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.
When Havoc was talking about producing “Last Dayz” in the book and he was telling you to get on it, I was surprised that your reaction was that Biggie was corny.
A lot of people was feeling him, I just wasn’t feeling him. Another thing is that, I used to take things real personal. I was real serious when it came to rapping. I still do, but even more so when I was real young. I was on some other shit dun.

When I used to hear certain shit that Biggie used to say, he used to take some of my lines from my lyrics, and use them. That used to piss me off, because I was like, “Damn, this nigga just bit my shit.”

I wasn’t fucking with nobody else but Mobb Deep. I had tunnel-vision, straight up. I ain’t see nothing but Mobb Deep. I ain’t hear nothing but Mobb Deep. And niggas can’t fuck with Mobb Deep. That was my opinion, how I was thinking, and my life. Mobb Deep, fuck everybody else. So when I used to hear certain shit that Biggie used to say, he used to take some of my lines from my lyrics, and use them. That used to piss me off, because I was like, “Damn, this nigga just bit my shit.”

Like what lines?
Like “Niggas bleed just like us,” that’s my shit, and certain other things. But at that time it would piss me off, but now when I look back at it, it’s a compliment. He wasn’t trying to steal. He was basically kind of like a fan. And now I realize because I feel the same way about him. And I feel the same way about certain other rappers too. Just had a different mentality back then. It was little things like that.

It was like a competitive thing?
Yeah. It just took me a while to really like his style. It took me a while to like Wu-Tang’s style. When I first heard “Protect Ya Neck” as a matter of fact, I was listening to the radio like, “Damn, this shit is alright, but it ain’t all that though. This shit sounds kind of corny.”

But then after a while the shit started growing on me. That shit happens sometimes man. That shit happens with everything, even when you’re listening to beats. I might not like a beat for a month, and then after a month I realize that shit is hot. Especially with me, speaking for myself, that happens with me a lot. Sometimes it takes me a while to like something. Some people, they like it right away. They know, and can see it right away, like “Oh that shit is hot,” and they’ll be like “I told you P, that shit was hot.”

So even when you were on tour with Big, it still took you a while to become a fan?
Yeah. Like I said, I was in Mobb Deep zone. We didn’t even really hang out with them niggas on tour. Until that one incident that happened in Cleveland, that’s when we first started hanging out with them niggas. And we was on tour for like, a month already almost. And then after that incident then we started hanging out with each other, getting cool. Then I realized “These niggas is cool.”

Then we started talking, and conversating, and we got real cool after that. But before then, it was like, “Who? What? I’m going to my room nigga. I don’t give a fuck. I’m going over here. I’m going to do this.” Nothing was important to me, but Mobb Deep, because we was making some shit at that time. I guess you could say I was feeling myself, being cocky, however you want, but that’s what it was.

Speaking of Mobb Deep, you talk in the book about how at first Havoc wasn’t visiting you in jail. Were you guys on bad terms when you first went in?
Nah, it wasn’t nothing like that. Sometimes when niggas get locked up, the people on the outside, they don’t understand really the importance of it. When you in prison and you’re locked in the cell, you’re looking at the outside world different. You’re seeing everything different. Time stops. And you’re just sitting there, and moving real slow. Everybody else in the world is just out there moving frantic.

They’re not even thinking really, because they’re worried about bills, and this and that, and the third, and you’re just sitting there with time to think and be calm. So you look at things different. So I was reaching out to son, and he ain’t get right back with me right away, but I already knew that he’s not thinking like I am right now. He’s out in the world being hectic with the world’s issues. But at the same time it gets you mad a little bit. I mean, this happens to everybody. This ain’t just me and Hav’s situation. I’m talking about everybody that goes to jail.

They’ve got to deal with this same shit that I’m talking about right now with somebody. They don’t understand that people on the outside don’t understand how serious that shit is. Because I know I’ve been through it, where I’ve been on the outside, and I had people in jail, and I didn’t write them as fast, or as much as I should have, because I didn’t understand how much that shit means to somebody that’s in prison.

So when I dealt with the situation myself it made me think back, like, Wow, I remember when the shoe was on the other foot. When I was on the outside, and one of my mans was locked up, and he used to write me, and I didn’t get back to him for months. I’m running around doing other things, and I’m not even focused, because I’m out in the world dealing with world shit. So, that’s basically what happened. And I knew eventually, he would come around and come up, and that’s what happened.

How long into your bid was it before Havoc came to visit?
I think about a year and a half maybe. He had tried to come up early on, but something happened. He forgot his I.D. He had came with Alchemist, and had to wait in the car. That’s what it was though. Basically, I already knew what time it was as far as the situation with Hav, because no matter what happens with me and son, if we piss each other off or whatever, it always comes back to Mobb Deep being more important than anything that you could name.

One of the biggest stories since you have been out is the whole Mister Cee situation. How do you feel about that?
I mean, I really don’t know exactly what happened. I ain’t look into it, or try to investigate all the facts. I’m just hearing what people saying, and radio, so I really don’t have that much of an opinion about it. But to each his own man, if it’s really like that.

It sounds crazy to me, like Cee is my nigga. We fuck with Mister Cee. That nigga loves Mobb Deep and always shows us love, and plays our music all the time on the radio. He’s one of the only ones that does that. It’s few of them, and he’s one of the main ones. So regardless of what, that nigga shows us love, and we’re going to show him love back.

He’s always going to get new music from us. That nigga call, we always going to pick up like “What’s up? You good?” If he wants to do a party, whatever. Whatever Mister Cee wants to do, we fuck with Mister Cee. That’s what it is.

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Tags: prodigy, modd-deep
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