Three years away from the rap game is a potentially career killing lifetime for most rappers. For Prodigy, one half of the legendary New York mainstays Mobb Deep, the time off from rap has not been entirely fruitless as he’s been officialy released from Mid-State Correctional Facility after serving a three-year prison stint.
In October 2006, Albert “Prodigy” Johnson was driving his SUV in New York City with longtime producer and friend Alan “The Alchemist” Maman and after making an illegal U-turn, his vehicle was searched by police. After finding a small pistol in a compartment, the pair were arrested and subsequently released on bond with pending charges.
Prodigy, already convicted of previous gun charges, feigned ignorance about the gun but later struck a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty and dropping his mandatory charge of 15 years to just three for the gun possession. He was sentenced to three and a half years on October 8, 2007.
While out on bond, Prodigy feverishly recorded a bulk of music and shot several videos in order to keep his music out on the street and his name relevant in the increasingly fast moving rap industry. The last album released from the rapper was 2008’s Product Of The 80s.
Prodigy will be released tomorrow (March 7) from the Mid-State Correctional facility in New Jersey, no doubt to much fanfare from his longtime Mobb Deep partner Havoc and to the many fans of the gruff voiced rapper responsible for the street classic “Keep It Thoro,” along many other notable tracks in his nearly 20-year career. The rapper is also releasing an autobiography detailing his rise to rap royalty and also his time behind bars via publishing giant Simon & Schuster.
The music video for Kanye West’s single Monster has been banned by MTV. The television network made the decision to pull the video in response to an outcry over the way women are being portrayed in the footage.
At the forefront of the outrage are two activists Sharon Haywood and Melinda Tankard Reist, who created a petition asking MTV and Universal Music Group to stop promoting the video, and in the process managed to get over 1,600 signatures.
“The mainstreaming of videos like this increases desensitized and callous attitudes toward violence against women,” said Reist, one of the campaign’s originators. “Young people are seeing images and absorbing harmful messages which glamorize misogyny and brutalize women.”
Adding, “Women are reduced to sex-doll like playthings. So great is the level of desensitization that the barbaric treatment of women and girls is seen as normal and to be expected. We decided to run this campaign because we wanted to challenge the status quo.”
Their work isn’t completely done though, pointed out Reist, who said that they are determined to continue their campaign until Universal Music Group responds to the petition.
Monster collaborators Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj appear in the video alongside West.
Marion “Suge” Knight has formally dropped his appeal in a lawsuit he filed against Kanye West stemming from a 2005 shooting at a pre-VMA party in Miami, FL.
The former CEO of Death Row Records blamed the Louis Vuitton Don because he was shot in the leg by an unknown individual. Knight holds the rapper and his partners responsible because the suspect was able to sneak a gun into the pre-VMA party past Kanye’s security.
It seems that Suge has finally decided to end the long time battle with Kanye. According to the Associated Press, Suge’s attorney filed the dismissal in February 2011 in a Miami federal court. The dismissal comes after Knight previously appealed the decision in December 2010 because the judge granted a summary judgment for West in November of that year. Suge initially sought millions of dollars in damages from the Watch The Throne artist in the lawsuit.
During the incident, Knight was shot in the upper right leg and his bone was shattered in the process. He claimed to have had months of physical therapy, suffered mental anguish and loss of income. Both parties have reportedly settled out of court and reached a confidential agreement. The case remains unsolved until this day.