Thanks to my older brother, who immersed my childhood with all things Hip Hop, I was “put on” early. Everything about the culture and its “elements” intrigued me as a young girl. From Wutang, to Nas, to Beastie Boys, and everything in between, I was a little shorty listening to Rap music as if I fully understood the concepts and lyrics. From Beat Street to Breakin 1 & 2, I was mesmerized by the acrobats of B-Boys and B-Girls – even witnessed a few of my brother’s own dance battles. From graffiti, to the art of beatboxing and turntablism, Hip Hop got a hold on me early in life. And I’m thankful for it.
I was just eight years old when Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous” dropped, and to this day, I can still recall my older brother (whom I shared a room with) playing the tape from start to finish. Records like “Survival of the Fittest,” “Eye For An Eye (Your Beef is Mines)” and of course, “Shook Ones” stood out to me. I rapped along as if I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to say half of the words they were rapping.
Twenty two years later, that album is still on heavy rotation in my playlist. So to hear about Prodigy’s passing earlier today truly had me feeling down. I didn’t know the man personally. But my brief encounter with him – and Havoc – during that interview a couple years ago, had me feeling nostalgic. As if their music alone, and his lyrics alone, connected us in a past life. Yeah, that’s the kind of feeling the Golden Era’s music gave me.
Rest in peace, Albert “Prodigy” Johnson.