I’ll always have a soft spot for Prodigy (||). No matter how terrible, I’ll constantly listen to his new music with an open ear, just for old times sake. As a member of Mobb Deep, P helped make some of the greatest music Hip-Hop has ever seen and he created a formidable solo debut as well. Then circa 2001, Hov dropped “The Takeover” and it was all downhill from there. Mobb Deep’s next two albums released to a critical bloodbath and they re-upped with G-Unit to create 2006′s Blood Money.
The album completely exposed the QB emcee as a now sub-par lyricist armed with nothing more than shock value punch lines and a flow stiffer than the suspension of his Porsche he got as a signing bonus. As terrible as the album was, its first single “Put ‘Em In Their Place” still gets some iPod burn to this day. I have very little explanation for my defense. It’s ignorant as hell, P’s and Havoc’s raps are average at best and the beat is nothing spectacular. But Prodigy’s opening bars just wreck it.
“I was schooled by the hood, raised by the wolves
Trained by the pain, adopted by guerrillas
Gotta tank for a car, ice for a arm
Got tattoos for skin and stars for broads
Gotta buildin’ for a crib, Manhattan for a backyard
Skyscraper ladies, they f*ck me when they man gone”
Aside from these six lines, nothing about the song is repeat-worthy. Yet, I just can’t help pressing back as the beat fades out over and over again. If I start playing it, I don’t stop until I’ve heard it at least five or six times through. Why? I have no idea.
On paper, the track’s everything I ought to hate, especially since I despise 50 Cent and all things associated with him. The lyrics wear out already tired subjects like bank rolls and smashing heauxs. The production isn’t anything special either. But, for some reason, Prodigy’s first few lines make the record for me. Maybe it’s my overwhelming bias or I’m selectively tone deaf. Whatever the reason, “Put ‘Em In Their Place” is a track I’m not proud to say has remained in my iPod for over five years and will probably stay there for the foreseeable future.
Previously: Day 12 – A Song From A Band You Hate