Prodigy of Mobb Deep was a master of the macabre. His rhyme book, laced with graphic visuals told via his own criminal slang (the Dunn Language), brought to life the unthinkable bloodsport and infamy of New York City’s grimiest neighborhoods—the type of realism that today’s cultural tourists get off on.
With Prodigy’s unexpected death on Tuesday, many have revisited the abundant classic recordings that he’s left behind. Likewise, Complex looked back on the best of P to compiled his greatest, most timeless raps.
Starting from the beginning of the list, you might notice a trend: Several of the rhymes below are first verses. During Prodigy’s lyrical peak—from the 1995 release of Mobb Deep’s sophomore album The Infamous to his 2000 solo debut H.N.I.C.—there was simply no safer bet than starting a song with one of his captivating opening gambits and all the fire that’d follow, the hallmark of a true rap genius.
Reminisce on some of Prodigy’s finest verses, and pour out a lil’ St. Ides for one of hip-hop’s best to ever do it.