The news of Prodigy's passing hit me hard and the grief keeps coming in waves. There's no doubt that early 90's HipHop spurred my obsession with workwear and Mobb Deep c. The Infamous are absolutely are up there in my top 3 biggest influencers when it comes to my personal style.
I'm struggling to articulate exactly how I felt the first time I heard the haunting melodies of Shook Ones Pt II, Survival of The Fittest, Hell On Earth and Quiet Storm. Much like the lyrical content, Mobb Deep visuals and style were gritty, greasy and encapsulated the reality of their experiences growing up in the Queensbridge housing projects - Carhartt, North Face, Timberland, custom Starter jerseys with "HENNESSEY" emblazoned on the front and back. All workwear, all utilitarian, all suitable for life in an in the concrete jungle and, moreover, created a look that Mobb Deep made iconic ***Joanne The Scammer voice***.
My boyfriend has a theory that he shared with me after Prince died: Gifted people like Prince, Biggy & 2Pac, Kurt Cobain, give us so much of their magic in their lifetime. It's as though they're Superhuman and, therefore, we lose them sooner than we could ever imagine because they're supposed to be here, on earth, for shorter periods of time. The idea reminds me of the first time I saw the video for Crossroads by Bone Thugs N Harmony. The way that people suddenly leave earth when their number's up haunted me as a 9 year old, still grasping the concept of life and death.
Prodigy lived with sickle cell anaemia, a chronic disease that causes people to live in constant pain due to sickle shaped red blood cells causing clots in the bloodstream. He shared his gift with us for over twenty years while living in constant discomfort. I'm honoured to have lived in his lifetime and so happy that I got to see The Mobb a few years back.
As an adult, you learn that death and loss is, in fact, a part of life. Listening to Win Or Lose had be sobbing at my desk. Heartbroken. Personally, for hiphop, for the people close to Prodigy my heart goes out to Havoc.
RI.P to the HNIC, Bandana P, VI.P, Prodigy.