The late Queens rapper Prodigy was a beloved artist in New York and, alongside the likes of Nas, was one of the most respected lyricists from the borough. As part of Mobb Deep with his crewmate Havoc, the two were responsible for some of the 1990s biggest hits, most notably ‘Shook Ones (Part II)’ and ‘Quiet Storm.’
Mobb Deep’s 1995 album The Infamous is an East Coast classic and features appearances from the likes of Nas, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, and Q-Tip. It’s seismic impact turned heads to Mobb Deep, and its members continued to remain relevant.
Since the mid-1990s, LeFrak City native Prodigy has been respected, and his music sought after. His 2000 solo album, H.N.I.C., debuted at number 18 on the Billboard 200, and he impacted many people in the culture. Unfortunately, in 2017, Prodigy (real name Albert Johnson) passed away due to issues related to his sickle cell anaemia.
However, prior to this, in an interview with Complex about his career, the rapper recalled the moment he met Eminem for the first time and even named his favourite Em track. When asked what his favourite Slim Shady album was, Johnson replied, “The Marshall Mathers LP, that one was dope. It was something new. People were like, ‘Yo, who the fuck is this dude?’ He was just wild. His rebelliousness, I can relate to all of that. So yeah, that’s probably one of my favourite joints right there.”
Revealing his favourite Eminem track, Prodigy cited the 2002 hit ‘Lose Yourself’, disclosing, “I can relate to it a lot. That’s how I feel every time I write a rhyme. I understand where he’s coming from. It’s do or die. That’s how I feel every time I make any song. I feel like it might be like ‘that’ song.”
Prodigy also detailed the first time he met Eminem and remembered it was on a tour alongside 50 Cent, recalling, “We [Mobb Deep] did a deal with 50 Cent, and we went on tour together. Me and 50 were in the dressing room talking business, and Em walked passed the room. I didn’t pay no mind; I just kept talking to 50. Then, all of a sudden, I see him come back, and he was like, ‘Yo, P let me holla at you.'”
He continued, “So I got up and went into the hallway to talk to him and he was like, ‘Yo man, I apologize. I know we’ve been together on tour for mad long. I didn’t even get a chance to talk to you the whole tour.’ I was like, ‘Nah, it’s all good my nigga.’ He was just showing love and shit. It was a good experience just being around him and being on tour with him. And seeing how-you know, even 50 like-they were strictly business. They were really professional, and they good people too.”
You can hear Eminem paying tribute to the late Prodigy in the video below.