prodigy1

Prodigy: The Prodigal Son, Part 1

Prodigy of Mobb Deep infamy was to begins serving a three and a half year jail sentence for unlawful gun possession on January 8, but was granted a 30 day reprieve. AllHipHop sat down with Capital P so he could set the record straight. Even as one half of Mobb Deep, Albert “Prodigy” Johnson always stood out as the face of the group. Though Juvenile Hell would make for an overlooked debut from the Queensbridge duo, their follow up, The Infamous, would seal their legacy in the streets. Packed to the brim with classic street ministries (“Shook Ones Part 2,” “Survival Of The Fittest”), gritty production, and the indelible Dun language, The Infamous was a cornerstone of New York hardcore Rap. The Mobb maintained their signature sound on the darker Hell On Earth and finally popped off commercially with Murda Musik featuring the hit “Quiet Storm.”  Unfortunately their momentum slowed down going into the new millennium. P’s solid solo album H.N.I.C. didn’t perform to everyone’s expectations and Jay-Z went on to throw him under the bus on the seminal diss track “The Takeover.” Furthermore their next three albums (Infamy, Amerikaz Nightmare, Blood Money) would all be met with mixed reviews.  All in all P continued to carry himself like the hardest dude in the country. Capital P’s live by the gun mentality would eventually catch up to him last year when he was caught with a burner and faced some serious time due to his previous criminal record. In a chess move, he copped out and agreed to serve three and a half years. With a turn in date of January 9th, Prodigy surprisingly doesn’t seem phased at all by the looming jail sentence. Instead he seems only focused on his new effort H.N.I.C. Part 2 and wants to let the full story be known. P Double shares his insight on Hip-Hop cops, his lengthy Rap Beef resume and how he is dealing with it all as the clock ticks down.AllHipHop.com: You’re turning yourself in shortly to serve three years in prison, how are you feeling considering everything you are facing?Prodigy: I’m feeling good. I’m feeling real good because the album came out kind of crazy; it really came together at the last minute. I’ve been working on H.N.I.C. 2 for a minute now; probably like since 2003 or 2004. The reason for the hold up was basically Mobb Deep was making new deals all the time, just trying stay relevant. Without Mobb Deep being relevant, nothing else matters. Mobb Deep is what made everything possible. We was doing our deals, doing our touring, going overseas, doing American tours. After The Massacre and the Anger Management tour, when we got back home I had some time to go in and finish up my album even before I caught the case. It’s not like I’m putting out the album because of my situation. It was already in motion. When I caught the case and I realized I had to cop out to the three years I basically just, aight I got to wrap this up. So I started rounding up the producers and all my video n****s like boom. We got this much space, we got to wrap the rest of this album up. So they started getting me their best s**t and the video n****s started giving me their best ideas. We really did it, we made it. AllHipHop.com: What are your days like?Prodigy: Right now, it’s real hectic. Doing interviews everyday, doing the radio, press s**t. I’m basically finished recording the whole album, we just mixing and mastering. I might do a couple last minute joints my last days here. Other than that I’m basically done. January 9th I go in.AllHipHop.com: Please explain to the readers what happened when you were arrested and why exactly you had to cop out to the three years. Prodigy: Basically what happened in my case I took Alchemist out for his birthday last year to this club Show. It was Shareefa’s album release party. We got to the door and the promoters are “Oh Mobb Deep, we’re going to get ya’ll in.” So we waiting and while we waiting I see the little Hip-Hop task force. I noticed them; Yeah that’s the same dudes that pulled me over before. It was the Blood Money album release party at The Roxy and at the show there was an ill fight that broke out on stage. We went outside we got to the cars and s**t, I had a driver. I’m in the passenger seat and an unmarked car pulls us over. The guy gets out, a young black cop, he look younger than me even, probably twenty five. Walked up to the car, [opened] the door and was like Albert Johnson step out the car. So I get out the car and I’m like what’s up? They’re like “You’re under arrest.” I’m like for what? You pulling me out of the car and I ain’t even do nothing. I’m thinking it got to do something with the fight that happened in the club. I’m like can you tell me what I’m under arrest for? To tell you the truth from looking at the guy he didn’t look like no cop, he dressed regular. He look like one of my n****s or something. Right away I’m thinking like these n****s ain’t cops. Ni***s be doing that in New York; they be riding around like cops, pulling n****s over, robbing n****s, or doing whatever, kidnapping people. So then I seen a uniform officer, like a sergeant or captain. He walked over and he started talking to the guy and so I’m like Oh ok he is a real cop. So I got into the car with them, I kept asking what am I under arrest for. They’re like “We’ll tell you when we get downtown.” So I sat there and thought about the situation and started saying I’m going to start picking his brain. So I started saying whose idea was it to lock me up after the show, because I saw you guys outside before we even got in. Why didn’t you lock me up before the show? The cop that arrested me was like, “It was my idea I didn’t want the fans to riot if you didn’t perform.” I said good looking, thanks for letting us perform. That was cool; he didn’t have to do that. He could have just ruined our whole night. So once I said that he started opening up, I was doing it on purposes. I know what I’m doing all the times. I said is it possible that you call my manager so I can get a head start on my bail? He thought about it and he was like “What’s your man’s number.” He’s like boom we taking him down to such and such. Then I said while he was on the phone, I had like three hundred thousand in jewelry and I’m about to go through the system, can you take my jewelry and hold it for my man? And he’s like cool. When we get down to The Tombs, that’s central booking in Manhattan, they pull the car over, they took my jewelry off and put it on the trunk and took pictures of it. They said your man is going to pick up your jewelry and we going to wait for him then take you in. I went in; still not knowing what I’m locked up for. I spent the night in jail, the next morning somebody comes and gets me out. I’m like what am I here for? What am I under arrest for? He starts looking through some papers, he don’t even want to tell me. I guess he decided like aight [I’ll] f***ing tell him, f*** it; “Where you talking on your cell phone when driving one day?” Yeah, that’s what you got arrested for. I’m like are you serious? Nobody comes after a person for not paying a ticket for talking on a cell phone. You came after me for this? You can’t be serious. It was obvious they was like who is these Mobb Deep guys that are with 50, keep your eye on them and find out anything you can on these dudes. If they got any warrants, arrest their ass, and that’s what happened. They was digging and digging and they found out I had a cell phone ticket and they came after me. Time goes on and I take out Alchemist for his birthday. I see the cops outside the club and I’m like those are the same cops. The promoter comes back and is like it’s going to cost sixteen hundred dollars to get in; it’s like seven of us. Sixteen hundred dollars, we just trying to come into your party real quick, show face and then bounce. They was like you got to buy six bottles or you can’t get in. I said we don’t drink and I was telling the truth. A few of my n****s drink, but me, I don’t drink. We bounced, we three cars deep. I got a bullet proof Suburban, my little cousin had a Benz and Godfather and Twin and all these n****s were in a black Hummer. I get a phone call from my little cousin like “The D’s just pulled me over.” I’m like you aight, you ain’t dirty or nothing right? He’s like “We good.” So I’m like call me back when they let you go. So we stopped to get some food and kill some time. I called him back like you straight son? He’s like they letting us go right now. Twin and them bounced in the Hummer, so now it’s just me and Al in my car on Al block. I did an illegal u-turn to catch a parking spot up the corner instead of driving all the way around the block. I’m all the way into the parking spot already, then an undercover yellow cab pulls up with red lights on the dashboard. It’s a 6Y cab. To everybody out there if you see a cab with 6Y, 2E, or 2W on the top, that’s police. So they pulled up on the car and another pulled up. I’m like, Oh s**t what the f*** is going on? I know I just did an illegal move but how the f*** these n****s come in two different angles that fast? These ni***s are like put your hands in the air. They’re like, “Roll the windows down,” and I’m like, “The windows don’t roll down, this truck is bulletproof.” I unlock the door for him and he opens the door. He’s like, “Get out of the car,” he’s searching me and asks me if I got anything on me and I’m like no. The other one is searching Al. So then after they searched us they took us to the back of the car, so we sitting on the bumper. My little cousin pulls up with the Benz. He parks and walks to the sidewalk right next to us. My little cousin is like “P, that’s the cops that pulled me over.” So I tell him call my people and tell them to get ready to bail me out. He starts making the phone call right there. I already knew I was going to jail, I know what I got in the car. Anytime a cop searches your car without asking that’s an illegal search. He started opening up everything in my car, and you not allowed to do that. On a normal traffic stop, all the cops is allowed to take is your license and look in your car, they not allowed to look inside without a warrant. Then I hear the cops say the gun code, I forget what the gun code is. They got to say the code to warn the other cops that he just found a gun. So as soon as he say the gun code all the other cops say freeze and all that other s**t. So they cuff me and cuff Al. They put Al in a yellow cab and me in another car. A cop hops in my car and drives off in my s**t and takes it to the precinct. They got Al in another cell and got me in another cell. After a few hours passed the other arresting officer he brought me out of my cell and took me to a back room. So he sat me down and was like, “We’ll rip up the arrest report, forget about everything, we’ll let you and your man walk right now if you just give us some information.” I said, “Nah I don’t get down like that.” I ain’t with snitching, or telling on nobody so dead that right now. I’ll serve my time like a man, I don’t tell on nobody. The n***a is like “Nobody has to know about this man, nobody will ever find out. I’ll rip up the report right in front of you so you’ll see it and you can act like this never happened and let you walk right. Would you help us set 50 Cent up?” I was like, this is what this is about? He’s like, “Look man all you got to do is maybe would you be willing to plant a gun in his car, plant some drugs in his car? Does he smoke weed? Maybe you can set up where he can buy some drugs off you, and maybe help us do a buy and bust.” So I’m like nah I’m not with that. So they like take him back to the cell. We didn’t get bailed out until the next night. They were giving us problems, it’s like they didn’t want us to get bailed out. Maybe they thought Alchemist was going to crack because his skin color or something. Maybe they thought he was scared. We get bailed out, the first thing I do is go to G-Unit like I need to speak to Fif. Like son you need to be careful of who you around and who you let in your car. These muthaf*****s is trying to set you up. They tried for hours to get me to put s**t in your car, for me to get you to buy drugs off me, and Fif is already like that. Fif already know what time it is. He was happy I told him that. Fif already got a bulletproof truck with cameras all on the inside, all on the outside. If they would have tried to pull that sh*t that they did on me, he would have had all that s**t on film. If I had the cameras I could have played that s**t in court like look and I would have been home. But since I didn’t have that, they lied in court and did all types of s**t. These same cops that tried to set 50 up, got on the witness stand in my grand jury, told the jury that he saw me put something in the box. I never touched that box. I had no reason. I had a gun in the car, it was my gun. I keep a gun for self defense, there’s a lot of jealousy that we deal with. Like if somebody try to come up on my car or try to rob n****s, I’m popping straight up and down, somebody going to lay the f**k down. I had no reason to touch the gun or anything, because we going to Al’s crib. They got on the stand and lied. It ruined my illegal search case and it ruined my racial profiling case. Anytime police follow you for no reason, and you didn’t do anything wrong and they follow you from somewhere that’s called profiling, because you’re Black and you fit the description of a criminal in their mind. The first thing the D.A. did was walked up to my lawyer and was like, Look we’ll offer you three and a half [years] because the first offer was five years. They knew what they were doing. They knew my legal team knew there’s no way they could beat this case once they said that lie. All they care about is getting a conviction and a sentence. They don’t care if it’s for three days. I got a long criminal record as far as guns, getting in trouble and s**t like that. I never really committed no violent crime. I always kept a gun for protection; I’m not a violent person. I don’t go out starting trouble, I do music everyday. The whole world knows what I do for a living. My criminal record is for like gun possession, I got like five of them since I was sixteen. I beat all of my cases for illegal search. So I don’t know; they got smart this time or circumstances or whatever. Because of my record I was facing fifteen years if I would have blew trial. The judge could have gave me whatever he wanted. The smart thing for me is to take the plea bargain and I’ll be home in a minute. AllHipHop.com: Considering your lengthy criminal record, have you experienced the Hip-Hop police in the past besides the occasions you just mentioned?Prodigy: Back in like 90 before Mobb Deep came out I had an Acura, because I was into a lot of s**t so I had some money. It was a nice car; it had white seats, green piping. I was chilling for a little ni***. I was like fourteen, fifteen years old and I had my own car. I didn’t have a license, insurance I had none of that sh*t. I knew one of the dealers from Hillside Avenue in Jamaica. He used to put the s**t [as] temporary registration and that registration would run out I would come back and get a new one and he hooked me up with someone who had insurance so I had the hook up. So I was in Brooklyn one day driving and I got pulled over. My car used to be white, I painted it green. I didn’t know you when you paint the car you had to inform the DMV so they can switch your color on your registration so when the cops run your plates it will come up the same color whatever your car is. So when the D’s are behind me they run my plates, it’s supposed to be a white car but the sh*t is green so they think this sh*t might be stolen. So they pull me over, like “License and registration.” I told them I just painted my car and they are like you got to change that at the DMV. I didn’t even have a license. Back in the day if you didn’t have a license they wouldn’t do nothing or just tell you to pop the car or if they were cool they would tell you to get out of there, now it’s a different story. They see it’s legit, they ain’t f*** with me. I tell them I’m a rapper, this is where I’m getting my money from. Back in the day I had a song on the Boyz N Da Hood soundtrack, that’s before we even did Mobb Deep. They were like okay, where you from. So he’s like hold up, he tells his partner come here, [this] dude is from Queensbridge, a guy from Mobb Deep. So he’s like oh word? You know that booklet that police be having, where they be making notes and s**t? He pulls it out from his back pocket. He’s like you from Queensbridge? So you know Cormega? You know Lakey The Kid? You know Spank? He’s like do you know this one, do you know that one? And I knew every single one of them he was naming, [But] I was like, Nah. I was bugging. These ni***s got everybody names in his back pocket. This is ‘90 son. Lake was running around getting into shootouts so it was kind of understandable for them to have Lake’s name in the book. But for them to have all these other names they was saying, it was like they were trying to put something together that wasn’t real. AllHipHop.com: How’s your team holding you down throughout this? Is 50 being helpful?Prodigy: Everybody real supportive. Fif, Yayo calls me everyday like “Yo you good? I got ni***s waiting for you in every jail.” Everybody supportive, Hav, Alchemist, the whole team, like Noyd. They mad as hell I got to go to jail, but we got to deal with reality. Prodigy, The Prodigal Son, Part 2

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