Friday, September 30, 2011

Prodigy: My Infamous Life

"My Infamous Life” is an autobiography of rap group Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. I owe my interest and knowledge of Mobb Deep to my older Brother who was a fan of the group in the mid 90s. That interest is what caused me to buy Prodigy's book. While reading the book the phrase "Coming of Age" constantly came to mind. “Coming of Age" is defined as the process of growing up or entering into adulthood (its a process we all through at some point in life). In a detailed fashion, Prodigy chronicles his life from his early childhood memories to his then current state of incarceration. Prodigy talks about the ups and downs of his life and discusses his growth from a wild teen to adulthood and everything he went through to make that transition.

I am not going to mention everything Prodigy talks about in the book because the book is a definite MUST READ! Every pivotal point in Prodigy's life and in Mobb Deep's career is thoroughly described. I literally could not put the book down.

Reading this book gave me a new found respect for Prodigy. At the height of Mobb Deep’s career, I was not a fan. But after reading this book I became oneso much so that I listened to old Mobb Deep tracks so I could get a clear understanding of how certain song lyrics relate to what Prodigy was going through at specific times in his life.

The thing that I really appreciate and commend Prodigy on is his loyalty to his group member Havoc. In the book Prodigy describes different decisions he and Havoc had to make that would impact the success of Mobb Deep's career. Often times Prodigy did not agree with Havoc's decisions and choices, but he went along with it to show people Mobb Deep was one. Prodigy wanted Mobb Deep to be seen as a unit, he never wanted people to sense any friction or division. He always wanted the best for his and Mobb Deep's careers. He was always thinking of ways to excel and reach new levels in the music industry.

It wasn't until he was in his early 30s that Prodigy’s past illegal behavior caught up with him and he was incarcerated for weapon chargesIt seems to me that a lot of his growth and maturity took place while he was serving his three year jail sentence. It was during this time that Prodigy was able to reflect on his life, and think about the necessary changes he needed to make.

The "Coming of Age" transition is the main reason I feel people should read this book. I have much respect for anyone that can recognize they need to change how they are living and do better. The fact that it took Prodigy a long time and a jail sentence to come to this realization is irrelevant. The bottom line is he understood that he had to pay the consequences for all the bad choices he made in his life. Self reflection and personal growth is always something positive, no matter what age it is obtained at. Much respect to Prodigy for sharing his life, lessons, and growth with the world.

“Ain’t nothin’ cool or glorifying about being locked up – whoever thinks this s#%t gives you street credibility is a fool. All prison does is screw up your life…” Prodigy

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