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Jammin
04-19-2011, 01:11 AM
http://www.complex.com/music/2011/04/interview-prodigy

If Prodigy ends up being another rapper who fell off after doing a bid in jail, it wonít be because he was lazy or lacked motivation. Since being released on March 7, after serving three years for a gun possession charge, P has already locked in features on the upcoming Curren$y and Alchemist EP, Convert Coup, and Jim Jonesí new album, Capo. Heíll also be releasing an exclusive Complex-sponsored mixtape, The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP, tomorrow. If the recently leaked Mobb Deep-Nas collaboration, ĒDog Shit,Ē is any indication of where Pís at creatively, then fans should expect a healthy dose of murda muzik.

Interestingly enough, even with all these new songs on the horizon, the thing that seems to have people the most excited is Prodigyís revealing autobiography, My Infamous Life, which drops tomorrow as well. It is chock full of classic stories involving Nas, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun, Mary J. Blige, and even Lindsey Lohan. With everything going on, when Prodigy stopped by the offices last week, we took the opportunity to speak with him about his current status in regards to G-Unit, and ask about some of the wild stories from his book.

Interview by Toshitaka Kondo (@ToshitakaKondo)

Are you currently signed to G-Unit?
Yeah, basically what happened was, while I was locked up, 50 switched distributors for the G-Unit label. And thereís a clause in our contract that says if thereís no distribution for a period of time, in order to protect us, it null-and-voids the contract. I donít know how long it took him, but whatever the period of time was in between the distributors, it was enough to void our contract. That was a protection that our lawyer put in the contract for us. Itís in a lot of contracts for most artists.

Just so if thereís no distributor for a label, you donít get stuck languishing for two or three years.
Exactly. You can go get your money, elsewhere. And when that happened I was always talking to 50 the whole time while I was locked up, and I basically asked him ďHow are we going to proceed? How are we going to move forward when I get back?Ē And he was telling me he was interested in negotiating a new deal, with the new situation heís got, and I was like, ďAlright, cool.Ē Came back home, and weíre still talking about it, throwing ideas around now about how we want to do it, but as of right now weíre free agents.

Are you looking for another label situation?
Right now weíre not concerned with which label itís going to be. Weíre really concerned with making an incredible album. Like never before. To basically solidify our careers, and our legacy for the next 20 to 30 years.

Weíve been in the game for like 20, and weíve had a good run, so weíre just trying to solidify the next 20 right now. And the only way that you can do that is make sure the music is not just good, that shit has to be incredible.

One of the themes throughout the book was youíre wanting to try going independent rather than signing to a label, especially after parting ways with Loud after Infamy, while Hav didnít want to be independent. Now you have the opportunity once again to be completely independent.
We had our little differences of opinion when it came to certain things on how Mobb Deep should proceed forward after the Loud situation. And we went through our little back-and-fourth, tug-of-war situation about which way it should be, but at the end of the day we compromised with each other because it doesnít make any sense for us to be arguing. That ainít going to put no money in our pocket, so weíve got to try to think of an idea to make this work.

So thatís what we always do at the end of the day, and thatís what keeps me and Hav going so long. Compared to these other dudes, partnerships or whatever, they fall apart because of creative differences or whatever differences, but me and Havoc are different because we understand the power of our music, and the money that we make off of this shit. The importance of this shit for our families and our future.

Since youíve gotten out, how many songs would you say youíve recorded?
Weíve been working with other producers, but mostly Havoc and Alchemist. Our home team is Havoc, Al, and Sid Roams, and right now Iíve been home about a month, and weíve got about 70 songs done in that time. Weíve got a lot of fire, man.

Where have you been recording out of?
We own our studio in Queens. Weíve been going on Ustream, and actually streaming live sessions of us writing and recording. Showing people how we make our songs. The whole month Iíve been home weíve been doing that. Every now and then, not every night. Like last night we were on until seven in the morning just fucking around, working out in the studio, joking with each other, and playing songs, letting people hear all the new music that weíve got.

One of the first things I did when I came home was I contacted Nas, because me and him needed to talk because we were going through some bullshit. Little petty bullshit. So I contacted son, and he hit me back, and we talking and basically we put all the problems and the petty shit in the past, and weíre trying to move forward.

We had a real long, interesting conversation about the future and how we want to move forward with our music, just everything like that. But mostly about how we need to put our little bullshit aside, and how our music is more important than any of that bullshit that we were going through. Right away, we sent him the song ďDog ShitĒ that we had did, and he got on it, and itís coming out crazy. We did a couple of other songs with him that we havenít put out yet.

So Nas wasnít in the studio with you at the time for ďDog Shit?Ē
Nah, he was actually on tour with Ky-Mani Marley, so we sent it through the email. We did a couple other joints. Because you know, back when we were coming up, The Infamous and our early albums, that was what we did. We recorded songs with the home team, and Nas was part of the home team.

It was only right that we bring that feeling back. You can never go back to a time and try to recreate that sound because that time is done. But you can bring some of the feeling and that nostalgia back by reminding people what niggas was about, and how niggas is a team. Thatís what we did, and itís coming out crazy man.

In your book you talk about a lot of different incidents involving Nas from him hating on you when you first rapped for him, to Mike Delorean from Bars-N-Hooks choking him at Sony Studios, to the brawl backstage at Nasí Central Park concert, so when you guys spoke, did you guys talk about him being in your book at all?
Nah, I think I told him I had a book coming out, but basically the book is about my life story and Mobb Deepís story, so everything in there is real. Iím not going to go around, and tell everybody, ďYo, I put you in my book. Yo, I mentioned...Ē Nah, youíll see. Itís my story, so real shit is in there.

It seems throughout the book there was always this weird tension with you and Nas. Like he never really embraced you fully even going back to when you guys first met.
Nah, it was never no animosity. Only thing I would say, is that I was new to the projects over there. I came around, new face, niggas donít know me. So niggas had to get to know me, so thatís why I believe Nas acted the way he did, and he wasnít the only one.

A lot of people from Queensbridge was acting like that with me, because I was new. And to tell you the truth, I would treat people the same way. I donít like new people coming around me. Iím going to really be leery and watch you, and take my time before I embrace you. Some of it had to do with when I first came around, he thought my shit was wack. And to tell you the truth, my shit was type-wack. I had to step my game up.

He wasnít doing nothing, but stating his opinion about how he wanted his friend Hav, who he grew up with, to proceed with the future of his career. He was giving his best opinion saying, ďYo, I donít think you should fuck with this dude P. Heís not as good as you.Ē So, thereís really no animosity. I never felt no kind of way that he said that.

The only thing that it made me do was try to make myself better and write better rhymes. It actually helped me, so thereís no way I could be mad at him for that.

But even with the Central Park incident, I thought it was interesting how when the fight backstage happened with Lakey, you wondered if Nas mightíve had something to do with setting that up.
I mean, as far as that situationís concerned, Nas ainít have nothing to do with that. Thatís dudes moving on their own, and trying to take control of a situation that they ainít have control over. I spoke to Nas about that, and he didnít agree with that whole situation, how Fakey was acting. So that was something that son did on his own to try and act like heís some type of boss, or controlling some type of situation.

Nas has got people around him, and weíve got people around us, and sometimes the extras donít mix. The extras donít even belong with us basically, because theyíre not even on the same level mentally. You donít even belong in this circle right here with us. Me and Nas were talking about that on the phone like, ďAll the extra niggas is fucking shit up. Like, if it was just us it wouldnít even be no bullshit.Ē Extra niggas want to start extra shit. You have a couple bad apples in the bunch.

At one point in My Infamous Life, you recall being in L.A. with a pink polo on, and running into Camíron, and how he started rocking pink afterwards.
Yeah. I mean, that was kind of weird. [Laughs.] Because a lot of people were like ďDamn.Ē They used to see me with my little shit on. They was like ďYo, damn, you make it alright to wear pink son.Ē [Laughs.] A lot of people used to tell me that shit. Theyíd be like, ďDamn, we wouldnít think that P would rock some shit like that. You make me want to go cop a pink shirt son.Ē

When I seen son out there, in front of the hotel that day, I paid attention to that. Iím from the era where we pay attention to everything you got on: your jewelry, how you rhyme, every word thatís coming out your mouth, your hairstyle, and everything, because we want to see your type of style. Weíre checking you out. How you lace your shoes, every fine detail, we pay attention to. Because in that era everybody was unique. Staten Island did this, Queens did this, Brooklyn did this.

We always used to check peoplesí styles out, so I pay attention to that type of shit. I never seen him do it before then, so that was just kind of weird to me. It ainít nothing to be proud of, it was just a true story that was always in my mind that I felt like telling.

I mean after Justinís incident, when I seen where [Jay-Z's] head was at with the whole situation, and I seen that he didnít want to take it to that level, we fell back off of the nigga. Because we seen that the nigga was not that serious.


You also speak on Capone taking the stand to testify against Havocís brother, Killer Black. Thatís the kind of thing that would end most rappersí careers. How did this not come out sooner?
People were upset, but that was just one of those things that just never came out. It just never happened. I canít tell you why.

Are you and Capone still cool?
I mean, yeah, when we was younger, but after that shit with Havís brother I was just like, ďCome on man.Ē In a hood like that, you have to see people everyday. Youíre going to see niggas like, ďWhatís up? Oh, alright, whatís up son?Ē But in the back of your mind youíre going to be like, ďDamn, this nigga really did that shit.Ē Thatís crazy. I didnít even want to believe it. None of us wanted to believe it, but thatís what really happened though. We like Capone, and he just did that.

It was just funny when you were talking about his explanation for taking the stand was he was giving false information to throw the cops off.
I canít tell you why he did it, or why he said what he said afterwards, but all I can tell you is that really happened. I was thinking when I was writing it like, ďOh heís going to take some offense to this.Ē But when I think about it, this is a story that really happened, so Iím not going to leave out something thatís part of my life story, something of major significance that happened, just because heís going to be upset about it.

Like, dude you should be upset about what you did, not that Iím telling my life story. [Laughs.] So thatís why I put the shit in there, because itís just crazy that he did that. I didnít write it in my book trying to target him, or ďIíve got beef, fuck him,Ē or trying to ruin his career. It ainít nothing like that. If he feels some type of way about it, basically he needs to take that up with the man in the mirror.

It also comes out in the book that at one point, you and your friends jumped Nore and beat him up.
Noreís my man. I fucks with Nore. If you read the book itíll tell you when me and Nore got cool. Heís a good dude man. We all do crazy shit in our life. And the shit he did wasnít even that crazy for me to never fuck with him ever again, so heís good money in my book.

You recount an incident in My Infamous Life where you ran into Jay-Z at Justinís and he didnít want any trouble. Did you feel like allowing him to say disrespectful things without any consequences might leave a bad impression with fans?
I mean, maybe when I was younger. But around that time my mind and my decision-making started changing. We donít beat up on weak people. You donít do that shit where Iím from. You donít score no points doing that. You donít take advantage of somebody that you could take advantage of, and overpower them. Thatís a universal law you would be violating to do some shit like that, so we donít so that. Word.

I mean after Justinís incident, when I seen where his head was at with the whole situation, and I seen that he didnít want to take it to that level, we fell back off of the nigga. Because we seen that the nigga was not that serious. He says itís just music, alright cool then itís just music then. I mean if he would have been some type of threat then we would have took care of that. We bumped into him a few times after that. Like, the VMAs, shows at Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum, certain places like that weíll see him backstage and heíll see us like, ďOh, whatís up man?Ē [Laughs.]

At the end of the book you see that I give him love. Jayís an amazing artist. I learned a lot from him as far as business. Just watching him, his movements, and how he came up in business. His decision-making with music, and everything that he does. Heís a very intelligent dude, and at the end of the day itís all love man, because thatís what he told me.

When I was younger, the situation would have probably been different. But he came up to me and said, ďYo, ainít no beef son. Itís just music.Ē Alright, cool. So thatís where we left it. Itís just music. Itís a little rap music rivalry, and thatís that. We know the difference between street shit and music shit.

Did your time incarcerated put things into perspective regarding beefs you had with Jay-Z, Nas, Saigon, etc. and feel like itís really not worth it?
Yeah. Like the Saigon situation is like the same situation. Like, it donít make sense to do... Thatís just like, corny. That would be wrong to do something to him. That wouldnít even be fair, to tell you the truth. Itís not even that serious. A little incident happened, like whatever. You stay over there, weíll stay over here, because when it gets like that son, somebodyís going to get hurt bad. Itís not going to be us either, put it like that. And thatís just being real. Word.

When Havoc was talking about producing ďLast DayzĒ in the book and he was telling you to get on it, I was surprised that your reaction was that Biggie was corny.
A lot of people was feeling him, I just wasnít feeling him. Another thing is that, I used to take things real personal. I was real serious when it came to rapping. I still do, but even more so when I was real young. I was on some other shit dun.


I wasnít fucking with nobody else but Mobb Deep. I had tunnel-vision, straight up. I ainít see nothing but Mobb Deep. I ainít hear nothing but Mobb Deep. And niggas canít fuck with Mobb Deep. That was my opinion, how I was thinking, and my life. Mobb Deep, fuck everybody else. So when I used to hear certain shit that Biggie used to say, he used to take some of my lines from my lyrics, and use them. That used to piss me off, because I was like, ďDamn, this nigga just bit my shit.Ē

Like what lines?
Like ďNiggas bleed just like us,Ē thatís my shit, and certain other things. But at that time it would piss me off, but now when I look back at it, itís a compliment. He wasnít trying to steal. He was basically kind of like a fan. And now I realize because I feel the same way about him. And I feel the same way about certain other rappers too. Just had a different mentality back then. It was little things like that.

It was like a competitive thing?
Yeah. It just took me a while to really like his style. It took me a while to like Wu-Tangís style. When I first heard ďProtect Ya NeckĒ as a matter of fact, I was listening to the radio like, ďDamn, this shit is alright, but it ainít all that though. This shit sounds kind of corny.Ē

But then after a while the shit started growing on me. That shit happens sometimes man. That shit happens with everything, even when youíre listening to beats. I might not like a beat for a month, and then after a month I realize that shit is hot. Especially with me, speaking for myself, that happens with me a lot. Sometimes it takes me a while to like something. Some people, they like it right away. They know, and can see it right away, like ďOh that shit is hot,Ē and theyíll be like ďI told you P, that shit was hot.Ē

So even when you were on tour with Big, it still took you a while to become a fan?
Yeah. Like I said, I was in Mobb Deep zone. We didnít even really hang out with them niggas on tour. Until that one incident that happened in Cleveland, thatís when we first started hanging out with them niggas. And we was on tour for like, a month already almost. And then after that incident then we started hanging out with each other, getting cool. Then I realized ďThese niggas is cool.Ē

Then we started talking, and conversating, and we got real cool after that. But before then, it was like, ďWho? What? Iím going to my room nigga. I donít give a fuck. Iím going over here. Iím going to do this.Ē Nothing was important to me, but Mobb Deep, because we was making some shit at that time. I guess you could say I was feeling myself, being cocky, however you want, but thatís what it was.

Speaking of Mobb Deep, you talk in the book about how at first Havoc wasnít visiting you in jail. Were you guys on bad terms when you first went in?
Nah, it wasnít nothing like that. Sometimes when niggas get locked up, the people on the outside, they donít understand really the importance of it. When you in prison and youíre locked in the cell, youíre looking at the outside world different. Youíre seeing everything different. Time stops. And youíre just sitting there, and moving real slow. Everybody else in the world is just out there moving frantic.

Theyíre not even thinking really, because theyíre worried about bills, and this and that, and the third, and youíre just sitting there with time to think and be calm. So you look at things different. So I was reaching out to son, and he ainít get right back with me right away, but I already knew that heís not thinking like I am right now. Heís out in the world being hectic with the worldís issues. But at the same time it gets you mad a little bit. I mean, this happens to everybody. This ainít just me and Havís situation. Iím talking about everybody that goes to jail.

Theyíve got to deal with this same shit that Iím talking about right now with somebody. They donít understand that people on the outside donít understand how serious that shit is. Because I know Iíve been through it, where Iíve been on the outside, and I had people in jail, and I didnít write them as fast, or as much as I should have, because I didnít understand how much that shit means to somebody thatís in prison.

So when I dealt with the situation myself it made me think back, like, Wow, I remember when the shoe was on the other foot. When I was on the outside, and one of my mans was locked up, and he used to write me, and I didnít get back to him for months. Iím running around doing other things, and Iím not even focused, because Iím out in the world dealing with world shit. So, thatís basically what happened. And I knew eventually, he would come around and come up, and thatís what happened.

How long into your bid was it before Havoc came to visit?
I think about a year and a half maybe. He had tried to come up early on, but something happened. He forgot his I.D. He had came with Alchemist, and had to wait in the car. Thatís what it was though. Basically, I already knew what time it was as far as the situation with Hav, because no matter what happens with me and son, if we piss each other off or whatever, it always comes back to Mobb Deep being more important than anything that you could name.

One of the biggest stories since you have been out is the whole Mister Cee situation. How do you feel about that?
I mean, I really donít know exactly what happened. I ainít look into it, or try to investigate all the facts. Iím just hearing what people saying, and radio, so I really donít have that much of an opinion about it. But to each his own man, if itís really like that.

It sounds crazy to me, like Cee is my nigga. We fuck with Mister Cee. That nigga loves Mobb Deep and always shows us love, and plays our music all the time on the radio. Heís one of the only ones that does that. Itís few of them, and heís one of the main ones. So regardless of what, that nigga shows us love, and weíre going to show him love back.

Heís always going to get new music from us. That nigga call, we always going to pick up like ďWhatís up? You good?Ē If he wants to do a party, whatever. Whatever Mister Cee wants to do, we fuck with Mister Cee. Thatís what it is.

What projects do you have coming up?
Weíre working on a Mobb album. The main focus right now is just on Mobb Deep. Iím recording little solo songs here and there when weíre not working on Mobb Deep, but other than that itís all Mobb shit. I mean, every idea. Even if I make a song, and that shit is just incredibly crazy, weíre giving it to Mobb Deep, because thatís whatís important right now. Thatís the focus right now, to make sure that we make an incredible album.

Are you looking to drop that this year though?
Yeah, probably like end of the summer.

The two other songs you did with Nas, could those possibly end up on the Mobb Deep album?
Yeah, thatíll probably be on the album. Weíll make 100 songs, and pick the best 15.


Since youíve been away, a lot of new artists such as Drake, Kid Cudi, and B.o.B. have made a big impact. Are you a fan of the new class of rappers?
Yeah, I like what they do. Theyíve got their lane. Theyíre doing their thing, and thatís good for them. Iím definitely proud of anybody that can have some success in this game, because itís not easy. So when you see somebody making a name for himself, and a little success for himself, youíve got to take your hat off and acknowledge that, like ďYeah, dun is doing his thing.Ē

I just see it like, theyíve got their lane, theyíve got their style, and weíve got our style. Thatís how I look at it. Itís like different pairs of sneakers, different clothes, like you donít want to wear the same thing everyday. Sometimes you want to dress casual, sometimes you want to dress down, sometimes you want to dress up, like itís the same thing with music. Music goes with your mood. Sometimes youíre in the mood for this, sometimes youíre in the mood for that. So thatís a good thing.

I probably donít know all the titles, the names, and all the other shit, but I listen. I pay attention to what the fuck is going on. I like a bunch of the dudes in the XXL freshmen class, with the cypher shit. Those dudes was hot. And then, the cypher thing on BET Hip-Hop Awards, got some ill little new artists thatís out there doing their thing. Theyíre actually real good with the rap shit. Theyíre going in with the verses and all that.

So you feel like rap is in a good place right now then?
Hell yeah. Itís in a good place man. Any time youíve got a whole bunch of competitors it only steps up the quality of the shit thatís out there. How are you going to shine and stand out with all this new shit thatís happening, and all the heavy competition in the game? Whatís going to make you so special?

So it makes you work harder to prove that you deserve what youíve got, prove that you deserve your shit. Youíve got to earn what youíve got. So thatís how I see it. It just makes you work that much harder. It makes you be that much more creative, because youíre like, ďDamn, alright. This dude is popping. This dude is hot. Iíve got to come with some shit, otherwise people are not even going to pay attention to me.Ē

So thatís how everybody should be looking at it, even the new kids thatís rapping, they should look at it the same way. Because thereís a lot of new rappers man. When we were coming up it wasnít that many rappers like that, so we had our own shit and basically that was it. So now itís like, flooded. So itís like, whereís Waldo in the motherfucking crowd? Youíve got to stand out in order for people to pay attention to you.

One of the biggest artists right now for gangsta rap is Rick Ross. Are you a fan of his?
Yeah. I like his shit. At first, I thought Rick Ross was a fluke to tell you the truth, because when I first heard him I was like ďWho the fuck is this dude man? Come on. You canít be serious. This dude is a fluke. One-hit wonder.Ē After a while he started proving himself.

Then I started seeing consistency with him, and more and more, I was like ďHold up. Ok, Iím starting to respect this dude now.Ē Now heís proved me wrong. Heís not what I thought he was. That happens a lot. A lot of people wonít talk about it though.

Given that you actually knew Biggie, do you see what Diddy means when comparing Rick Ross and Big?
I guess because heís a big, heavy-set, fat dude or whatever. Like, I donít know man. They talk about flashy things. I donít really know. Thatís the only comparison I see, is their weight. Lyrically Rick Ross is spitting some shit right now, but I mean, compared to Biggie thereís just no comparison. You canít compare Biggie, nobodyís Tupac. Those people are them, youíre you. I donít really do that comparison shit. Be yourself.

diggy
04-19-2011, 01:14 AM
Now I wanna cop his book to get all the secrets.

Jammin
04-19-2011, 01:32 AM
It was like a competitive thing?
Yeah. It just took me a while to really like his style. It took me a while to like Wu-Tangís style. When I first heard ďProtect Ya NeckĒ as a matter of fact, I was listening to the radio like, ďDamn, this shit is alright, but it ainít all that though. This shit sounds kind of corny.Ē

But then after a while the shit started growing on me. That shit happens sometimes man. That shit happens with everything, even when youíre listening to beats. I might not like a beat for a month, and then after a month I realize that shit is hot. Especially with me, speaking for myself, that happens with me a lot. Sometimes it takes me a while to like something. Some people, they like it right away. They know, and can see it right away, like ďOh that shit is hot,Ē and theyíll be like ďI told you P, that shit was hot.Ē





LOL

diggy
04-19-2011, 02:02 AM
I feel the same way in regards to not thinking biggie was hot. I still don't think biggie was hot btw and I never bought any of his albums.

Jammin
04-19-2011, 02:03 AM
http://books.google.com/books?id=seVT3XrAbHcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=prodigy+my+infamous+life&hl=en&ei=hjOtTd_bFsbr4wbnhczmCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

JASPER BEARDLY
04-19-2011, 02:16 AM
kinda fucked up hav took so long to go see him its mobb fuckin deep but ps over it so idc

makes a good point about rick ross comparison... shits a joke. nobody else would have ever said that besides the guy who is managing him.

can't wait for them to drop

Jammin
04-19-2011, 07:48 AM
KdF8wEfP6MQ

Sham-iLL
04-19-2011, 04:54 PM
http://www.gifsoup.com/view/35166/bloods-o.gif

Thworldisyours
04-21-2011, 12:03 PM
"Weíve been working with other producers, but mostly Havoc and Alchemist. Our home team is Havoc, Al, and Sid Roams, and right now Iíve been home about a month, and weíve got about 70 songs done in that time. Weíve got a lot of fire, man."

Fuck the other producers...

Synthesizer Patel
04-21-2011, 05:33 PM
Oh god... LOL P is the biggest trendsetter in hip hop, according to himself