In honor of the rapper’s life and career, Mobb Deep’s Havoc has pulled two unreleased freestyles from the vault, reminding us all just how lyrically talented his good friend and longtime collaborator was.
One of the records is “Thief’s Theme,” which features Prodigy and Havoc rapping over the 2004 Nas classic of the same name. The Salaam Remi–produced track served as a single to Nas’ seventh studio album Street’s Disciple, and has become known largely for its sample of Iron Butterfly's “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Havoc also shared Prodigy’s solo freestyle over “Stay Chiseled,” a Nas-assisted track that landed on the Large Professor’s 2002 album 1st Class.
You can hear both previously unreleased cuts below.
Earlier this week, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda dropped a Hamilton-inspired rendition of “Boom Goes the Cannon”—one of Prodigy’s last recordings with Havoc before his death. The track was part of Miranda’s ongoing #Hamildrop series, in which he teams up with various artists to rework the production’s musical numbers. “Boom Goes the Cannon” fuses Mobb Deep’s work with samples of the histori-musical's “Right Hand Man.”
Fans can expect more material from the legendary Queens duo later this year, as Havoc has confirmed a new Mobb Deep album is on the way.
“The way I'm reflecting on it is I'm just trying to keep the legacy alive,” Havoc told MSNBC about the project. “We deserve that, and I'm actually currently working on the new album in conjunction with the family. It'll be out there pretty soon. Before the end of the year it’ll be out.”