The shock factor of Gangster rap has been eroded for more than a decade now. The listening public is no longer appalled and pleasured by the unabashed mentioning of automatic weapons and the sale of illegal pharmaceuticals as we once were. The shtick has become so common place that we now have come to expect it. However, every now and then a veteran comes along and challenges our perception of the genre and actually makes it dangerous again. Prodigy of Mobb Deep was once considered musically dead by several musical critics. His vivid street analysis seemed to wane over the years and his pairing with the polarizing G-unit crew seemed to turn off some lifelong fans.
However, with a new concentrated focus and a more precise brutal delivery Prodigy has picked up where he left off with his mixtape offering last year “Return of the Mac”. His current release “H.N.I.C 2” is some of the grimiest, nihilistic gangster rap you will hear this entire year. P’s flow has become less complicated and straighter to the point adding to the gritty realism of his current release. Also his paranoid conspiracy theorist persona that was delivered in early Mobb albums is not only back in full force it dictates the tone of the entire album. Sonically, Alchemist takes the brunt of the production and masterfully lays down eerie tracks for P to brutalize. Maybe its Ps current jail sentence or his frantically weird new blog postings that makes the listener believe every word he says on the album. Either way, I dare you to turn on “Veteran’s Memorial” and not get shivers up your spine. H.N.I.C indeed.