Interview By IPOPPED OFF. Intro By Odeisel
In part two of our Prodigy interview, Prodigy talks about how his relationship with Nas developed and he tell us the reason for the change in his demeanor and focus following Juvenile Hell.
How did the beef with Jay-Z begin? How did Prodigy go from Nas comrade, to having issues? How did Mobb Deep rebound from all the tragedy that surrounded them following the release of The Infamous? Read on or scroll down to listen.
Planet Ill: So you went from the Hell on Earth to Murda Musik
Prodigy: When we got to Murda Musik our attitude it was kind of foul ‘cause of all the s**t that happened in our life. It hardened n***as up in a negative way. That was our whole attitude with that album. We felt like we was left alone ‘cause we lost a lot of strength. We lost our loved ones and then we was like damn like how we going keep it movin? These was ni***s that protected us and loved us and now they’re gone. So our whole attitude was like f**k everybody, f**k everything [and] anybody try something, they’re gonna die. Straight up and down they’re gonna [go] down and that was our mind state when we made Murda Musik.
That was an ill feeling ‘cause you felt lonely, and like I said we lost a lot of strength. I’m sure all of us felt that way, so we just felt alone like, “How we going to do this?” We got to go crazy almost to survive now cuz it’s tough out there when you doing shows, different hoods, different states. Dealing with all kinds of n***as. A lot of n***as is just on some stupid s**t and they’ll wild out start shooting you, try to rob you, whatever.
N***as is crazy in the streets. Everybody is not like a person like myself that won’t flip on somebody when I have the opportunity. If you don’t deserve it I will leave you alone. A lot of people don’t feel like that; they don’t give a f**k about you or your safety or your opportunity or anything.
We deal with that everyday when we go do shows. After parties we got to do autograph signings, we in the hood ‘cause that’s our audience. Like we’re not in the malls in suburbia, we doing autograph signings in Baltimore on the corner record store in the hood lining down the block for Mobb Deep just to get an autograph, we like wow this s**t is crazy. I’m talking about it’s people in line that’s looking like they can’t get some sneakers but they coming to buy an album; that s**t is bugged out. So its like we dealing with all this s**t so we got to be careful. So that was just like the whole thing with making Murda Musik .We were just at that point where we didn’t give a f**k no more.
Prodigy: I look back and I’m like wow you can feel the power in the album, that’s why it went platinum. We put all that energy into it. That aggressive, negative energy and its positive energy at the same time, but all of that energy combined is the reason why that album was so successful. We was like f**k that nobody is stopping us. We’re going to make a hit, we’re going to go on tour, we’re going to come back safe. Nothing is going to happen. This s**t is going to be a success and that’s exactly what happened.
Planet Ill: When Lil’ Kim dissed Foxy Brown on the remix of “Quiet Storm” did that create tension with you and Capone and Noriega?
Prodigy: It didn’t bring no tension. Capone from the block and NORE was always coming to the hood. We had our own little personal differences, little personal s**t that happened, but we put that in the past and it’s cool. We wouldn’t let nothing like that, some bitches arguing get to us. We had beef with each other, we dealing with real s**t. Like ask NORE, ask ‘Pone; n***as been through some s**t son like we would never let nothing like that get us mad. We been through way worse.
Planet Ill: So let’s go to Infamy.
Prodigy: When we did Infamy that was around the time you know where Nas started coming around more. Like at first, Nas didn’t really take too kind to me when I first came to the hood. He actually told n***as I was corny and that Hav need to go solo and it got back to me and I was like damn and that s**t kind of hurt me.
I just came to Queens Bridge and I didn’t want n***as to start like word P corny he can’t hang out with us no more so that s**t kind of hurt inside. I was like f**k that. By him saying that, I swear to everything I love word to my kid word to everything, by Nas saying that s**t to my man Twin that I was corny and Hav need to go solo and Twin came back and told me I was like yo, by him doing that that’s what made me ill with the rhymes because I was like what? You said what? I’m going to show him.
After that, that’s when I made “Shook Ones.” That’s when I made all that shit. My rhymes changed. From that point on that’s when my rhymes changed because I used to rhyme some kiddy voice type s**t like on Juvenile Hell, you could tell we was young we had the kid voice and s**t. But when I heard Nas said that s**t I was like hold up this s**t is serious. I can do this for real. I’mma show everybody.
F**k that he just put the fuel on my fire when he said that and I just started really paying attention to what I was saying; like ain’t nobody going to say nothing I say is weak and I started going hard. I never felt no kind of way towards Nas after that either. I always thanked him in my mind because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have been what I am today so in my mind I always look up to Nas.
I always look up to him for that reason and because he’s an ill writer, he got ill songs, ill music so I always look up to Nas and I never felt like any animosity or I never felt like any jealousy or anything. I was satisfied with my own success. I never felt like I wanted what Nas had or he owes me something or I never felt any kind of way towards Nas because he said that to Twin. I always took it and turned it into something positive.
So around the time of Infamy, Nas had started hanging out around more and I was working on Murda Musik the movie and I was shooting a movie for Queens Bridge and for Mobb Deep. I wanted people to see how we was living, like what was going on. People never got a chance to ever see that.
I was like Queens Bridge needs a movie. Mobb Deep needs a movie. People just come inside, be on the block see what n***as is doing, how n***as be hustling like we need to make a movie about this shit. So I started doing that and I said to myself I was like, “Know what? I’m going make this movie and I’m going let certain n***as that I chose to play the parts instead of trying to get real actors. I’mma get certain n***as that I chose that I think can handle that job; I’m get them to do it. So I went to Tim Lord, Nas’ man. I was like Lord I got this part he was like, “Yea aight P. I’ll do it for you, P.”
He probably thought I was bulls**tting and a year later from when I told him he was like, “Oh s**t you wasn’t playing son, you got me in a movie and sh*t this is gangsta!” So I was like, “Yea it’s nothing n***a, you deserve this. Everybody out here, we need a movie son. The world needs to see this s**t.” So I told Twin, Littles, everybody is in that movie son I got everybody in that movie, Nas, everybody. When Nas started seeing this he was like damn P making me look bad because why didn’t I do this first. This was kind of late. That’s why I did the movie. Like why didn’t nobody ever do a movie about this s**t? We in 99, son.
We should have been did a movie back in 97- 96 or something like when Nas first came out. Somebody should have been like they need a movie about their life and their hood. I was like f**k that I’m going to do like f**k that don’t talk about it be about it just do it. So I wrote that shit like f**k it. I’mma do that shit. I got everybody together got everybody in the movie.
Everybody got in that motherfucker; n***as that don’t even get along with each other because I didn’t know certain shit like my man Uncle Lameek, Havoc’s uncle he didn’t really get along with Tim Lord in the hood but I didn’t know that because that was s**t from back in the day.
But a lot of n***as in the hood knew that. So it was by chance when I said you play this part and you play this part and they interacting with each other in the movie. N***as was like, “Yo those n***as don’t even get along. That’s ill that you got them to play that s**t son.” That was kind of crazy when I found that out
You know Nas was just like…you could tell he never said that, but u know I’m pretty smart. I can observe how people feel from their actions and their movements and just seeing certain things you could tell he was kind of upset that he didn’t do it first. And people might have been telling him like yo why you ain’t doing it? P out here doing it.
So we at Soundtrack Studios and Nas started booking sessions right next door to us; out of nowhere. That’s Nas, he’s [usually] at the Hit Factory or somewhere ill like he’s in Bermuda doing his album or something. I was like damn he’s coming over here? I’m like aight cool.
So I’m doing songs for the movie soundtrack and not only did I get everybody from the hood in the movie, but on the soundtrack I got all new rappers from the hood, all the new n***as and dun was seeing that too. And people were going back to him telling him like P is doing a lot for QB, what are you doing?
Like I said this wasn’t on my mind, this not the reason why I’m doing it, to make Nas look bad. I’m doing it because this is what needs to be done. So Nas start booking sessions. So I go over there like what’s up and he’s like yeah I’m working on a QB album but it was a Queens borough album. It wasn’t a Queens Bridge album he was getting everybody from Queens like LL, Run DMC. I was like oh aight that’s cool and somebody else told me he was doing that. The n***as that told me he was doing that was told me before Nas told me.
So Nas came to the studio and he told me that. I was like yo, you know what we need to do? This n***a Jay-Z is taking little jabs at us on songs. I said if you listen to “cough up a lung where I’m from Marcy son” [“Where I’m From”] the n***a not only does he have the plastic cup in his hand and he got the football jersey, but the n***a said a line in his rhyme where he said “I’m from a place where you and your mans hung in every verse in ya rhyme.”
So when I heard that, I was like, “Who is Jay talking about who is talking about hanging in Marcy in they line?” Then I thought about “Trife Life” in my verse I said “jetted through Marcy ‘cause D’s[detectives] ain’t baggin’ me” because I was out there. I was f**kin’ with my n***as from Marcy. That’s where I be at before all that Jay-Z s**t. Those were n***as I went to school with.
So now I ain’t peep it back then when that song came out, but down the line when I’m in the studio talking to Nas around that time I peeped it. I’m like aww he talking about me in that song yo and he bit our shit with the little plastic cups in the hood and if you do the research and history of it, Jay-Z was on some speed boat in the Bahamas Versace type of shit. Then “Shook Ones” came out, then Jay came with the plastic cups, football jerseys in the projects, taking jabs at us and I was like Nas, what we need to do is go at these n***as because number one, his lil’ man is trying to s**t on you; talking about your life is written and all this s**t. That’s when Memphis Bleek was trying to take lil jabs at Nas.
I was like these n***as is going at us subliminally and I was like f**k that, we need to go at those n***a. Let’s make a song about them, son. And he was like nah nah that n***a ain’t nobody to be doing that son. I’m like son I’m telling you its gonna be a problem and he like nah. I’m like aight cool. ‘Cause in my mind, I’mma address it on my own anyway. I don’t give a f**k what this n***a do. I love you Nas but I’mma handle this ‘cause you buggin.
During that same time, he’s at the studio next to us. All of a sudden I found out Littles just did a song on the QB album. Oh ain’t nothing wrong with that, oh so and so just did a song and I’m like, “”Oh this n***a trying to intercept; he trying to do the same thing!” And now I found out the Queens Borough album changed to the Queens Bridge album, the QB album. Now I’m like oh I see what this n***a is doing and during the same time when he came to the studio, he started calling my crib like I would come home my girl be like Nas called. I’m like what? Nas never called me before that was amazing to me!
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW Prodigy Part 2
Tune in tomorrow for part 3 where the beef with Nas & Jay-z come to a head.
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