Interview: Prodigy Talks Reconciling With Nas, Capone Snitching, & Why He Thought Biggie Was Corny

Interview: Prodigy Talks Reconciling With Nas, Capone Snitching, & Why He Thought Biggie Was CornyPhotography by Sinikiwe Dhliwayo.
But even with the Central Park incident, I thought it was interesting how when the fight backstage happened with Lakey, you wondered if Nas might’ve had something to do with setting that up.
I mean, as far as that situation’s concerned, Nas ain’t have nothing to do with that. That’s dudes moving on their own, and trying to take control of a situation that they ain’t have control over. I spoke to Nas about that, and he didn’t agree with that whole situation, how Fakey was acting. So that was something that son did on his own to try and act like he’s some type of boss, or controlling some type of situation.

Nas has got people around him, and we’ve got people around us, and sometimes the extras don’t mix. The extras don’t even belong with us basically, because they’re not even on the same level mentally. You don’t even belong in this circle right here with us. Me and Nas were talking about that on the phone like, “All the extra niggas is fucking shit up. Like, if it was just us it wouldn’t even be no bullshit.” Extra niggas want to start extra shit. You have a couple bad apples in the bunch.

At one point in My Infamous Life, you recall being in L.A. with a pink polo on, and running into Cam’ron, and how he started rocking pink afterwards.
Yeah. I mean, that was kind of weird. [Laughs.] Because a lot of people were like “Damn.” They used to see me with my little shit on. They was like “Yo, damn, you make it alright to wear pink son.” [Laughs.] A lot of people used to tell me that shit. They’d be like, “Damn, we wouldn’t think that P would rock some shit like that. You make me want to go cop a pink shirt son.”

When I seen son out there, in front of the hotel that day, I paid attention to that. I’m from the era where we pay attention to everything you got on: your jewelry, how you rhyme, every word that’s coming out your mouth, your hairstyle, and everything, because we want to see your type of style. We’re checking you out. How you lace your shoes, every fine detail, we pay attention to. Because in that era everybody was unique. Staten Island did this, Queens did this, Brooklyn did this.

We always used to check peoples’ styles out, so I pay attention to that type of shit. I never seen him do it before then, so that was just kind of weird to me. It ain’t nothing to be proud of, it was just a true story that was always in my mind that I felt like telling.

I mean after Justin’s incident, when I seen where [Jay-Z's] head was at with the whole situation, and I seen that he didn’t want to take it to that level, we fell back off of the nigga. Because we seen that the nigga was not that serious.

You also speak on Capone taking the stand to testify against Havoc’s brother, Killer Black. That’s the kind of thing that would end most rappers’ careers. How did this not come out sooner?
People were upset, but that was just one of those things that just never came out. It just never happened. I can’t tell you why.

Are you and Capone still cool?
I mean, yeah, when we was younger, but after that shit with Hav’s brother I was just like, “Come on man.” In a hood like that, you have to see people everyday. You’re going to see niggas like, “What’s up? Oh, alright, what’s up son?” But in the back of your mind you’re going to be like, “Damn, this nigga really did that shit.” That’s crazy. I didn’t even want to believe it. None of us wanted to believe it, but that’s what really happened though. We like Capone, and he just did that.

It was just funny when you were talking about his explanation for taking the stand was he was giving false information to throw the cops off.
I can’t tell you why he did it, or why he said what he said afterwards, but all I can tell you is that really happened. I was thinking when I was writing it like, “Oh he’s going to take some offense to this.” But when I think about it, this is a story that really happened, so I’m not going to leave out something that’s part of my life story, something of major significance that happened, just because he’s going to be upset about it.

Like, dude you should be upset about what you did, not that I’m telling my life story. [Laughs.] So that’s why I put the shit in there, because it’s just crazy that he did that. I didn’t write it in my book trying to target him, or “I’ve got beef, fuck him,” or trying to ruin his career. It ain’t nothing like that. If he feels some type of way about it, basically he needs to take that up with the man in the mirror.

It also comes out in the book that at one point, you and your friends jumped Nore and beat him up.
Nore’s my man. I fucks with Nore. If you read the book it’ll tell you when me and Nore got cool. He’s a good dude man. We all do crazy shit in our life. And the shit he did wasn’t even that crazy for me to never fuck with him ever again, so he’s good money in my book.

You recount an incident in My Infamous Life where you ran into Jay-Z at Justin’s and he didn’t want any trouble. Did you feel like allowing him to say disrespectful things without any consequences might leave a bad impression with fans?
I mean, maybe when I was younger. But around that time my mind and my decision-making started changing. We don’t beat up on weak people. You don’t do that shit where I’m from. You don’t score no points doing that. You don’t take advantage of somebody that you could take advantage of, and overpower them. That’s a universal law you would be violating to do some shit like that, so we don’t so that. Word.

I mean after Justin’s incident, when I seen where his head was at with the whole situation, and I seen that he didn’t want to take it to that level, we fell back off of the nigga. Because we seen that the nigga was not that serious. He says it’s just music, alright cool then it’s just music then. I mean if he would have been some type of threat then we would have took care of that. We bumped into him a few times after that. Like, the VMAs, shows at Madison Square Garden, Nassau Coliseum, certain places like that we’ll see him backstage and he’ll see us like, “Oh, what’s up man?” [Laughs.]

At the end of the book you see that I give him love. Jay’s an amazing artist. I learned a lot from him as far as business. Just watching him, his movements, and how he came up in business. His decision-making with music, and everything that he does. He’s a very intelligent dude, and at the end of the day it’s all love man, because that’s what he told me.

When I was younger, the situation would have probably been different. But he came up to me and said, “Yo, ain’t no beef son. It’s just music.” Alright, cool. So that’s where we left it. It’s just music. It’s a little rap music rivalry, and that’s that. We know the difference between street shit and music shit.

Did your time incarcerated put things into perspective regarding beefs you had with Jay-Z, Nas, Saigon, etc. and feel like it’s really not worth it?
Yeah. Like the Saigon situation is like the same situation. Like, it don’t make sense to do... That’s just like, corny. That would be wrong to do something to him. That wouldn’t even be fair, to tell you the truth. It’s not even that serious. A little incident happened, like whatever. You stay over there, we’ll stay over here, because when it gets like that son, somebody’s going to get hurt bad. It’s not going to be us either, put it like that. And that’s just being real. Word.

Click next page to see P explain why he once thought Biggie was corny...

Tags: prodigy, modd-deep
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