How do your favorite rappers write their rhymes? To find out, Complex TV has started a new series, The Process. Hosted by Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg and shot at New York City's legendary Chung King Studios, The Process features intimate conversations with established legends as well as exciting up-and-comers about how they put their rhymes together and the magic that happens when the pen hits the pad. New episodes of The Process premiere every Tuesday on Complex TV.
In our latest episode of The Process with Peter Rosenberg, Prodigy details how he got into the rap game. Beginning in the celebrated group Mobb Deep, Prodigy says Havoc assisted his writing process for their debut album Juvenile Hell.
"Coming from Hempstead, Long Island, I had my little bit of skills, but it wasn't really up to par with what these brothers was doing out in the Bridge," Prodigy says. "I had to learn that cadence and little slangs and certain things. So Hav would actually be like, 'Yeah, spit this verse. Say it like this.' Once I got the hang of it I was like, oh hold up, I started just writing."
Prodigy explains that his rhymes reflected a lifestyle on the streets, which he would still revert to from time to time. However, the rapper had a wake-up call when the older men on the corner told him to focus on music. "When we used to wild' out in the neighborhood, went out robbing people, they would actually like sit me down like, 'What are you doing? Get your ass in the studio," Prodigy recalls. "We really didn't know the real impact of what we was doing was going to be that serious, like it was going to affect people's lives."
Over time, Prodigy says he got comfortable in his writing abilities. In fact, he got a little too comfortable, to the point that he and Havoc would get into arguments about the length of his verses. "That used to be a big problem for us," Prodigy says. "Once I start writing, I never used to count the bars. I used to just write until it felt like it should end. And Havoc used to always be like, 'Yo son, you got to cut your verse 'cause it's longer than my verse. It's not fair.'"
If you like this episode, check out Oddisee on The Process below, as well as Prodigy's latest visit on The Combat Jack Show.