Prodigy is literally and figuratively concerned with making sure that his people eat. It’s about a week before Thanksgiving but he’s huddled around a table at “Sweet Chick” in Brooklyn with Sam Scarfo and Boogz Boogetz about to put a hurting on some of their signature waffles, chicken and vegan fare. The Mobb Deep co-founder has just come back from Canada with his partner Havoc to promote their latest album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, something he couldn’t do until recently because of parole restrictions. In 2007 Prodigy was sentenced to a 3-year bid for weapons possession. And while he has been busy playing catch up since his release in 2011 dropping albums, mixtapes and books, that time in the box gave birth to some compelling ideas. His latest project, Young Rolling Stoners, is a collaborative work with baby-faced spitter Boogz Boogetz and a sonic bridge to the younger generation.
“I met Boogz Boogetz through his brother Un Pacino, a rapper I did a project with right before I went to jail, an album I did called Product of the 80s and Boogz would come through the studio sometimes,” Prodigy tells WatchLOUD.com. “He was like a young skater, he had a like a different type of style. And I seen how he rapped and said son is dope. Then I got locked up, did my time. When I was in there I was thinking about concepts and writing books, movies. Stuff like that. I had wrote this movie called Get Fresh about these young skaters who had beef with older dudes in the hood. The movie is basically about the generation gap and clash of the generations that’s going on right now. I had wrote it with Boogz in mind to play one of the lead roles along with my son. When I came home I told Boogz about it and he played me a lot of his new music and I said we gotta do a deal. I had just started Infamous and I was looking to put out new artists anyway so Boogz was a perfect fit.”
The album is named after Boogz label, YRS music group, in an effort to familiarize fans with his name and brand.
“Prodigy paved the way and his name is paved in the concrete already,” says Boogz. “So he wanted me to start making my way in the game. P keeps me on my toes. He’s like, I know you makin’ that stoner music but you still gotta spit them bars that the hood wanna hear.”
As for Sam Scarfo, the battle rap champ who was once signed to Def Jam Records by Jay Z, things have come full circle with P as he releases his double album 5 Million Stories. The double-disc project, featuring on side produced by Ski Beatz and another collection of older material, is being released through Prodigy’s Infamous label. But Scarfo has been running with Mobb Deep for years, sharing a manager named Storm and cutting records like 2009’s “Too Much 4 TV.”
“Working with P, he’s on the Mt. Rushmore of hip-hop for NY,” says Sam. “I had some records with P before I even signed with Jay Z, so for us to still be doing music together eight or nine years later says a lot.”
Other signees to Infamous records include actor Rick Gonzalez and former member of The Firm, Nature.
“We just did a deal with Nature and I’m executive producing his album,” says Prodigy. “We working on that right now. He has his own style that he brings to the table and he was always dope with it, so I’m looking forward to putting that one out there too.
“Infamous is a whole brand but as a label we’re looking at ourselves as a catalogue brand. We’re not into first week sales and making commercialized music. We like to experiment with songs, because music is art to us. So we might stumble on a record that might cross over but we don’t force it. We just make music. We just be ourselves and make music. All the artists on the label are like that. Rick Gonzalez is a rapper’s rapper. He put a few videos out already that are dope. He’s just making music from his heart and soul. That’s the type of artists we’re looking for.”
Young Rolling Stoners and Sam Scarfo’s 5 Million Stories are in stores now!