Prodigy Return Of The Mac (2007): A Hip Hop Classic
In 2007, Prodigy of Mobb Deep released his second solo album, Return of the Mac, a collaboration with producer The Alchemist. The album was a departure from the commercial sound of Mobb Deep's previous album, Blood Money, and a return to the gritty and grimy style that made Prodigy a legend in the hip hop scene. Return of the Mac was hailed by critics and fans as a masterpiece and one of the best hip hop albums of 2007. In this article, we will explore what makes Return of the Mac a classic and how Prodigy and The Alchemist created it.
Return of the Mac was conceived as a mixtape that would serve as a prequel to Prodigy's next album, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2. However, due to the high quality of the material, it was released as a full-length album by Koch Records. The album's title is a reference to the 1973 blaxploitation film The Mack, starring Max Julien as a pimp who tries to reclaim his territory after being released from prison. The album's cover features Prodigy and The Alchemist wearing fur coats and holding guns, mimicking a scene from the movie.
The album's concept is also influenced by the blaxploitation era, as The Alchemist samples songs from various films and soundtracks from that genre. The album's sound is dark, gritty, and cinematic, creating a contrast with the mainstream rap music of the time. Prodigy raps about his life in New York City, his experiences in the rap game, and his views on various topics. He delivers his rhymes with his trademark cold and confident voice, showcasing his lyrical skills and street credibility.
Return of the Mac consists of 17 tracks, with three singles: \"Mac 10 Handle\", \"Return of the Mac\", and \"Stuck on You\". The album opens with \"The Mac Is Back\", an intro that features Prodigy rapping over a sample of Willie Hutch's \"Theme of Foxy Brown\" from the film Foxy Brown. The song sets the tone for the rest of the album, as Prodigy declares his comeback and his dominance in the rap game.
The title track, \"Return of the Mac\", is one of the highlights of the album. It features Prodigy rapping over a sample of Mark Morrison's \"Return of the Mack\", a 1996 R&B hit. Prodigy flips the original song's meaning and turns it into an anthem for his return to his hardcore rap roots. He also references New York City landmarks and events, such as Times Square, Ground Zero, and 9/11.
\"Stuck on You\" is another standout track on the album. It features Prodigy rapping over a sample of Isaac Hayes' \"Ike's Mood I\" from the film Shaft. The song is a love letter to hip hop, as Prodigy expresses his passion and dedication to the culture and the art form. He also pays homage to some of his influences and peers, such as Rakim, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Nas, Jay-Z, and Mobb Deep.
Return of the Mac was well received by critics and fans alike. The album received positive reviews from various publications, such as AllMusic, HipHopDX, The New York Times, Pitchfork, and XXL. The album was praised for its production, lyrics, and concept, and was considered a return to form for Prodigy and a breath of fresh air for hip hop. The album also sold well, debuting at number 32 on the Billboard 200 chart and selling 130,000 copies as of December 2007.
Return of the Mac was also recognized as one of the best hip hop albums of 2007 by various media outlets and critics. The album was ranked among the top 10 albums of the year by About.com, Complex, IGN, PopMatters, and Rolling Stone. The album was also nominated for a BET Hip Hop Award for Best Indie Album in 2007.
Return of the Mac is widely regarded as a classic and one of Prodigy's best solo albums. The album is considered a masterpiece of hip hop production and storytelling, and a showcase of Prodigy's lyrical prowess and street wisdom. The album is also seen as a testament to Prodigy's influence and impact on the hip hop culture and the rap game.
Return of the Mac is also one of the best examples of the chemistry and collaboration between Prodigy and The Alchemist. The duo would go on to work together on several other projects, such as Albert Einstein (2013), Albert Einstein: P=mc2 (2014), and Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation) (2017). The duo would also become close friends and partners in the rap industry.
Return of the Mac is a hip hop classic that deserves to be celebrated and appreciated by any fan of the genre. It is an album that showcases Prodigy's talent and legacy as one of the greatest rappers of all time. d282676c82