This week we suffered a major loss with the death of Mobb Deep’s Albert “Prodigy” Johnson. As one of the members of the legendary duo Prodigy was one of if not the first emcee to blatantly mention the illuminati in one of his verse on LL Cool J’s “I Shot Ya” Remix. The New York sound was personified through Prodigy via his delivery, cadence, and tone. Prodigy was a man of high intelligence and street smarts; a Hegelian dialectic. A Hegelian dialectic is an interpretive method in which the contradiction between a proposition (thesis) and its antithesis is resolved at a higher level of truth (synthesis). Having to exist in a world that contradicts itself and a society that hides the truth can drive any woman or man insane as we are naturally seekers of the truth. The truth is Hip Hop fans want to hear music with audible and cohesive lyrics despite the lack thereof in mainstream Rap music.
Jay Z has the world downloading TIDAL in preparation for the release of his next studio album allegedly titled, “4:44”. Why, because we want to hear words over beats, we want poetry, we want context, and we want Hip Hop! Why are people mourning the loss of Prodigy? Because we are going to miss hearing his words over beats, we will miss his poetry, we will miss the messages in his music, and we are missing Hip Hop on a mainstream level! I know sometimes I might sound like your Hip Hop mother when I tell you what to listen to, how to dress, go to school, and be drug free but that’s because I care about you and I care about the culture. Hip Hop Culture overall could make the world a better place but when money and corporate interest i.e. capitalism rears its ugly head we lose the integrity that the culture was built on. Rap/Hip Hop music seems to be going through an identity crisis yet the industry is acting as an enabler.
As members of the culture we have to protect Hip Hop and our own truths. Every legendary emcee that passes away doesn’t need a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the instances that lead to their death. Prodigy knew the truth, lived it, and died with it. He was secure in his legacy, his spirituality, and his manhood which is lacking in today’s Rap scene. Prodigy released his final project for which this piece is named on January of this year. He deemed the project his “magnum opus” and for that to be his final full length studio album speaks volumes. As we all await the second coming of the Golden Age of Hip Hop I suggest you seek out the truth as to why we aren’t living in it today and who is in the way of that, is it you?
“Prodigy will forever will S-H-I-N-E”- Prodigy (I Shot Ya Remix)