In this often violent but always introspective memoir, Mobb Deep's Prodigy tells his much-anticipated story of struggle, survival, and hope on the mean streets of New York City. For the first time, he gives an intimate look at his family background, his battles with drugs, his life of crime, his relentless suffering with sickle-cell anemia, and much more. Recently released after serving three and a half years in state prison due to what many consider an unlawful arrest by a rumored secret NYPD hip-hop task force, Prodigy is ready to talk about his life as one of rap's greatest legends.
My Infamous Lifeis an unblinking account of Prodigy's wild times with Mobb Deep, who alongside rappers like Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Jay-Z, and the Wu-Tang Clan, changed the musical landscape with their vivid portrayals of early '90s street life. It is a firsthand chronicle of legendary rap feuds like the East Coast–West Coast rivalry; Prodigy's beefs with Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Ja Rule, and Capone-N-Noreaga; and run-ins with prodigal hit makers and managers like Puff Daddy, Russell Simmons, Chris Lighty, Irv Gotti, and Lyor Cohen.
Taking listeners behind the smoke-and-mirrors glamour of the hip-hop world, Prodigy lays down the truth about the intoxicating power of money, the meaning of true friendship, and the ultimately redemptive power of self. This is the heartbreaking journey of a child born in privilege, his youth spent among music royalty like Diana Ross and Dizzie Gillespie, and educated in private schools, until a family tragedy changed everything. Raised in the mayhem of the Queensbridge projects, Prodigy rose to dizzying heights of fame and eventually fell into the darkness of a prison cell.
A truly candid memoir, part fearless confessional and part ode to the concrete jungles of New York City,My Infamous Lifeis written by a man who was on the front line of the last great moment in hip-hop history and who is still fighting to achieve his very own American Dream.
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"I've always been a fan of Mobb Deep and Prodigy was my favorite from the duo. After reading this book, I understand his lyrics more and his wild lifestyle. Good read."
Varrsity (4 out of 5 stars)