UpNorthTrips Presents The 10s | MPC | MC x Producer Combination | Prodigy x Alchemist
For those of us who live and die by that real gritty, gully, hardcore New York City rap music, there’s been no better MPC (MC/Producer Combination) in the new millenium than Prodigy and Alchemist. When Mobb Deep adopted their pal Al into the Queensbridge family in the late 90s, the real got realer, and the nightmares for other rappers got scarier. And quietly, without a bunch of industry hooplah, Prodigy and Alchemist started working exclusively with each other more and more, releasing songs on Pee’s solo albums and Al’s underground compilations, as well as putting out a full official mixtape release that is now worshipped by gutter dwellers, Return Of The Mac. Now that Prodigy is a free man on the streets again after serving a three year bid (do remember Alchemist was in the whip and got arrested with him on the night of that infamous illegal U-turn), we are hoping for more material to surface from these two. They already put out the Alchemist produced Mobb Deep and Nas banger “Dog Shit,” and from the Tweets and UStream clips, we’re certain there are more Prodigy and Alchemist bullets in the clip. But for now, let’s throw it back with ten Prodigy x Alchemist collaborations for this edition of The 10s, starring Alchemist as Dutch Schultz, and Pee as Bumby Johnson.
1. “What A Real Mobb Do” f/ Big Twin
Sample: Rudy Love & The Love Family “Does Your Mama Know”
Breakdown: This sample was used by Jay-Z on his American Gangster album cut “Sweet,” but the true mixtape heads know that Alchemist used it a few years before. Premiered by mixtape DJ Big Mike (he only played half the song on his tape), this song never appeared on any official releases, but it certainly should have. It should also be noted that recently a Lord Finesse remix record surfaced from the mid-2000s of his song “You Know What I’m About” using this same sample too.
UNT Quotable: “I’m a man of many hats, but my Mobb one fit best.” -Prodigy
2. “When It Comes To The Beef” f/ Havoc and I-20
Album: Insomnia 1st infantry Mixtape Vol. 2
Breakdown: Not sure how DTP rapper I-20 ended up on the hook of this song, but he sounds ill on it, and Havoc lends a verse to the middle of the track too. This is that laidback, gangster, murder music that only Alchemist and Mobb Deep can pull off properly.
UNT Quotable: “Don’t make me have to show my grizzly, for gettin’ busy.” -Prodigy
3. “Bang On Em”
Album: Return Of The Mac
Sample: The Montclairs “Do I Stand A Chance”
Breakdown: Return Of The Mac is undoubtedly loaded with great songs, and this one is a personal favorite of UNT in-house DJ, The Vinylcologist. But the truth is, we all fucks with it here at UpNorthTrips. The sample is chopped to perfection, and the bars burn slow.
UNT Quotable: “I tried keepin’ it peace, but that shit for chumps.” -Prodigy
4. “What’s Poppin’ Thun”
Album: The Chemistry Files
Breakdown: What the fuck is poppin? Pee’s right, this is theme music. Turn this on to start your day, and you’ll probably end up punching someone in the face before you even get to Starbucks to order your morning coffee.
UNT Quotable: “This the future of rap, I’ll give you a glimpse of this, so you can be ahead of the game and impress your friends.” -Prodigy
5. “Young Veterans”
Album: H.N.I.C. Part Two
Breakdown: Heavy on the diamonds, heavy on the smoke. Yup, that sounds about right.
UNT Quotable: “My dudes give out the wounds that never heal.” -Prodigy
Breakdown: Another unreleased mixtape gem that was certainly worthy of being released officially. This shit is hard body. Baby, ba-baaaay!
UNT Quotable: “I don’t blackout, I pull conscious murder.” -Prodigy
Album: Tony Touch- The Piece Maker
Breakdown: Pee pops up on Tony Touch’s compilation album, and gives a preview of what his solo, Alchemist produced sound is all about. Straight dark, grimey, realness.
UNT Quotable: “I’m Pee, like the stank urine in your staircase.” -Prodigy
8. “My Priorities”
Album: Return Of The Mac (Bonus Track)
Sample: The Persuaders “Love Gonna Pack Up (And Walk Out)”
Breakdown: It’s fun how the counting on the chorus of this ROTM bonus track song is done. A, 2, C, 4, E, 6, G, 8. Don’t bite that formula, dun.
UNT Quotable: “Take my kids to Sesame Place, I’m bringin’ my heat.” -Prodigy
9. “Keep It Thoro”
Sample: Jack Mayborn “Disco People”
Breakdown: This may be the most famous of the Pee x Alchemist collaborations, and it should be. It’s a timeless classic.
UNT Quotable: “Heavy airplay all day, with no chorus.” -Prodigy
10. “Stuck On You”
Album: Return Of The Mac
Sample: Jeannie Reynolds “I’m Hooked On You”
Breakdown: This song debuted years before on a Kay Slay mixtape, and finally ended up on ROTM, still sounding brand new. They even made a video for it. Check for Prodigy dedicating each verse to professing his love for his favorite things: money, guns, and bitches. And Alchemist comes through with a perfect vocal soul sample to tie them all together.
UNT Quotable: “Y’all niggas takin’ too long to get to the point.” -Prodigy
words by @stanipcus / mix by @unitedcrates / graphics by @CNTRBND