10 Facts XXL Learned Reading Prodigy’s Autobiography

To simply state that My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy is a page-turner is an understatement. The 308-page book is filled with interesting anecdotes from the hip-hop veteran about his 18-plus-years in the game. From his life-long struggle with sickle cell anemia, to his complex relationship with his longtime partner-in-rhyme, Havoc, to his numerous rap battles with adversaries like Jay-Z, Nas, Saigon and Keith Murray, the memoir serves as a compelling read for die-hard fans as well as causal listeners. We don’t want to spoil the book for those that haven’t picked it up yet (wtf are you waiting for?), but there are some nuggets we just had to share. With that in mind, XXL presents 10 facts we learned reading Prodigy’s autobiography. Enjoy.

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    10. <b>Prodigy And Lil Wayne Exchanged Letters in Prison</b>
    While locked up in Mid-Sate Correctional Facility for criminal possession of a gun, P said him and Lil Wayne wrote to each other on several occasions. During a visit from Havoc, P urged his rap partner to visit Weezy in Rikers (Wayne was serving time on a attempted gun possession charge). “Wayne and I have been writing each other letters recently,” he told Hav. “That nigga loves us, man. He’s a good dude. I saw him in Manhattan before I turned myself in and he told me he wanted beats from you.”
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    9. <b>Prodigy Has One of Tupac’s Notebooks</b>
    P was good friends with slain Queens rapper E-Money Bags. After Bags was murdered, the Infamous rapper remained friends with Bags' right hand man, Majesty, whose brother was tight with ’Pac. Shakur left one of his notebooks containing his plans at Majesty’s house and he gave it to P to check out. “Reading his notebook gave me a newfound respect for Tupac,” he wrote.
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    8. <b>Prodigy Wanted to Work With T-Boz</b>
    Prodigy wanted TLC singer, T-Boz, to sing the hook on the standout H.N.I.C. track, “You Could Never Feel My Pain,” about his battle with sickle-cell, since she also shared the disease. The two met, and he played her the track, but her label, LaFace Records, shot down the collaboration, because of P’s gansgta image.
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    7. <b>Prodigy Influenced Cam’ron to Wear Pink</b>
    On several occasions, P talks about Cam’ron being a big fan of his music, and wanting to be friends with him. At one point the two met up in California and P was rocking a pink Polo shirt, which he believes may have kicked off Cam’s signature pink craze. “Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I never saw Cam wear pink before that day in L.A.,” he writes.
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    6. <b>Capone Snitched on Havoc’s Brother</b>
    In arguably the most inflammatory moment in Prodigy’s autobiography, P claims that fellow Queens MC Capone of Capone-N-Noreaga, was the DA’s star witness in a shooting case against Havoc’s brother, Killer Black. P, who was at the trial with the rest of his Mobb Deep associates, saw ’Pone take the stand and finger Black as the shooter. His testimony ended up not holding up in court, as an autopsy report proved his account to be fabricated. KB beat the case and later Capone said that was his original motive for cooperating in the first place.
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    5. <b>Prodigy Had Several Famous Woman Admirers</b>
    Mary J. Blige, Keyshia Cole, Lil’ Kim and even Lindsay Lohan all made passes at P at one point. It’s unclear if he ever sealed the deal with any of the ladies—he was shocked and apparently too star-struck when Blige hit on him, he seemed to only score Cole’s digits during a run-in at the mall, and merely danced all night with Ms. Lohan. The best chance he had was with Kim, but the two only go to first base because they couldn’t find any privacy.
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    4. <b>Mobb Deep Almost Signed to Bad Boy</b>
    Prodigy reveals that Diddy originally had his eye on Mobb Deep, not The Notorious B.I.G., as the first rap act that he wanted to sign to his label. Puff loved their demo so much he offered to ink the group at their first meeting, but the duo weren’t as excited to jump into the deal so quickly and the hip-hop mogul later offered the deal to Big.
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    3. <b>Havoc Accidentally Shot A Def Jam Employee</b>
    Before signing with 4th and Broadway, Mobb Deep hung out outside of the Def Jam offices in hopes of making some industry connections. When they played their demo for Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest as he was exiting the building, he was impressed enough to bring them inside to meet with the label. Prodigy said he gave his gun to one of the employees to hold as they were taking a meeting. Once they were on their way, Havoc took the gun and started messing with it, accidentally shooting one of the assistants. Luckily, Hav beat the charges in court.
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    2. <b>Havoc and P’s Original Positions in Mobb Deep Were Reversed</b>
    When Mobb Deep first started in the early 90s, Hav used to write Prodgy’s rhymes and P would work on the beats using his grandfather’s extensive jazz collection. In fact, he reveals that the partner wrote his verse for their first tracks, “Peer Pressure” from their 1993 debut, <em>Juvenile Hell</em>. “Havoc used to write some of my rhymes because my style and flow didn’t match the unique style and flow he had coming from Queensbridge,” he wrote.
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    1. <b>Prodigy Has A Pretty Interesting Family Tree</b>
    VIP was far from the first famous person in his family, nor the first musically inclined member. His mother, Frances sang in famous 1960s pop group, The Crystals, most known for their hit songs “Da Doo Ron Ron,” and “Then He Kissed Me.” His father, Budd Johnson, Jr was also a singer in a doo-wop group called the Chanters and also played African drums. P’s paternal grandfather (Big Budd) was a saxophone player that worked with Quincy Jones and was later inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and his maternal grandmother, Bernice Johnson opened up the renowned dance school bearing her name in Jamiaca, Queens. In addition his great-great-great-grandfather on his mother’s side founded the historical black college, Morehouse. His maternal great-grandfather also created the first black post office in Atlanta, Georgia. Talk about a family tree whose roots run deeper than rap.
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  • D-90

    Prodigy is a idiot… always talkin bout that bullshit illuminati conspiracy, then his ass really goes out nd says Crooked I is wack smh

    • DL84

      Im sorry but crooked-i IS wack

  • willis

    fuck you mutherfucker, fuck off and listen to your fuckin Drake album instead of writing bullshit about a hip hop legend

  • http://na B-authentic

    Prodigy at least deserves repect as an artist..Maybe he exxagerates his street side of himself, but the bottom line is he is one of the best street lyricist’s out of the east coast..If you have had a taste of the street, then you can really feel some of his music. As for the book, i cant wait to read it. though alot of queens soldiers aint to happy about his honesty. I been in prison, they call it dry snitching. But fuck it, if the cases he is talkin bout are closed, then it really aint puttin no 1′s freedom in jepoardy. But i also understand why people aint to happy wit em also. Either way im a mobb listener and say god bless em for the work and effort he has put in for his music-1