For roughly five years, Prodigy’s legendary catalog hasn’t been on streaming services, but on May 20, it finally returned to DSPs.

On that day, Prodigy’s estate released a song called “You Will See,” the first new music since the passing of the late rapper, who began his career as one half of the legendary duo Mobb Deep alongside rapper and producer Havoc. The song came with the announcements that his entire solo catalog had returned to DSPs, and that a posthumous album called Hegelian Dialectic: Book Of Heroine will be released on Infamous Records (through Warner Music) sometime in the “second quarter of 2022.” The album is part of a Hegelian Dialectic trilogy that he had already finished at the time of his June 2017 passing.

Joe the Engine Ear, Prodigy’s engineer, close friend, and roommate through the final eight years of his life, tells Complex that Prodigy’s music was taken down from DSPs in order to take proper account of his solo catalog.

“There were some legal issues once P passed with publishing rights and ownership,” he explains. “People would be like, ‘Oh, I did that. I own that.’ There was a lack of paperwork, and a lot of legal issues, so in order to not have to deal with the legal issues, all of P’s music was removed from streaming services.”

On an early July afternoon, Joe tells me about the process in his Brooklyn apartment. His walls are covered in art and photos, a sign of a well-traveled man, and his Siberian husky Judah sits beside us during our conversation. He has a home studio where he mixes for lots of New York-area artists, but today we’re talking about the one who changed his life. 

In order to get Prodigy’s music back on DSPs, his friends and family culled through the paperwork and made sure the publishing splits, credits, and sample clearances were correct on every song in Prodigy’s solo catalog, as well as on the next two Hegelian Dialectic projects. “It’s hard to explain the amount of work that it took to get The Book of Heroine near the finish line,” Joe says. “I’ve never had to work this hard on anything ever, and it wasn’t just me. There was an army of people.”