Prodigy: H.N.I.C. Part 2

In the mid nineties, P came out with guns blazing alongside Havoc. His persona was like a shank sharpened on the concrete and had the bars to match. Going past the new millennium it seemed Mobb Deep weren’t holding the same weight they previously did with their last couple of albums all getting lukewarm responses. Amongst footage of getting sucker punched and sitting in bing for another two and half years, Prodigy still pushes on with the sequel to his underrated debut and most likely his darkest effort yet H.N.I.C. Part 2 (Voxonic).

The album opens up strongly with “Real Power Is People.” The conspiracy theory themed newscast followed by a slew governmental grievances cajole you into believing that the album is going to focus on the heightened state of enlightenment P has accumulatedsince his prison inducing arrest. Instead he keeps it mild as he denounces the almighty dollar and explains the true meaning of power over solar system synths and heaving drums.

“Illumanati” leads the listener to believe that the track might pick up where "Power Is People" left off. No. But regardless of the theme, V.I.P. stomps all over the track with brollic wordplay and some mature reflection (“I was fast sleep but now I’m wide awake / I was under the spell of reserve notes / religion and fashion / I used to be flashy”).

The album’s gloomy aura is at its apex with the first single “ABC.” Produced by Sid Roams, the track sounds like peyote fueled hike through a Hip-Hop haunted house. A mash up of possessed organs and creepy guitar licks, P assures all adversaries he is still not one to be played with. Other noteworthy selections include “Veteran’s Memorial 2” where he opens up on the lives of his fallen crew and the evil guitar driven “New Yitty.”

Past the eighth or ninth track the disc looses its’ steam. Prodigy’s elementary lyrics coupled with his it doesn’t rhyme but I’ll make it rhyme flow (“Let me prepare you, for that rectangle box / you deserve to die you dirty little f***”), make joints like “Field Marshall P” and “3 Stacks” forgettable. Additionally, the Havoc collaboration “I Want Out” doesn’t hit as hard as long time fans of the Infamous duo would expect.

It’s clear with H.N.I.C. Part 2, we get Prodigy on his own terms. There are no promising attempts at radio or club hits, and definitely no cream puffs asking for forgiveness from their monogamy challenged girlfriends. On the flipside, the album lacks a true consistency to land on a 2008 top ten list. Bottom line Prodigy could have dunn more on this occasion.




"The Life"