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Prodigy And Alchemist – ‘Albert Einstein’ Album Review

Amid the drama that’s surrounded him in recent years, Prodigy’s music took a turn for the worse, digressing into something that sounded uninspired, and at times bored. After last year’s scattershot—and downright cringe-worthy at times—H.N.I.C. 3, Prodigy looked to rebound by linking up with longtime associate Alchemist for the duo’s second full length body of work. Fans of P will be delighted to learn he does so impressively on Albert Einstein, and Al’s intricately heavy beats help make this Prodigy’s best record in years.

Not that he covers much new ground here; he still spends the majority of the album boasting of his ability to kill—both figuratively on the mic and literally on the streets. But he does so emphatically, whether it’s via witty street slang on “IMDKV,” blunt honesty on “YNT” or brutal storytelling on “Confessions” (he states coldly that he’d pistol whip a little girl after killing his father). At time it’s hard to stomach, but this chilling attitude is what made the first Mobb Deep records so fascinating. It goes beyond the lyrics; you can hear it in his gritty gruff of a voice.

Alchemist has always been a model of consistency, but he’s at the top of his game. Chopped samples and thick bass leans create lurking slabs of funk, reminiscent of the menacing soundscapes of vintage Mobb Deep. Often his beats transform midway through song, becoming muddled in crackling vocal samples before reemerging as electronic-infused thumpers like “Bible Paper.” He balances these with smoother affairs, like the floating piano melody on “YNT” and ventures in experimentalism and acid jazz on “Curb Ya Dog,” which is built on warped flute riffs and barking dog sound effects.

The album never reaches jaw-dropping levels because the envelope’s never pushed, but that’s not the point. Albert Einstein is about two artists doing what they do best, and for one of them, it’s a return to form. It’s the type of rough and witty realism people loved from P in the ’90s, and hopefully it’s here to stay for projects to come. —Reed Jackson

  • Q-man

    Just L!? Unbelievable

  • PSN-Nukdollars

    Wow…smh…This REALLY should’ve gotten a XL at least…

  • SwampNutz

    Confused by the L, but to each their own. A solid XL IMO.

  • coalminds

    I love this album. Alc is a beast.

  • Ramon Rojo

    XXL has no credibility smh

  • Gambo

    This album is a certain XL for me! so refreshing to hear some real rap shit, and man Alchemist is like a fine wine, just getting better with the years!

  • LL

    So y’all give Yeezus an XL, but this an L? What the hell? Industry dickriders.

    • Wallydon

      Thank you. How the hell is Kanye’s album better than this? It should have gotten an XXL but the same politics the Source was accused of a decade ago I believe XXL magazine is now playing.

  • zamieo

    Thought it was dope. A light XL for me.

  • FlyQ the Anchor

    This album is XXL and currently my #1 on the year. I understand an XL if maybe people are taken back by the gangster/street theme but otherwise this is ridiculous. So originality is an XL cause the overall theme has been done, but this is in a new and refreshing form. He’s unapologetic, rides a narrative that can be played on shuffle and brings ridiculous amounts of imagery. Lyrics are XXL for this reason. BUT. if nothing else, how can you not give the beats a XXL. exactly what was missing? Nothing, but there’s no promo money coming from P’s or Alchemist’s camps so this gets a lame review. EAT A DICK CORPORATE DOUCHE BAGS

  • ADEZZEL

    NICE ALBUM PRODIGY SICK WIT IT

  • Wallydon

    XXL, I don’t even buy magazines anymore so it doesn’t affect me that much but you guys dropped the ball on this rating. It deserved an XXL for production, lyrics, and original concepts. This album has EVERYTHING a hardcore enthusiast would want but you only give it an L? Reed Jackson, you’re review is giving it props but your rating does not match up to what you wrote. I just hope P and Alchemist don’t care about ratings anymore, the same way fans lost respect for those mics in the Source.

  • tpz

    Classic!!! …period.

  • FuckXXL

    Fuck XXL. Can’t review for shit, this was XL easily. Realise I can’t trust your reviews at all

  • bread

    Good Album Infamous Gunit

  • Jesus

    BEST HIP HOP ALBUM THIS YEAR. HANDS DOWN. BETTER THAN MAGNA CARTA NO DOUBT.

  • fukyou

    you gave garbage like rich gang the same rating ? you are fackin fags