In part 2 of our interview series, Prodigy explains the unexpected trappings of jail, misconceptions about C.O.'s, and going straight for Korean BBQ after three years in prison.
I haven't read many cookbooks lately, or many hip-hop books for that matter, but I'm sure my current reading material -- Prodigy's "Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook" -- is among the best of the recent works in either category. The Mobb Deep emcee recently came through HNHH to discuss his experiences during his prison stint from late 2007 to early 2011 that inspired him to write his new book. After recalling his three worst prison food experiences, Prodigy spoke on the therapeutic benefits of being able to cook in prison, and he also shared what he takes to be the foremost misconceptions about prison in America, or at least in New York state.
First off, "it's dangerous going to jail," says Prodigy, meaning that it's often easier to catch a lengthy sentence while in jail than it is on the outside. He's seen people unafraid to carry out certain crimes because of the relatively minor sentences they might face if caught. However, once such convicts get locked up, he's seen a six month sentence turn into life inside the pen. It's apparently a common tactic of correctional officers to sneak a razor blade inside one's cell, thus adding an automatic two years to said offender's sentence.
On the subject of C.O.'s, Prodigy also believes it's a misconception that most officers are inherently racist. In fact, he met a handful of C.O.'s that were longtime Mobb Deep fans.
Lastly, the Queens vet recalls his first meal after getting out -- Korean barbecue (which he'd been dreaming of for three years) in SoHo. Watch part 1 of our interview with Prodigy below, and order "Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook" here.