Subtitle: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy
Free bonus music, including three never-before-released singles, exclusive with the audiobook!
From one of the greatest rappers of all time, a memoir about a life almost lost and a revealing look at the dark side of hip-hop’s Golden Era
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 Life is an unblinking account of Prodigy’s wild times with Mobb Deep, who alongside rappers like Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Jay-Z, and 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, so often seen as the only way out for those with few options, Prodigy lays down the truth about the intoxicating power of money, the meaning of true friendship and loyalty, 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 the 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 Life is 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.
*Produced by Buck 50 Productions
“Prodigy…was close to being the best rapper in the game.”—Jay-Z
“Albert ‘Prodigy’ Johnson and his partner, Kejuan ‘Havoc’ Mujita, used their hardcore street stories to forever change the rap game alongside fellow NYC titans Nas, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan.”—Village Voice
“We had our differences, which was really just hyped-up bullshit. I wish everything for Prodigy…I just wish the best for him…And I would love to see them come back again. I would be the first person in the record store buying a Mobb album.”—Nas
“Most of the groups that were around when New York’s Mobb Deep debuted in 1993 have fallen to the wayside either because they could not stick together or fans no longer cared about their music. But the duo—Havoc and Prodigy—have not only remained allegiant to one another, they’ve maintained their status as one of the premier groups in hip-hop.”—MTV News
“A surprising triumph, both as an archive of 1990s New York hip-hop folk tales and for its stirring sketches of a man who, on many occasions, could have made his life a lot easier on himself. The best way to experience Johnson’s epic, if meandering, journey: his audiobook, which is among the most riveting recordings any rapper will release this year, or any year…Compelling.”—Slate
As one half of the hip-hop phenomenon Mobb Deep, ALBERT “PRODIGY” JOHNSON has sold millions of albums, performed throughout the world, and recorded with the elite of hip-hop, R&B, and rock with his signature style of hard-core, reality-based music. Born with the hereditary disease sickle-cell anemia, Prodigy has battled pain his entire life and is now promoting the importance of a healthy diet, spiritual enrichment, and a positive, productive lifestyle. He lives in Queens, New York, with his wife and three children.
Hip-hop has taken writer LAURA CHECKOWAY around the world. The former senior editor of Vibe magazine, she has penned revealing celebrity profiles and investigative features for numerous publications and is a regular contributor to RollingStone.com. As a documentary filmmaker, she continues to share stories that impact, haunt, and last. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.