Mobb Deep

Bullseye With Jesse Thorn: Prodigy Of Mobb Deep

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Prodigy
Guests: 
Carolyn Kellogg

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Prodigy: Member of Mobb Deep, Crusader From Queensbridge

Queensbridge, New York is an important place for hip-hop. Not since Motown, 25 years earlier, has such an astonishing number of artists with a distinctive, sought after sound, emerged from such a specific neighborhood. Nas, Marley Marl, Cormega--these are just a few of the huge names that sprang from America's largest housing projects, located just across the bridge from Manhattan in Queens. Since the early 1980s, Queensbridge has been a veritable hotbed for new directions in East Coast hip-hop.

And no rap-group has drawn inspiration from Queensbridge more vividly than Mobb Deep. Composed of rappers Havoc and Prodigy, Mobb Deep create music that makes you feel like you, too, grew up in Queensbridge. Listen to Shook Ones Pt. 2 enough times, and you'll feel like you could stab an unlucky sucker's brain with his nosebone.

Jesse sat down with Prodigy, aka Anthony Johnson, after the release of his autobiography, My Infamous Life in 2011. Prodigy had just recently been released from prison, where he spent three years on gun charges. He talks about growing up with sickle-cell anemia, being dragged along on his father's jewelry store robberies as a teen, and how he used his time in prison for some serious personal transformation.

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Carolyn Kellogg Recommends: Farewell, My Lovely and The Crying of Lot 49

Carolyn Kellogg, book critic and staff writer for the LA Times, joins us to recommend two of her all-time favorite books.

First, she recommends Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. This hardboiled Los Angeles noir features Chandler's iconic language--analogies stronger than the libations his protagonists down in LA's most dimly lit nightclubs.

Kellogg's next pick is Thomas Pynchon's novel The Crying Of Lot 49. At less than 200 pages, The Crying Of Lot 49 is an accessible, pun-filled entry into the dense world of Pynchon.

Read more of Carolyn's writing on books, authors, and publishing online at the LA Times' blog Jacket Copy.

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The Outshot: Randy Newman's "Sail Away"

If "You've Got A Friend In Me," is the only thing you think of when you hear the name Randy Newman, we've got an Outshot for you.

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This Week Live: August 29th to September 5th, 2011

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Here's where you can catch some of your favorite MaxFun performers this week:

This Week Live: August 22nd, 2011

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Here are some spots around the country where you can catch your MaxFun favorites this week.

Andy Kindler will be at the Playboy Comedy Lounge of the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas August 25th to 27th.

Bill Burr will be at the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, NJ from August 25th to the 28th.

Colson Whitehead will be at the University of Wyoming in Laramie tonight, August 22nd.

Childish Gambino, Mobb Deep and Blu & Exile will be in Mountain View, CA as part of the Rock the Bells Festival at the Shoreline Amphitheater on August 27th.

Jackie Kashian and Maria Bamford will be performing at the Helium Comedy Club in Portland, OR on August 25th, 26th and 27th.

Jimmy Pardo will be at the Funny Bone in Virginia Beach, VA on August 25th-27th.

Kumail Nanjiani will be performing the Meltdown Show at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles on August 24th with Brent Weinbach, Jen Kirkman and Brett Gelman.

Marc Maron will be at Hilarities in Cleveland, OH on August 25th-28th.

Tig Notaro will be at the Tin Roof in Charleston, SC on August 24th and at the Calendonia in Athens, GA on August 25th.

Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson will be performing Two Kids, One Hall at Zanies in Nashville on August 25th-28th.

Wyatt Cenac will be appearing at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in Arlington, VA on August 26th.

Prodigy, Rapper and Member of Mobb Deep: Interview on The Sound of Young America

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Show: 
Bullseye
Guests: 
Prodigy

Prodigy (aka Albert Johnson) is a Grammy Award-winning rapper. He and his collaborator Havoc founded the seminal hip hop duo Mobb Deep. His new autobiography is My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy.

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Click here to stream or download the interview.

JESSE THORN: It's The Sound of Young America, I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest, Prodigy, is one of the fathers of hardcore hip hop. As a teenager in the early 1990s, he and his partner Havoc, found an East Coast answer to the emerging West Coast gangster sound. As Mobb Deep, their tone was dark, eerie, and minimal; and their lyrics cold and brutal. Let's take a listen to Prodigy's opening verse from Shook Ones Part II, the apical single from the apical record, The Infamous.

Prodigy was recently released from three years in prison on gun charges, and he's just put out an autobiography called My Infamous Life and a new free digital record called The Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson EP.

Prodigy, welcome to The Sound of Young America, how are you?

PRODIGY: How you doing, man? Thank you, I'm doing good, I'm doing really good.

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