Whether it was his brutal approach to street bravado (“stab your brain with your nose bone”), his at times nonsensical delivery or helping to usher the always beloved “Dunn/Thunn Langauge,” P was truly special.
Additionally, from 1995 to about 1999 he was giving every other top tier MC from the Big Apple a run for their money for the King of New York crown.
HipHopWired is very sad to see the H.N.I.C. go but his legacy will continue to live forever with a myriad of bars that not only shaped our musical tastes but major parts of our youth. In celebration of his storied career here are 10 essential Prodigy verses you need in life right now, and forever.
10. “You Can Never Feel My Pain”
With Prodigy’s passing it is only right this tune makes the list. Here P literally bares his soul sharing his trials and tribulations with Sickle Cell anemia: “My handicap took its’ toll on my sanity, my moms got me at the shrink at like 13.” Additionally, admissions of heavily sedating himself to cope with the agony sheds further light on why he was so rigid at times.
9. “Recognize And Realize, Part II”
This feature is criminally slept on as Prodigy’s second verse is something stuggle rappers dream about penning. “Like Greek sculptures your’re left limbless” might be one of the illest threats you will ever hear on wax.
8. “Hell On Earth (Front Lines)”
This was just yet another great album cut from the seminal Hell On Earth that confirmed Prodigy’s lyrical prowess. The first couple of bars would be a staple of P’s as he just had the knack of setting an incredible tone with the first couple of lines. Also to be appreciated is how he was able to use a higher grade of vocabulary when describing casualties of war (“Blood flood your eye, f*ck up your optics”).
7. “Still Shinin'”
From the clothes to the cars, to the block wars,”Still Shinin'” gives us a look on how ingrained P was in the New York streets. This album cut is full to the brim with slang that just was so aligned with the mid 90’s action (shame on you if you don’t know what an “Ac’ Vigor” is). Also, we get spiritual references (“At peace with myself like Islam”) that show some levels of consciousness and quips that prove he was woke (“We rob land like white man”) before it was all trendy.
6. “Survival of the Fittest”
If you had to point to a flawless verse in Prodigy’s discography than look no further than “Survival of the Fittest.” From start to finish this 30 bar performance hits with every line. His signature opener was one of his greatest (“There’s a war goin’ on outside no man is safe from”), he showed himself as vulnerable (“New York got a n*gga depressed”), gave us a uncompromising braggadocio (“And all unfinished beef, you will soon be killed/Put us together, it’s like mixin’ vodka and milk”) and some hints of their true to life Queensbridge background (“Or maybe it’s the words from my man Killa Black that I can’t say so it’s left a untold fact”). Lyrical perfection.