Infamous Records continues to build in 2014. In April, Mobb Deep reasserted themselves in the game when they dropped The Infamous Mobb Deep. Now, Havoc and Prodigy have each dropped solo efforts to cap off the year. On Young Rollin Stonerz, Prodigy teamed up with fellow NYC rapper, up-and-coming Far Rockaway native Boogz Boogetz.
The album is sort of a passing of the torch: Prodigy, a legend 20 years in the making, dabbles in synths and Trap-inclined beats, alongside Boogz, who fancies the contemporary Rap trends, but is also stylistically rooted in the streets the same way Mobb Deep was and still is. It’s a gratifying collaboration for fans and the two emcees alike: an artist and his young apprentice inspiring each other.
At eleven songs and clocking in at roughly 39 minutes, the album is playfully curt. Prodigy and Boogz take turns opening and closing, and shine for different reasons. Prodigy is a blunt orator and doesn’t mince words. On “40 Oz,” he raps: “We gettin’ all this breeze / Top down, turnt up / Ghostface Killah ‘Black Shampoo’ my word up / This shit is real phat, niggas stuck in the ‘90s / I’m so 2020 I can’t see behind me.” Rather cleverly, he acknowledges the notion of making music now versus the 1990s. Twenty years have passed since The Infamous, and Prodigy isn’t thinking about the good ol’ days; the game has changed and he’s adapting.
Boogz, meanwhile, is aptly navigating his way through the on trent “turnt” styles of today. His style is what makes this duo so interesting when you look at them side by side. On “Clouds,” he spits: “Look, I’m a live it up / Put the piff in rotation / Had to switch it up to a different location / Pockets so fat I be throwin’ racks / Shorty make that ass clap like a standing ovation.” He flows both fast and slow, and his more notable moments on the album often reflect his ability to skillfully ride the beats. His delivery and tone of voice separate themselves as his more superior attributes.
Young Rollin Stonerz is also a creative endeavor as far as production goes. Uncharacteristically, Prodigy experiments with rapping over beats that are reminiscent of something by Mike WiLL Made It. The cast of producers is a bit esoteric, but there’s a little bit of something for everyone, and it’s somewhat of a family affair as Boogz’s father, Drew Skillz, supplies four beats. Yet considering the scope of production, the synths and uptempo snares still prevail as methods of choice. Young Rollin Stonerz isn’t exactly for the true school Mobb Deep fans. Musically, it’s a different approach than what we’ve come to expect from P.
For Prodigy, Young Rollin Stonerz is more of an Indie effort, in that there are no famous guests or producers. The production also stands out for it’s indifference to the Boom Bap sound that molded him into what he is today. As for Boogz, it works amazingly well. And, as far as his career of projects go, this is a watershed moment for the young rapper. But at eleven songs, the better moments of the album aren’t duplicated enough for either artist. The two work well together, though, and it would in both of their interests to keep working together in to the future.