As of this year, Prodigy, one half of the iconic Queens rap duo Mobb Deep, has been gone for one year. A year ago today, Prodigy died of complications from sickle cell anemia, the disease he’d been fighting for his whole life. But new Prodigy and Mobb Deep music is still coming out. Two days ago, we heard the Hamilton-inspired Mobb Deep track “Boom Goes The Cannon,” on which Prodigy rapped from the perspective of George Washington. And today, Havoc, Prodigy’s partner in Mobb Deep, has marked the anniversary of his passing by sharing two previously unreleased Prodigy freestyles.
Interestingly enough, both of those freestyles are over tracks that originally featured Nas, Mobb Deep’s old sometimes-fried/sometimes-nemesis from Queensbridge. The first finds Prodigy going in solo over “Stay Chisel,” the Large Professor/Nas collab that served as a single on Large Professor’s solo album 1st Class, which came out in 2002 on Matador.
And on the other track, both Prodigy and Havoc rap over the beat from “Thief’s Theme,” the pretty-great single from Nas’ 2004 album Street’s Disciple. That means we get to hear Prodigy over Salaam Remi’s sample of Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” bassline. Listen to both below.