The first time I had a chance to interview Prodigy of Mobb Deep, was during his solo run on the heels of releasing “Return of the Mac,” his second solo album.
It was during a time when everyone was releasing albums on Koch. Some kind of savior of b-grade rappers everywhere. But I never thought of “P” as a second-tier success. His work in the 90s was the precursor to the cocaine raps of the 2000s.
He’s been around longer than you think, having appeared on the “Boyz n the Hood” (1991) soundtrack with the group Hi-Five when he was still signed to Jive Records.
That first interview was a bust. It was “nah meens” and one-word answers. The kind of stuff I wasn’t equipped for, really. Its sucked. I was writing the piece for The Smoking Section and I think it sucked so bad that it got scrapped. That just gives you an idea of how ill it was.
What follows is the third time I’ve chopped it with Albert Hughes, aka Prodigy. He’s into book publishing and trying to go for more grown-man prospects in the business.
He served a few years in jail and you can tell that time has matured him. He’s on his business grind and celebrating a 20 year anniversary as part of what’s probably one of the greatest rap duos to come out of Queens.
How did you come up with the idea to write a novella?
It took me two months with my laptop and I banged it out. I banged out the beginning, middle and the end. I wrote it in 1999. It was sitting around until last year. I was looking for a new book to put out since my autobiography. I said, let me get somebody to turn it into a book.
So, I reached out to Steve Sevill. He’s got the slang from out there (England). He said he was interested in getting it done. He sent it back to me, in about a month. He added little things to the story.
I was trying to do different things. I was trying to connect with somebody new.