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Prodigy, The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson Story

As one half of the infamous Mobb Deep, Prodigy embodied the gritty street tales of Noir York City. Now a free man after serving a three-year bid for weapons possession, the H.N.I.C. kicks that dun language once again on the quickstrike EP, The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson Story.

Anchored by production from Mobb stalwarts Sid Roams and The Alchemist and punctuated by audio clips from the 1997 crime film Hoodlum, the brief project finds a renewed P spitting like the lyrical menace he once was. Perhaps more focused than he’s ever been in years, his renewed hunger is evident on the album’s jumpoff “The One And Only,” where he spits, “Truth be told, without money I would still spill/All of my thoughts into the beats/This is my passion, my baby, I breathe.”

Opting more for the darker scores of yesteryear than the glitzy bleeps of his G-Unit days, Prodigy’s grizzled voice is as gruff as the backdrops her spits on, from the dank soul of “Go Off” to the sinister keys of the Mobb Deep reunion cut “Twilight.” Though the content does get repetitive at times, there’s limited room for error on the seven track story, and perhaps Prodigy summarizes this project best on “Stronger:” “You want hardcore rap, you’re fucking with the right one.” Indeed. —Meka Udoh

  • thinker

    great comeback project. this tape had the old mobb deep, gritty, new york feel again. wasnt diggin that whole G-Unit thing they were doing. Welcome back P!

  • DV

    Yall crazy this was an XL at the very least.

  • mav

    I always liked p style even though he aint really lyrical..he definitely got one of the best voices in hiphop glad to see he back to fuckin wit nas i always thought qb was the shit for real nas mobb cnn nature cormega..i think queens is top dog as far as ny rap goes

    • Z

      Not really lyrical? Go back and listen to that Hell On Earth album, especially Drop a Gem On Em and Nightime Vultures

  • Tru Talk

    This should have gotten a XL no doubt