Prodigy: Exit Wounds
Days away from his imprisonment at a still unknown facility, Prodigy delved into the circumstances surrounding the case and his recent outburst of creativity. In addition to recording and shooting videos for his album H.N.I.C. 2, the hard-working rapper has also created a social networking site where he interacts with grateful Mobb Deep fans and a few haters who are suspiciously invested in his every move. On the website [click here], which is named after his new album, Prodigy has penned blog entries about his case, Mobb Deeps venerable legacy, and his approach to dropping knowledge in the music.
Now more than ever, Prodigy is intent on spreading the mathematics to his fans around the world. If all goes as planned, P will be making the most of his time behind bars and trying for an early release. But in spite of his stoic stance, Prodigys voice conveyed weariness.
HipHopDX: January 9th is coming up real fast, whats on your mind?
Prodigy: Basically Im just working hard on the album, making sure its real, real, real extra stupid tight as it possibly could be to the very end, thats all Im doing.
DX: Youre doing videos for all the songs on H.N.I.C. 2, have you been the one coming up with the concepts like the one from the ABC video?
P: Yeah, definitely. Its been me with the help of [video director] Dan the Man, we sit down and work together. But I basically tell him what to do to make it crazy. I want people to say, What the fuck is wrong with P! I want people to be like, Yo, this nigga is crazy! He smoking crack! And when I tell him that, he says, Aight, I know what you talking about, you want it to look like some rock n roll, horror shit. And then we just come up with some crazy shit.
DX: Has the news of your bid had an influence on those videos for H.N.I.C. 2?
P: Nah, basically thats just me, Im just being myself. The whole case of me getting locked up is not affecting it. But Im definitely putting a lot of it into the album. You will hear me bring it up, but nah, Im just really being myself. If I didnt have the case, I would be doing this anyway.
DX: Youve been pretty fearless for airing out the DTs and ATF agents for the illegal search and their attempts to get you to set up 50 Cent. Are you at all concerned about how they might retaliate for all the things youre exposing?
P: Am I supposed to be scared of this government? People are not supposed to be scared about the government. People are supposed to be able to talk about whats going on. People are supposed to be able to voice their opinions about whats happening in their life and in the community and the world. Thats a constitutional right: freedom of speech. So I can say what the fuck I want to say, Im talking about whats going on. They lied in court, they tried to make me set 50 up. Im voicing my reality and whats really happening in my life, Im letting it be known. Im supposed to be scared? Hell no Im not going to be scared. What they gonna do to me? I dont give a fuck what they think they can do, they dont scare me. They shot our leaders in the past, so I dont give a fuck really if they try to kill me, or whatever they try to do. It really doesnt matter to me, Ima always just be me and Ima always speak my mind and exercise my constitutional rights all the time, every time.
DX: It seems crazy that they were actually asking you to plant something and incriminate 50 without having anything on him. Were they literally trying to get you to set something up out of nothing?
P: Thats what it was, they were trying to get me to plant evidence in his car and all kinds of other shit, its real. They were saying you know well rip up your arrest report, well let you and your man walk, forget about everything, nobody has to know. This is what they really do. Cops is foul in New York and a lot of other places, all over the world cops is foul. They killed Sean Bell in the car in Queens, shot at my peoples. They aint have no guns on them, they had their hands out the window screaming, I aint got no weapons! and the cops is still shooting at them. What kind of shit is that?
DX: Do you think the Hip Hop task force was trailing you in particular because of your affiliation with G-Unit?
P: They told me that! One day they pulled me over and said, "Get used to seeing us, weve been assigned to you." [But] theyve been investigating us since 1992, if you read Derek Parkers book The Hip Hop Cop [Notorious C.O.P. : The Inside Story of the Tupac, Biggie, and Jam Master Jay Investigations from the NYPDs first Hip-Hop Cop] youll see that.
DX: A lot of other rappers have been hit with some gun charges recently, but you dont hear them airing out the circumstances like you have, why do you think that is?
P: They probably scared, they not rebels. Prodigy is a rebel, thats always been the difference between Prodigy and all these other rappers. Thats what I bring to the table, I speak my mind. I dont never give a fuck, and thats what it is.
DX: What has 50 said about your situation?
P: 50 is always behind us, he love us. Anything that happen, hes always concerned and he always behind us. So thats where he stand, thats his position.
DX: Did he have any reaction when you said the authorities tried to get you to set him up?
P: Yeah, he was basically like, Wow, good looking for telling me, word. He aint say Good looking for not doing that shit, but he already know that. I know its good looking nigga, we dont fuckin snitch on each other, we dont set each other up. What kind of shit is that?
DX: What do you think your chances are of getting out early?
P: I mean anybody can get out early with the good time. You just gotta make sure you dont get into trouble in there and you dont get caught smoking or no dumb shit. You just gotta stay focused, try to get a job cause once you try to get a job in there and get yourself involved in a little program they got in there, thats how you get out early. Some people dont do that when they in jail, they dont get involved with certain things. They probably dont know about it, I dont know. Thats where my focus is at, getting involved with shit like that.
DX: Do you think everything youve been saying about the authorities could have any effect on you not getting out early or having a fair trial?
P: I mean I have to be given a fair trial, if not its going to be known. The world is going to know that P is locked up and they not giving him a fair trial. They better give me a fair trial, there will be a lot of people that are mad if they dont do that.
DX: Is it true that youre not getting special treatment with your health situation?
P: Im definitely getting special treatment, because if they put me in a facility that cant treat sickle cell, then I can sue the state. So they gotta make sure they put me in a facility that can handle that.
DX: How are you coping with the stress?
P: Basically Im not even stressed right now; Im just working hard. I enjoy working; I work hard everyday anyway, so this is nothing new for me.
DX: A YouTube video of you teaching your seven year-old son how to shoot a gun the same way your father taught you has circulated recently, how have you been preparing your kids for this bid?
P: Well the footage where Im showing my son shooting a gun, thats probably like four, five years old. I put that out on the Infamous Allegiance DVD and I guess it just started getting popular now. When I did that, I own a shotgun in my house and its registered and its legal. So the store where I bought it from, they asked me if I had kids and they said if you have kids in the house, you should teach them how to shoot the gun so they wont be curious about it, so they respect the power of the gun and they know not to play with that shit. Cause if you dont teach them, theyll fuck around with it and thats how accidents happen. So thats why I did that. You gotta do that if you have kids in the house. So when he turned seven, I said, What you want for your birthday? and he said, Teach me how to shoot a gun, I was like, Aight, cool. So I took him to the same place where I bought the gun at, and they got a range in there. Everything was proper- he had the goggles on, the head gear, and I had to put him up on the chair and I had to hold him by the waist just in case it was it was too powerful for him. But he did it, his first shot was the head shot, so the little kid can hold it down. And thats important for me to have something like that in the house, because Im dealing with a lot of jealousy and you never know. Niggas be getting killed and things be happening, so I gotta protect myself and its my constitutional right to own a gun in my house.
DX: You mentioned the book Behold a Pale White Horse as one that had a big influence on your thinking, but it seems to be pretty obscure. What is it about?
P: That book was written back in the days, I had read that like my first year of high school, [the author's] name is William Cooper. Its basically about the secret government and the things that they try to do with propaganda and disease, different shit they try to do to control the world and the one world order. Its just about the real shit thats going on right now on this Earth, and theres nothing we can do about it. But you can be aware, and by us being aware thats going to spark the seed of the people thats going change the world later on. But right now its going down, you cant do nothing about it. But people need to definitely wake up and see whats going on around us, so we can brace ourselves better when it does happen.
DX: You talk in the bio entry on your blog about how youve been mixing the medicine with the food in your music since H.N.I.C., but does your jail sentence make you emphasize the knowledge more?
P: Yeah I mean Im just putting it out there now, cause I feel now is the time to put everything that I learned out there, sharing my information and my experiences with the world. Certain things happened in this world that just make people think differently, like 9/11. And certain foul shit that happens that wake people up and make people think differently. Theres a time for everything, now is the time everyone needs to see whats going on. Its not really hard to tell, once you start digging deep instead of just scratching the surface.
DX: Rap audiences are notoriously fickle. Do you worry about being forgotten while youre doing your bid?
P: Nah, I aint worried about a fickle rap audience, because our audience is different. The audience that we bring to the table; they always there. We got the hood, they always there for us, they know what time it is. Just like we need them, they need that Mobb Deep, they need that P.
DX: A lot of the fans seem really loyal reading the blog, what have you gotten out of that experience of doing the social networking site?
P: Its good to hear what theyre saying and answer their questions, because they going off speculation and deception and different things. They dont really know, so I can just tell them whats real.
DX: A lot of fans are disappointed about Mobb affiliates like Big Noyd not being on the album, how do you feel about those opinions?
P: I mean its cool. Thats how they feel, thats how they feel.
DX: You made some noise with that "Gay-Z" comment, whats behind the renewed hostility towards Jay-Z?
P: I always talked shit about him because I feel like he a bitch ass nigga for saying that line in a song since day one. But I put our differences to the side so I could handle the Sam Scarfo project that he was doing, 'cause Sam was the first person he signed to Def Jam when he became president. We thought it was a project that was going to go down and thats our people, so we got involved with that. We had a meeting with Jay-Z and we didnt talk about none of that bullshit, we just talked straight business. That didnt really work out, so it is what it is basically.
DX: Youve gone the indie route on your solo projects, so to what extent is the G-Unit affiliation helping your career in terms of album releases?
P: My solo album is on an indie, Voxonic thats what we doing right now. Thats how we got our deal over there, Fif looked out for us. So we able to get our money at G-Unit with Mobb Deep, and we able to get our independent money at the same time.
DX: How did you feel when 50 said Koch is a graveyard, did you take that personally?
P: Nah, cause I started that Koch is a graveyard shit, cause its like a mixtape company.
DX: Now with the Voxonic deal, your voice will be recorded in over 1,400 languages. What does it sound like to hear yourself rapping in all those different languages?
P: All I could say is its amazing. The future is here, its about to go down.
DX: Youve talked about an autobiography you plan on finishing while youre locked up, what sort of things have you been putting in there?
P: Im just letting everybody know my whole life since I was a kid and how I grew up, and my experiences with Mobb Deep and my solo career, the record business and all the touring around the world. Its a pretty interesting book, because the time we came up was an ill time in rap, around 95 when our second album The Infamous came out. The whole sound that we put out there changed the game. [Along with] Biggie and Nas and Wu-Tang, we shifted the game. So its just an ill time back then. To be able to put a book out about it is better than a two, three minute song, because I can really sit there and explain for you certain shit that youll never get in the song.
DX: So what will you be spending these last few days doing before you have to go in?
P: These last few days just work, work, work till the very end. Ima be working till they put the cuffs on me.