Prodigy says he was "surprised" to know Kendrick Lamar named him as one of four emcees to influence him, along with Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.
Before GQ's recent cover story of Kendrick Lamar was published by the magazine, the publication released "The Four MCs That Made Kendrick Lamar." In the article, Lamar named Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Mobb Deep's Prodigy as his four greatest influences as an emcee.
Recently, Prodigy addressed his inclusion in the article.
“I was definitely surprised because I’m a big Kendrick fan,” Prodigy says in an interview with xxlmag.com. “When his album first came out, shit I was probably the number one promoter of it in New York. I played that shit for everybody. I was telling everybody to buy that shit, making sure niggas was up on that shit. I was Tweeting about it, all that shit. I never met Kendrick before, so it was kinda mind-blowing to see that article."
In GQ's article, Lamar praises Prodigy's work and explains how much of a fan he was.
"[TDE's Dave Free and I] started recording this mixtape called Youngest Head Nigga In Charge, YHNIC," Lamar says in GQ's "The Four MCs That Made Kendrick Lamar," when discussing his early recordings. "I was a big Prodigy fan at the time. So I was really biting his style."
Prodigy released several solo albums, including 2000's H.N.I.C. and 2008's H.N.I.C. Pt. 2.
Prodigy is also a member of Mobb Deep, along with rapper-producer Havoc.
GQ's Kendrick Lamar cover story was criticized by TDE's CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith.
“This week, Kendrick Lamar was named one of GQ's 2013 Men Of The Year, an honor that should have been celebrated as a milestone in his career and for the company,” Tiffith said in a statement. “Instead, the story, written by Steve Marsh, put myself and my company in a negative light. Marsh's story was more focused on what most people would see as drama or bs. To say he was ‘surprised at our discipline’ is completely disrespectful. Instead of putting emphasis on the good that TDE has done for West Coast music, and for Hip Hop as a whole, he spoke on what most people would consider what’s wrong with Hip Hop music. Furthermore, Kendrick deserved to be accurately documented. The racial overtones, immediately reminded everyone of a time in Hip Hop that was destroyed by violence, resulting in the loss of two of our biggest stars. We would expect more from a publication with the stature and reputation that GQ has. As a result of this misrepresentation, I pulled Kendrick from his performance atGQ's annual ‘Man Of The Year’ party Tuesday, November 12th."
"Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years," Nelson says in a statement on gq.com. "That's the reason we chose to celebrate him, wrote an incredibly positive article declaring him the next King of Rap, and gave him our highest honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue. I'm not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves."