Damn P! This is Prodigy‘s jail house letter in response to this article Stephen Marche wrote for Esquire. This evoked a lot of reactions from me. Especially because I’m a white person who commentates on hip-hop which already minimizes my credibility.
I’m not necessarily mad at P‘s perspective on shit. I definitely agree with him that Abraham Lincoln didn’t really give a shit about black people’s rights. He mainly just wanted to keep the country intact. I also agree with him that Europeans severely fucked up the situation in Africa. I don’t think it’s any sort of a conspiracy, but simply greed for resources. The Europeans just cut up Africa into countries, and didn’t properly take in to consideration the culture and various ethnicities on the African Continent. They drew some lines on a map and created nations that didn’t necessarily have a concrete identity. A move that to this day has kept a lot of Africans fighting with themselves and has prevented many African nations from integrating into the “modern” world. It’s really an issue that I don’t have enough knowledge on to properly address, but that’s my point. I don’t think Prodigy does either.
Throughout this whole diatribe I felt that there were a lot of unfair sweeping generalizations. I also saw some hypocrisy. As much as it appears that P has problems with grandeur European institutions, he sure does love to rap about supporting those European car and clothing companies. Gotta whip that Benz, right P?
Ultimately, at the end of the day, I love this type of shit. I have always been a huge Mobb Deep and Prodigy fan. I also don’t think P gets enough credit for the contributions he’s made to hip-hop. It’s starting to get nice in NYC, and one of my favorite things to do is smoke a blunt then walk around the streets in the Lower East side of Manhattan with some P on a Havoc or Alchemist beat as my soundtrack. It’s people like Prodigy who inspired me to get into this business, and for that I am forever grateful.
I also think it’s important for people to say this type of shit. Even though in my personal opinion it’s a little bit off center, we need people with these type of opinions to know where the center is. So while I don’t necessarily agree with every thing Prodigy says, I appreciate the fact P took some time to write this jailhouse letter. I will always respect people who stand up for what they believe in. It’s shit like this that makes hip-hop such an interesting phenomena. Free P.
Edit: I thought this Jay Smooth Vlog on race was really on point. I felt it was slightly related so you should check it out.