The Prodigy Return of the Mac

On paper this solo album by Mobb Deep’s Prodigy has all the makings of a comeback. In the wake of Blood Money, the Mobb’s disappointing outing under the G-Unit banner, Prodigy released a couple of well-received straight-to-YouTube videos at the end of 2006 and began working with respected producer and long-time affiliate Alchemist for an entire mix-tape. The collaboration had the potential to be the greater than the sum of its parts but is an ultimately underwhelming affair. Alchemist definitely holds up his end of the bargain, thumbing through the crates creating a throwback soundscape much grimier than the Mobb’s recent G-Unit output and more reminiscent of Mobb Deep’s origins. Prodigy, whose precipitous fall from the ranks of top MCs has been much discussed, sounds better than he has in years, with his conversational cadence nicely complimenting Alchemist’s chopped and looped breaks. However, perhaps overcompensating for the indifference to recent Mobb Deep material, Prodigy comes out with guns blazing — literally. The incessant gun talk on Return of the Mac quickly becomes tiresome and while this has always been part of Prodigy’s persona, he would have done well to follow the well-executed concept of tracks like single "Stuck On You” more often to avoid thematic redundancy and figuratively shooting himself in the foot. (Koch)