth Prodigy began sounding like a shell of
his former self with very few returns to form. His tired and uninspired ways
were not helped when he and Havoc
signed to G-Unit, pissed off their
already dwindling core fan base, and released an awful album.
Prodigy has to know with Return of the Mac that he is providing a product that is just going to keep the die hard fan base at the very same table they have been sat for the last decade plus. This Koch-backed official mixtape/mini album is produced entirely by longtime collaborator Alchemist, which ultimately proves to be the saving grace.
Guns, drugs, street life and women are pretty much the staple topics which run through the veins of this album. Prodigy does little to help the complaints his delivery of this subject matter is no longer remotely creative or interesting. But with Alchemist down for production throughout, the consistent gun fire is provided with a very soulful backdrop. The seventies groove which Alchemist was definitely in while he and Prodigy made this album helps to keep things from drowning in monotony.
This album does however show the chemistry that the two have in the studio and you can't help but reminisce about Pete Rock's formula when it comes to "Down & Out in New York City." Here the Mobb's fave producer gives us a ridiculously hot but so very brief introduction to the Rotten Apple track which is equally as good to the ears as the intro was. This joint has Prodigy spitting about "shooting niggas down and cutting niggas up" blaming his "rotten apple" for the way in which he has evolved.
You can't deny the New York theme that he has running through the album. Borrowing Busta Rhymes' "New York Shit" flow on "Return of the Mac" pretty much sets the bar lyrically. He shows some respect to NY icons LL Cool J and Run DMC on "Legends." To offer an all but brief reprieve from the gun talk, and to add a lil' more New York flavor, he shouts out slain rapper E Money Bags.
Prodigy comes fairly hard on tracks like "Mac 10 Handle" but it eventually wanders into generic braggadocio. Generic is really the key word here as P does very little on his end to keep things from completely boring. ALC is really the only reason this album deserves any burn, he chops and arranges a slew of classic samples (and most definitely uncleared), like a true NYC vet. It is too bad Prodigy couldn't keep it quite as thorough.