|H.N.I.C. 3 album cover by AceofLA and Michael Scott Jones|
By Kristen Maldonado
Hip hop duo Mobb Deep made their mark elevating rap to a different level in the East Coast in the 1990’s. Prodigy and Havoc attended high school together and joined forces, using their musical talents and determination to garner success; years later, the twosome continue to create music and use it to relate to their fans. They've also done separate work, with Prodigy releasing an autobiographical novel and even doing some acting. On July 3, his third solo album, “H.N.I.C. 3,” hits.
We got a chance to chat with Prodigy about his new album, his favorite Marvel video game, and which of his songs would be the perfect Punisher theme!
Marvel.com: When does your new album come out and can you tell us about it?
Prodigy: My new album “H.N.I.C. 3” drops July 3. This is my first solo release on my own label, Infamous, which is being distributed by Sony/RED. This is only my third solo release so I'm treating everything as if I'm a brand new artist. I believe I gotta have that attitude in order to capture the old and new fans’ attention, so on this album people will feel and hear that new energy.
Marvel.com: Growing up in a musical family, did you ever feel pressured to succeed as a rapper?
Prodigy: No, I never felt any pressure to succeed in the entertainment world, even though damn near my whole family was in show business. My family raised me to have no fear and instilled in me that I can achieve any goal I work hard towards.
Marvel.com: Who has been your favorite person to collaborate with?
Prodigy: I collaborated with some great artist on “H.N.I.C. 3.” Production-wise, I have the Alchemist, T.I., Young L, Beat Butcha, Sid Roams, The Colombians, S.C., Ty Fyffe, Bassmint Music, and Valentino. As far as features—I'm really proud of those—I got [a] chance to work with Wiz Khalifa, Willie Taylor of Day 26, Esther, Havoc, T.I., and Boogz Boogetz, who is a new young artist from Queens. I would say my favorite [collaborations] on “H.N.I.C. 3” are the songs "Smack That B" [featuring] Esther; that was a fun [collaboration because] in relationships people tend to go through a lot of this type of jealousy and "lover’s rage" emotions. I think this song will touch home with a lot of people. Another [favorite] of mine is "What's Happnin'" [featuring] T.I. This one stands out for me [because] T.I. [is] not only [featured] on it, but he produced the beat. It's about two people who are really diggin' each other, but the woman is very hesitant to be with him [because] of his criminal lifestyle.
Marvel.com: What is the music creation process like when you are collaborating versus working alone?
Prodigy: To me, collaborating with another artist who I'm excited about working with really pushes my creativity. It can bring the best or the worst out of you [because] if [you’re] too hype and you try too hard, it's gonna show. But for me, it pushes me to perform at my best and I think I handle it pretty well. Working alone, I'm just in my own [little] comfort zone and I'm good with that too.
Marvel.com: How do you feel your music has changed over the years?
Prodigy: Musically, I've grown so much over the years. As I get older my horizons broaden. I've experienced so much in life. My taste in music, food, friends, [women], fashion, everything. My taste in everything has expanded, so it's gonna show in my lyrics and production choices. I'm an artist in every sense of the word. I like to try new things, new colors, new sounds. I just have fun with it and I believe that's why my fans support me. They're attracted to my fearlessness.
Marvel.com: Are you reading any Marvel comics now?
Prodigy: I like The Punisher as a whole. I'm feeling the gun bussin' vigilante thing.
Marvel.com: If you were to compare yourself to a Marvel character, which would it be?
Prodigy: I would most definitely compare myself with The Punisher. 100 percent.
Marvel.com: Did you see the “Marvel’s The Avengers?”
Prodigy: Yes, Avengers is a must see. If you haven't seen it, you should make time.
Marvel.com: If you were to create a song for any Marvel character, who would you pick?
Prodigy: I would create the Punisher's theme song. I have a song called "Skull N Bones" on my new album “H.N.I.C. 3” that would fit perfectly for a Punisher theme song, [because] the song fits his violent characteristics.
You can pick up Prodigy's “H.N.I.C. 3” album in stores July 3 and stay up-to-date on his future projects by following him on Twitter @ProdigyMobbDeep. You can also follow Mobb Deep on Twitter @MobbDeep.