Back in the mid 90’s it was undeniable that Mobb Deep was one of the premier hip-hop groups emerging on the scene. Albums like The Infamous, Hell on Earth, and Murda Muzik were stellar with great beats mixed with phenomenal lyrics. Prodigy later went on to release H.N.I.C. in 2000 that was received very well and had everyone anticipating Mobb Deep’s next project. But with Infamy, things took another direction, as the group was perceived as selling out to garner commercial success later to be followed by label changes eventually joining the G-Unit imprint. Their first release from the label Blood Money did not fare well and just added to the string of disappointments.
In 2007 Prodigy released Return of the Mac and with top-notch production from the Alchemist, things were on the up and up for Prodigy and the Infamous name. But once again, things become sour with H.N.I.C. Pt. 2, a disappointing mediocre offering from a talented emcee who sounds out dated and uninspired.
Honestly, the only bright spots on the album can be seen in the beginning with tracks like “Real Power is People,” “The Life,” and “Young Veterans.” It is here that Prodigy is able to merge grimy, gritty lyrics with social commentary. This has been a strong suit for him in the past, in addition, the production for the most part coincides by being dark, fitting well with P’s vocal tone.
What makes this album disappointing is the uninspired delivery by the emcee on most tracks. After the first H.N.I.C., Prodigy seemed to come down with a severe case of writer’s block, and even though he managed to squeeze out a couple of decent tracks, this album overall lacks substance, basically being pointless constituting a string on thug ramblings and idle threats, often coming in the forms of interludes and skits. So it is sad to see an artist of Prodigy’s caliber come out with another subpar project, but maybe it will serve as motivation for his next go ‘round. – RH
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