Prodigy’s autobiography is filled with violence and mayhem. It’s hard to imagine that a rapper/entertainer of his stature was involved with all that petty and gratuitous violence, but according to the book and rumors in the hip-hop world, it’s all true. Prodigy is a true thoroughbred and thug of epic proportions, unlike many of todays so called gangsta rappers. Hip-hop is filled with studio gangsters, hustlers, wannabe’s and clowns. But like a true thug, Prodigy was ready to jump it off at anytime, in the streets or right before he went on stage to perform. It was on and popping whenever. That’s just how he carries it.
The parts of the book I enjoyed the most were those that veered into the lives of the real life crime figures that Prodigy was either associated with or that ran in the underground hip-hop circles he frequented. He paints a vivid picture of the 90s era scene, where clubs like The Tunnel and the Latin Quarter played center stage. Hosting a mix of alpha b-boys, drug lords, promoters, dime pieces galore, crime figures and the rappers themselves. The hustling and hip-hop landscapes portrayed are as harrowing as they are intriguing. I found the stories on Nathan “Green Eyed Born” May from the infamous Supreme Team, who Prodigy called Green Eyes in his book and his recollections of Eric “E-Money Bags” Smith, a wannabe rapper, gun thug and Mobb Deep affiliate, now deceased, both of whom were close to Prodigy, the most interesting.
The Southside of Jamaica Queens and Queensbridge, though close in proximity have always been rivals and Prodigy, firmly in the Queensbridge camp, found himself on the wrong side of Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff in the late-90s. Supreme is a legendary former drug lord who ran the Supreme Team in the crack era. He had done his time, got out and hooked up with Irv Gotti and Ja Rule’s Murder Inc. entertainment group. Riding shotgun with them, providing street cred and muscle. Supreme had some long standing beefs with associates of Prodigy, including Supreme’s former cohort, the above mentioned Green Eyed Born and Prodigy’s rap protégé E-Money Bags. As Murder Inc. gained popularity in the late-90s, the battle lines were evenly drawn, not to be altered until 50 Cent entered the fray at a later date.
The story with Green Eyed Born, who was a member of the “original seed” of the Supreme Team, was that he felt slighted by Supreme after he came home from doing fifteen years for a robbery; he claimed to Prodigy, he didn’t even do. Back in the early-80s it has been alleged that the Supreme Team were vicious and accomplished bank robbers and when a few of them got busted for a bank robbery, Green Eyed Born got arrested, stayed true to the code of the streets and took the fall for other members of the team, maybe even for Supreme himself. But when he came home he didn’t get his just due as he expected.
Green Eyed Born was an O.G. and street legend that had always been very sure of himself and had even fancied himself as a potential leader of the Supreme Team at one time. Prodigy got to know the oldhead and admitted him into his inner circle. “I realized Green Eye’s was cool,” Prodigy wrote in his book. “He was just an O.G. suspended in time, 1984 to be exact. He told me how the gang leader, Supreme McGriff, didn’t take care of him while he was locked up and never sent his family money.”
This led to Green Eyed Born feeling like he needed to steal some of Supreme’s jewelry when he came home, but he was caught. When confronted about it he was shot in the leg by Supreme’s right hand man, Babywise, another long time Supreme Team member from back in the day. The shooting is mentioned in passing in the book, but not the real reason for its occurrence. Allegedly Green Eyed Born tried to sell the jewelry to Chaz Williams and when Chaz recognized it as Supreme’s, he let Supreme know, thus the confrontation with Green Eyed Born and ultimate shooting.
The E-Money Bags beef stemmed from his shooting of Colbert “Black Justice” Johnson, which resulted in Black Just’s death. Prodigy had befriended E-Money Bags before that and even paid him $2,500 for a beat he produced for the Murda Muzik soundtrack. “Before I gave Bags the money for the song he did for the Murda Muzik soundtrack he was planning to buy a tagged car from his girl Z, who sold tagged cars for Supreme.” Prodigy wrote. “Bags gave Z a thousand dollars for a down payment, but when he got the $2,500 from me, he decided he wanted his money back to get a legit car – a silver Navigator – instead.”
“You’ve gotta take that up with Preme,” the girl Z told Bags. “Because he told me not to give you anything back.” Prodigy felt that Supreme brushed E-Money Bags off like a punk. “Bags broke down the whole story about the connection between Irv Gott, Ja Rule and Supreme. Bags told me they were just two studio gangsters, herbs in the hood, and now Supreme’s got them under his wing.” Prodigy wrote. “Bags told me he was coming out of the Coliseum on Jamaica Avenue one day and saw Preme parked in a Land Rover with Black Just. Bags proceeded to shoot up the Rover with bullets, learning later that he missed Preme and shot Black Just in his upper inner thigh. Preme drove back to the hood to get somebody to drive Black Just to the hospital, but Black Just bled to death.”
Supreme was enraged at the killing of his longtime friend, ally and Supreme Team loyalist. Black Just had held Supreme down through thick and thin and now he was dead by a bullet meant for Supreme. Supreme vowed revenge. Prodigy didn’t know this all at the time but he would be warned. Supreme had no beef with Prodigy, only two of his associates. But in the streets you are be guilty by association. Green Eyed Born got with Prodigy to let him know E-Money Bags was being green lighted for death.
“Green Eyes said he needed to talk,” Prodigy said. “He told me to stop hanging out with Bags. He said stay away because Bags was about to be hit.” Even though Green Eyed Born was beefing with Supreme, he still had contact with his old boss through mutual connections. In Supreme’s eyes once Green Eyed Born was disciplined it was over, especially considering they had grown up together. Prodigy was also supposed to do a song with Irv Gotti and Ja Rule, but his relationship with E-Money Bags fucked that up.
“Irv brought me into the studio and played me some beats,” Prodigy wrote. “I get a call from E-Money Bags. When I told him I was at Irv’s studio, Bags said, ‘Tell that nigga Irv that E-Money Bags said what’s up. He knows me.’ I told Irv and his face instantly changed.” Since Prodigy was still associating with E-Money Bags, after he was given a direct warning by Supreme, he was put on the burn and created enemies and a situation where there had been none before, due to his affiliations.
Also with Prodigy being aligned with the up and coming anti-Murder Inc. 50 Cent, he was lining himself up directly against the Irv Gotti/Ja Rule/Supreme/Murder Inc. faction. “50 Cent felt the same way about Irv and Ja, Bags said, and he didn’t get along with Preme either. So when 50 first came on the rap scene with songs dissing Irv and Ja, Preme put a hit on 50,” Prodigy wrote. “That’s why 50 got shot up. Bags knew that Preme put a hit on him, but he said he was going to kill Preme first. Now I understood what Green Eyes was telling me and why Irv Gotti looked the way he did.” So it is no wonder Prodigy had spit venom toward Supreme, even though Supreme never had anything against him. But unlike Prodigy, Supreme is a real bonifide gangster, one of the baddest men to ever walk the streets ofNew York. Supreme is a true gangster in the mold of Al Capone, Pablo Escobar and John Gotti. Not to diminish Prodigy’s credibility, but he is no Supreme.
On July 16, 2001, E-Money Bags was killed, Dead President’s style, by a four man hit team Supreme allegedly hired for the job. Informants told authorities that Supreme bragged about the slaying and told friends that, “Black Just could now rest in peace.” Prodigy broke down how it happened, “Bags had parked his new Navigator next to a house to take a smoke break because he didn’t want to smoke weed in front of the kids in the yard. Four masked gunmen ran up on the Navigator from behind and opened fire. Bags truck and body were riddled with bullets. Bags died with his gun in his hand. He must’ve seen them coming but it was too late.” Obviously Prodigy was upset because his friend was killed.
And Prodigy’s line from Rotten Apple on Return of the Mac, If Pac was still alive we’d be on the same team, we got bigger fish to fry than that bitch Supreme is also misleading, as Tupac was down with Supreme back in the early-90s in an organization geared to clean up the city’s streets, before he was killed. Tupac was down with Supreme on his idea to unite O.G.’s, community leaders and rappers. Tupac would have never gone against Supreme. It’s said that Preme mediated Tupac’s conflicts in New York and gave Pac a pass to walk in the city. Some think the reason Tupac got shot was because Preme got put back in jail on a violation. If Preme was out he would have been able to mediate that situation just out of the respect he got.
When Preme found out Prodigy was rapping about him, he sent word through Green Eyes. “Look the nigga Preme is upset with you because you’ve been talking about him on your songs,” Green Eyed Born told Prodigy. “He had some niggas out here looking for you. I already told niggas they gotta fall back because you my nigga, P, but just stop talking about all that shit in your songs. You my nigga, P, you know I love you. Preme just feel like it’s none of your business, so just leave all that shit alone.”
Prodigy said about the song, “I called Preme a bitch because he had E-Money Bags killed and got 50 shot up. So fuck Supreme. They told me that some Supreme Team niggas were walking around the projects asking about me, saying they were going to kill me.” But if Supreme wanted Prodigy he could have got him. His track record in the drug and murder game speaks for itself. Supreme has a long gangster resume. And don’t get it twisted, Prodigy wasn’t beefing with Supreme while he was on the street. All this came about afterward. When the bodies were dropping, nothing was mentioned. Yet it’s all in his book now. The story gets deeper.