5. “Drop a Gem on ‘Em”

Tupac was talking really greasy about Mobb Deep on “Hit Em’ Up” and most of the East Coast in general. Few had the courage to respond but Mobb Deep did just that on their first street single to Hell On Earth. Prodigy laced ‘Pac with some lines that really stung (“You would think that getting ya heads shot enough but then…”) and were downright eerie considering Shakur’s eventual fate (“What you think you can’t get bucked again?”). Don’t sleep on this diss record.

4. “I Shot Ya (Remix)”

When you talk about those critical moments when Prodigy was just a verse or two away from claiming the King of New York crown you have to bring up his guest appearance on LL Cool J’s star-studded “I Shot Ya (Remix).” This song really shows how much of a technician he was when you analyze his bar pattern use. On average he uses about seven to eight words per line but they were all still potent. Additionally, his use of spelling out words (s-h-i-n-e) was a welcomed touch. Lastly, this verse features the most popular mention of the Illuminati in Rap; you know that secret society that wanted his mind, soul and body?

3. “Keep It Thoro”

With his debut solo album H.N.I.C. we saw a different side of Prodigy as an MC. For the large part he set aside the dark contemplative approach for a far more street feel. This was embodied perfectly on the first single “Keep It Thoro.” Prodigy was straight to the point with brash bars that captured his newfound no cares given attitude (“I rap like no one out there can f*ck wit me, you feel different?, n*gga, see me”). The icing on cake was one of the illest threats in Rap music ever “I throw a TV at you crazy,” Yeah P, you crazy (and we say that with utmost respect).

2. “Quiet Storm”

Even though Hell On Earth did its numbers it took the Mobb another three years to release a follow-up album. The streets were doubting that the Queensbridge duo still had it in them but boy were they wrong. Originally intended for Prodigy’s solo album, “Quiet Storm” was an undeniable classic as soon as it hit the streets. What makes this truly special is the fine balance of punch you in your mouth Rap (“You try to stop mines from growin’

I’ll make your blood stop flowin'”) and self-reflection (“I spent too many nights sniffin’ coke, gettin’ right”) P walked on this. This song singlehandedly brought the Mobb back, and the remix did the same for Lil Kim.

1. “Shook Ones Part II”

This should come as no surprise as this is one of the key songs that helped define 90’s Hip-Hop. Gritty is not the word to describe P’s verse which includes several legendary lines including his most famous “I got you stuck off the realness.” This verse has been sampled countless times for hook purposes thanks to greats like DJ Premier, Pete Rock and others. It doesn’t get better than this.

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