If you listened to hip hop during the 90’s with any regularity, you’re probably familiar with Mobb Deep. They were an interesting outlier in the hip hop world. Made up of Prodigy and Havoc, they were a team of story tellers that detailed the blood and grit of the street world instead of espousing the almost comical obsession with opulence that pervaded hip hop at the time. Mobb Deep wasn’t the only group to do that, but something about the stories they told seemed especially genuine. They lacked flash. They were the Death Wish or Bad Lieutenant of the Hip Hop world perhaps rather than the James Bond. Because of that they always maintained a reputation as the “rappers rap group.” Songs like “Shook Ones” and “Quiet Storm” are now considered classics of the genre.
Prodigy is one half of Mobb Deep and his hip hop storytelling edge makes him a perfect pick to oversee the new books division. Who better to search for genuine stories of the street than the guy who kept it gritty and dark even when his career and bank account could have been on the line?
H.N.I.C Kicks off the new division and is written by Prodigy himself. It’s a very quick read at only 116 pages and the length seems fitting for the story’s pace. H.N.I.C kicks off with a robbery gone bad. Not unlike some of the classic urban gangster movies of our time, the gang featured in the book consists mainly of nihilists hustlers, but the exception comes in our main character. In this case it’s Pappy, the only one willing to see the flaw in his crew’s plans, the only one who wants to get out of the life. Like Q in Juice, Pappy finds his Bishop in Black. The hungriest of the crew, the one whose spent the money from their robbery before it even takes place and the struggle between these two marks the much of the tension in the book.
We thought, “what could be better than to hear a bit of H.N.I.C from Prodigy himself?” So we invited the legend down to our offices for a few question and a little story time session ala The Source.