Kendrick Lamar once rapped his favourite Prodigy verse
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Kendrick Lamar once rapped his favourite Prodigy verse

Kendrick Lamar has been a household name in hip-hop for over a decade and is known for his lyricism and fantastic wordplay. The Compton emcee has a range of influences from both the West and East coasts. However, following the death of Mobb Deep member Prodigy in 2017, the Section.80 musician rapped a verse in his honour. 

Mobb Deep had great success in the 1990s. Comprised of emcees Prodigy and Havoc, the two-piece collective was flung into stardom during the height of East Coast hip-hop’s gritty era, alongside artists such as Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan. 

However, in 2017, Prodigy (real name Albert Johnson) passed away due to his struggles with sickle-cell anaemia, which affected the hip-hop community gravely. Most known for their 1995 album The Infamous, the project’s lead single ‘Shook Ones, Part II’ remains legendary and had a profound impact on hip-hop production at the time.

Johnson and Lamar were already musically acquainted before 2017. In 2013, following the release of his major label debut, Good Kid, m.A.A.d City, Lamar admitted that Mobb Deep greatly inspired him growing up and, in an interview with GQ, proclaimed, “I was a big Prodigy fan at the time. So I was really biting his style.”

Furthermore, Johnson praised Lamar greatly and was a fan of his telling XXL in 2013, “I’m a big Kendrick fan. When his album first came out, sh*t I was probably the number-one promoter of it in New York. I played that sh*t for everybody. I was telling everybody to buy that sh*t, making sure niggas was up on that sh*t. I was Tweeting about it, all that sh*t.”

Prior to Prodigy’s untimely demise, the two were fans of each other, so in tribute to the icon, Eminem and Lamar made an appearance on Hot 97’s ‘Real Late’ show with Peter Rosenberg to pay homage to the artist by rapping some of his lyrics.

Eminem chose to drop a few lines from the rap duo’s legendary track ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ from The Infamous, while Lamar chose ‘Genesis’ from Prodigy’s 2000 solo album, H.N.I.C. You can hear Lamar’s tribute in the player below.