"Ain’t No Such Thing As Halfway Crooks"

2 May


Do Queens, hip-hop fans in general, and ya man William E. Ketchum III a favor and record a solo album.

You’ve been one of the game’s strongest talents for a while. Since you and Prodigy entered the game in the early 90s, you’ve provided some of the best beats in hip-hop history. Your robust bass, symphonic melodies, and eerie samples were the perfect soundscapes for the reality rap that you and P dropped verse after verse. People say the joint with 112 was too commercial, but tracks like “Shook Ones, Pt. 2” and “Quiet Storm” helped define what East Coast rap was all about. The Infamous, Hell On Earth and Murda Muzik were better than Infamy and Amerikaz Nightmare, but Mobb Deep has withstood scathing beef with Jay-Z, the test of time, and the amnesic nature of rap fans to prove yourselves as one of hip-hop’s most consistent acts.

I wasn’t mad when you signed with G-Unit last year; word was that JIVE was fucking you over, and with over a decade served in the game, you two deserved to get some bread. As commercially viable as 50 Cent is, he still brings just as many hard hitters as he does club bangers on his albums (The Massacre really grew on me after a while). The only G-Unit album that hasn’t been successful was Tony Yayo, but that’s because he doesn’t have talent – you guys do, so I was faithful. Nicknames like “Hollywood Hav” and “V.I.P.,” and P saying the infamous (pun intended) line, “50 Cent saved me, not Jesus Christ” were annoying, but I didn’t care – you held it down on the Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ Soundtrack, and both “Have A Party” and “Outta Control (Remix)” showed the quality club music that you guys were capable of making with 50’s boost. When it all boils down to it, the music is what remains.

But the new album, Blood Money, is wack. Various friends of mine attended listening sessions for it and got my expectations up, telling me that it’s more of a Mobb Deep album and not a G-Unit album, that you do your thing, and that Prodigy is back in rare form. But for the most part, that’s not what I heard – I heard forced commercial attempts, silence from the complete absense of other Queens MCs, and a lyrical low point in Prodigy’s career. I liked about four songs from this disc, and when I review it, I’ll be giving it three stars – for a Mobb Deep album, that’s unacceptable. And you’re a vet, so know how it goes – in hip-hop, you’re only as hot as your last album.

It’s time for you to put out a solo album. What stood out on Blood Money, along with 50 Cent’s verses, was your contributions. Your beats are still as hard as ever, and your lyrical game has stepped up immensely (although more evident on Amerikaz Nightmare). Your talent is intact and improving, you’ve built rapport with some of the game’s premier MCs, and anybody that you haven’t worked with already knows your steez. Make a solo album with: 1.) All of the beats by you (except an Alchemist gem or two), 2.) Your own improved rhymes, and 3.) Cameos by Queens fam like Nas and Cormega, previous collaborators like Raekwon and Kool G Rap, 50 Cent, and hell, I’ll even take a Prodigy appearance. I’m not asking you to leave G-Unit and lose money, and I’m not asking you to leave Prodigy and be disloyal; but please make this album happen, to help restore fans’ faith and uphold the Mobb Deep legacy.

Do it for Queens. Do it for hip-hop. Do it so I’ll have some more NY shit on my mp3 player.


William E. Ketchum III

P.S.: Excuse the “Vote Or Die” pic, that’s the best one I could find.


5 Responses to “"Ain’t No Such Thing As Halfway Crooks"”

  1. Jay & Silent Smack May 5, 2006 at 11:04 pm #

    It’s become too known that Prodigy lost his edge, that flare that made him shine on Mobb Deep’s past classic joints. But Havoc has indeed been on point with his lyrics. Consistent even. Now I’m not saying that Prodigy has COMPLETELY lost it. “Pearly Gates,” though controversial, shows that edge that I’m talking about but that’s about it. So when you bring up the idea of Havoc putting out a solo I most heartedly agree. Just as long as it says him and not some G-Unit bullshit like Blood Money OBVIOUSLY was on, but that’s probably asking for toooo much.


  2. WordSonFresh May 11, 2006 at 1:14 am #

    I already told you…
    Fuckin’ window shoppin’ ass G-Unit coat tail ridin’ ass Queensbridge sell-outs…




  3. Mr. Clark May 14, 2006 at 4:51 am #

    The question is… Has the M-o-double b-d dropped a complete NY size turd? Yes. The album is garbage. Does Prodigy need to stay in the biz? No, he’s better off disappearing like Cormega from the Firm Biz album. Is Havoc the better half of the duo? A resounding yes!!!

    G-Unit will be out of business, but will still run their operations out of Hollywood P’s rented condo, paid for by Lindsay Lohan. It’s interesting to see how the “greats” strive so hard to match the times, instead of letting the times evolve with their sound. U2, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones have hits spanning decades — we have very few of those consistent legends (Too Short and LL Cool J to name a few). What are your thoughts?

  4. MJG May 18, 2006 at 4:20 am #

    Dude, I totally agree with your assessment on Mobb Deep! I was willing to give these cats the benefit of the doubt when they joined up with Fiddy and them, but once I heard this whole “Hollywood Hav” and “V.I.P.” nonsense, that faith flew out the window! Quick note to Fiddy and the “Infamous Mobb”, getting matching his-and-his tattoos together ain’t gangsta! And what happened to yo boy Prodigy???!!! That dude FORGOT how to rap!!! I mean I could understand someone forgetting their keys from time to time, even their wallet. But forgetting how to rhyme???!!!! Ever since Jay put that picture of him in that tutu at the Summer Jam, he’s never been the same. Someone seriously needs to put out an APB on “V.I.P.”‘s rhyming skills! I mean seriously, people are saying he wrote that “Pearly Gates” joint from an “atheist’s point of view.” He should have written it from a TIGHT RAPPER’S point of view!!!!!


  5. Enigmatik June 10, 2006 at 6:12 am #

    Nice post, I think you made some real valid points and I would def check a Havoc solo long as the guest spots were tight. Havoc has been making classic beats for years and he still has the talent for it. hopefully the feedback Havoc gets will make Prodigy get on his job!

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