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My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 19, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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 ... This is the kind of vulnerability that is fearless, especially within hip-hop." -Slate.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439103186
  • ASIN: B0054U5FF6
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,149,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For those unaware of Mobb Deep, this is a group that rose in the mid-90's or "second golden era" of hip-hop. At the time, they brought to the table a mix of aggression, introspection, and street logic to their craft that set them apart from their peers. The combination of Havoc's beats and Prodigy's high level of street rhyming had them ranked as high-echelon rappers among fans and peers. Though their theme of crime-life was common at the time, their particular style set them apart as it was much more detailed, felt more "real", and gave a deeper look into the mind of the street thug waiting to rob you. Most of this was credited to Prodigy's unique voice and serious way of rhyming, and is confirmed by sound bytes of Prodigy's various quotes being sampled and sprinkled in the songs of countless rappers to date.

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I usually stay away from autobiographies written by rap figures, because in the macho world of rap, there's a high chance of making themselves look like Superman and/or constantly altering supposedly true events. In this book, Prodigy is brutally honest -- I would say SHOCKINGLY honest at times about himself and others and it is a wonder how some of his friends that he mentions even agreed to let him include some of things written about them. THAT is the charm of this book.

My Infamous Life is a highly detailed account of Prodigy's life who wrote it while serving three years in prison on a gun charge. Starting from birth and health complications that began shortly thereafter, P introduces us to many of his family members and childhood friends and his exploits with them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My Infamous Life written by Prodigy, is insightful and real. Prodigy takes you into his world and you feel as if you are going down memory lane right with him. The book has Many Many Lows, however as Prodigy explained he was child for 16-17 years and he has now seen the negative impacts of his decisions as a grown man. I hope that this book gets into the hands to many young people who have chosen a wayward life as he explains that his decisions did not lead him in the place he deserved. This book is coming from a person whose life was destined to be great, had opportunites not afforded to many. Yet and still got into the rap game and still chose the wrong paths. This from a person who could've had the world at its feet, still ended up doing foolish things. If you have a child who has chosen the wrong paths in life, this is a book for them. However, this book is real grimey, very street, and hood. Prodigy is the REAL DEAL in regards to the streets. The way he describes things will insight a child who is eager to do the wrong things or want to make a name for him/herself. Prodigy does not hold back on the details of the dirt, hurt, harm, and danger he caused. So please be mindful of the contents if sharing this book with a young impressionable person. In regards to his place in hip hop, there is no doubt that he could've been up there with NAS, Jay-Z, Tupac, or Biggie. He brings us a close insight of his aspect of the media made war of the east coast vs west coast drama that had taken the lives of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. If you want to know from his aspect of the rap game and business, this is a book to pick up and read. I hope that this book touches others but that Prodighy continues to live a life of peace and proseperity and gets back to rhyming just to show these newbies in the game what a real MC with real life situations is all about. Defintely this is a must read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This joint was off the chain. I don't think that all of the folks that got mentioned in this book are really happy about it but hey, we as fans loved it, homie. Real good detail and great job on the chronological order of life events. I learned a lot about some cats that I didn't know. Very entertaining, Champ!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I saw that Prodigy had written an autobiography, I was skeptical at first about its contents. But after deciding to buy it for the kindle and give it a go, I have to say, it turned out to be a really good read. I knew going into this one that there'd be stories about tragedy, success, love and happiness. I can honestly say, I found all of those and much more in the book. It may not be for everyone, but if you're a fan of hip-hop and grew up in the same parts as he did, this book will hit close to home. It truly was, his infamous life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very enlightening for those who have followed Mobb Deep over the years that want to see how it all started and how he became to be who he is today. However, the whole "I would have used my gun but..." gets redundant and you soon realize that if it weren't for the real gangstas in his crew that he would probably be a on a R.I.P. t-shirt today.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've followed Mobb Deep over the years, you'll find this an incredible insight behind the music. It brings so much context to the creative process and the trials and tribulations around these songs. You'll learn why some albums were darker than others - as family members passed away, friends got locked up, charges were brought up. Also who the lyrics were aimed at at though public and private beefs.

It's a solid read, perhaps not the most eloquent but definitely a page turner. My only issue is, so many crew members come and go (all with crazy nicknames) it's sometimes hard to keep track of who's who. Maybe that's the point?

Since releasing the book Prodigy has come under fire from his peers for dry snitching (telling tales which incriminate others indirectly) and also for embellishment. Overall I got the impression it's how he remembers it and this isn't a made up lifestyle. He's lived through it and admits a lot of wrong doing.
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