When Prodigy died last month, he left behind meaningful catalog as well as a list of detractors and admirers that includes friend and fellow rap legend Nas, but a sense of untapped potential still hangs over the rap world, as Prodigy was still making hardcore rap for fans of the mid-1990s menace that put Mobb Deep near the top of the list of rap acts you need to know. The songs he was working on or may have created have been lost to the world, as assuredly as the ones he left behind will continue to rock hip-hop parties for the foreseeable future.
Fortunately, longtime Mobb producer Alchemist still has a few gems from the late, great Queensbridge, New York legend. He released “Try My Hand,” from his forthcoming album The Good Book, Vol. 2, featuring new verses from Havoc and Prodigy over a mournful sample. The track description he gave simply reads: “For my brother.” It’s the perfect elegy for Prodigy, as it’s still defiant yet fatalistic — the two traits Prodigy always exhibited throughout his verses. His gift for kicking off a verse with a memorable bar or two remains intact as well, as he sticks out his chest in the face of death with, “It’ll be a cold day in Kingston when I ain’t dope / The Rastas’ll cut they dreads, and worship the Pope.” That’s a strong statement from P, but one that remains true, even after his death.