85. Prodigy, Return of the Mac
Released March 27, 2007
On Return of the Mac, Prodigy plays the role of superthug. The Alchemist produces a context for his mannerisms, liberally lifting from 70s and 80s classics such as James Brown’s “Down and Out in New York City.” He conjures a mood that’s perfect for Prodigy’s ominous threats and proclamations. When Prodigy says, “I sit alone in my dirty-ass room staring at candles, high on drugs,” paying homage to the Geto Boys’ “Mind Playing Tricks On Me,” he really sounds paranoid, “scheming on you niggas.” Wisely, Koch Records marketed this self-described “mixtape” as a new album, helping the Queensbridge rapper garner some of the best reviews of his career. But it would be for naught: Shortly after Return of the Mac’s release, Prodigy was sentenced to three years in prison on gun possession charges. He now languishes at Marcy Correctional Facility in Oneida County, New York, and is scheduled for release in 2011.