Prodigy & Alchemist
P=MC2 (Bonus EP)
The lack of a standout track on the deluxe version of Prodigy and Alchemist’s “P=MC2” leaves it better suited to longtime fans than the casual listener.
Last summer, famed New York City emcee Prodigy, of Mobb Deep fame, and the successful underground Hip Hop producer Alchemist continued their celebrated collaboration with the release of a new equation, Albert Einstein. Over half a year later, the duo has released a deluxe version of the album, P=MC2, which contains four new tracks packaged as a bonus EP.
Much like the original 16-track project, the deluxe version displays a solid lyrical showing from Prodigy, whose verses contain the same street-oriented rhyme styles that launched him into fame in the early-‘90s. And while Alchemist compliments Prodigy’s verbal onslaught, these new tracks provide little more than a continuation of the solid, yet far from outstanding release that was the original Albert Einstein.
“A lot of these new nigga’s raps is musky / Stink like hot garbage, and y’all supposed to be / Hip Hop’s new generation / I’m still waiting for some bars,” raps P on the first bonus track, “Mightier Pen,” extolling his superior lyricism to his younger adversaries. Alchemist, still a mainstay in Hip Hop’s crowded production battlefield, lays down a suitably eerie beat featuring a repeated electronic line tinged with the occasional horns and piano. If Al’s beats are something out of one of Mario’s ghost levels, (see “Murder Goes Down”) then Prodigy’s slow and methodical rhymes are well suited for the violence found in Grand Theft Auto.
The album’s deluxe version, fails to produce anything extraordinary, instead giving listeners a solid array of new material. Perhaps the only flaw of these four new offerings is their mediocrity. At the very least, the four closely guarded tracks weren’t worth eight months of deliberation and waiting. There are moving baselines, jazzy horns setting a scene fitting of a mob meeting, and Prodigy boasts plenty of angry rhymes; some even include the text message-speak phrase, “OMG” (which, sadly, is used twice throughout the four tracks).
The amended album’s last track, “Gnarly,” is yet another reminder of ALC’s beat mastery. Featuring the type of horns you’d expect from an old school James Bond film—which may have influenced Prodigy to include the line, “With my tux on, James Bond / Stay calm while I remain ruthless,” the beat is the perfect blend of dark sounds and jazzy instrumentals. Much like 007, this smooth rhythm is a success, but the lack of a standout track on the deluxe version of P=MC2 should prevent it from box office success, leaving it better suited to the duos longtime fans than the casual listener.
As seen on HipHopDX.