There’s something to be said about the fact that when the “Shook Ones” beat comes on, mainstream rap fans and backpackers alike will take to chanting to all my killas and my hundred dolla billas.
Mobb Deep has carved a niche into practically every rap fan’s personal discography. There are undoubtedly listeners who only care for the infamous (no pun intended) “Shook Ones Pt. II” and are ignorant to the vast majority of the Queensbridge duo’s work. However, that doesn’t take away from their ability to, not merely persevere but, succeed as Hip Hop jettisoned across eras. The rise of the internet, resurgence of indie labels and self-representation, didn’t have the force to hinder their flow, so it almost goes without saying, that a three-year bid wouldn’t be able to shake up Prodigy.
In fact, P has been led down another creative path (one that tends to be popular with people who served time if you ask Martha Stewart) that is the art of writing cookbooks.
BMI kindly invited us to an intimate evening, listening to a rather extensive and revealing interview with Prodigy. We spent a lot of time learning about early motivations to create music and the formation of Mobb Deep. P shared the depth of his family’s musical background and their involvement in Black History, being the descendant of Morehouse College’s founder. He expanded on Mobb Deep’s involvement in the East vs West coast beef that took the lives of Pac and Biggie; explaining that he and Havoc only clapped at Snoop’s New York track because he stomped on the Queens Citi building in the music video. They were even pretty surprised to hear themselves called out on “Hit Em Up” and, although they recorded a response, they pulled it from the radio when Pac died out of respect for his family.
P touched on his experiences in prison and explained how disgustingly unhealthy, unsanitary prison food was the impetus for figuring out how to cook semi-nutritious meals through what was available at commissary. As someone with sickle cell, P had to stay healthy otherwise trigger his illness and send him into terrible pain.
Commissary Kitchen is as much a cookbook as it is a commentary and notice about the state of food in prison. It highlights the inhumanity in the fact in prison, one has to really go out of their way to get food that isn’t unsanitary. At the same time, this is still a cookbook, so feel free to cop it below on Amazon and try a few of the recipes. We got served some tasters at BMI, and I’ll be the first to say they were actually really good.