Heds & Dreds: Prodigy of Mobb Deep Channels Classic Dancehall on “Hoodie Weather”

September 3, 2014

Words by Richard “Treats” Dryden


Prodigy of Mobb Deep has had many aliases—Bandana P, Don P, Bumpy Johnson—during his 20 years in rap music. His latest appearance, in a featured verse on “Hoodie Weather” alongside buzzing newcomer Your Old Droog, suggests that he might be due for a West Indian-inspired alias, as he switches to a Jamaican accent interpolating lyrics from Shelly Thunder’s “Kuff” over Marco Polo’s beat. (“Don’t you know you haffi respect me, a wheelchair see they act properly/Sometimes a man fi-get, you haffi get violent.”) Prodigy’s wink to one of our all-time favorite lady deejays comes fresh off his recent trip to Jamaica’s Calabash book fair to promote his Infamous Books imprint this past spring. We’re told P spent a few days after his business trip catching vibes dung ah yahd, in what we hear was his first ever vacation. A break from work is hardly in P’s vocabulary, as he even questioned the mere idea of a vacation in his autobiography, My Infamous Life. But by the looks of his travels this year, and now from the patois in his rhyme a few months later, Jamaica has left a lasting impression on him.

It’s not like Prodigy is a complete outsider to the islands. He was raised near large Caribbean communities in Long Island and Queens, and affected patois on more than a few occasions. Before “Hoodie Weather,” some of P’s most notable yardie flows included a reference to Lennox from Belly (“Told Y’all,” 2012), a bumbaclaat on “New Yitty,” and the entire chorus of Mobb Deep’s rare white label “Gun Sling (Rude Boy).” If we’re really discussing the Mobb/JA connection, we haffi mention “Deadly Zone,” Prodigy and Havoc’s 1998 collaboration with Bounty Killer off the Warlorld’s Next Millenium LP. (The trio also reconnected in 2011, for “Dead Man Shoes.” ) Catch the video below after checking “Hoodie Weather.”

You dun know!