H.N.I.C. (Prodigy album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 14, 2000
ProducerProdigy, Bink!, Hangmen 3, The Alchemist, Robert Kirkland, Mobb Deep, EZ Elpee, Nashiem Myrick, Rockwilder, Just Blaze, Ric Rude
Prodigy chronology
H.N.I.C. Pt. 2
Professional ratings
Review scores
Los Angeles Times[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[5]
The Source[6]

H.N.I.C. is the debut solo album by American rapper Prodigy. Originally scheduled for a summer 2000 release, the album was ultimately released on November 14, 2000.

After four Mobb Deep albums, Prodigy took a temporary break from the group and released his first solo effort. "H.N.I.C." is an initialism for "Head Nigga in Charge." Prodigy enlisted a number of producers for the album, including The Alchemist, EZ Elpee, Rockwilder, Just Blaze and his Mobb Deep partner Havoc. Music videos were done for "Keep It Thoro" and "Y.B.E" (Young Black Entrepreneurs). The album received widespread critical acclaim.[8] The song "Keep It Thoro" was released on vinyl.[citation needed]

A sequel, H.N.I.C. Pt. 2 was released on April 22, 2008. It features production by Havoc, a fellow member of Mobb Deep and The Alchemist among others. In 2011, after being released from prison, Prodigy began work on the third album in the series, H.N.I.C. 3.

Several rappers took inspiration from H.N.I.C., including Wiz Khalifa for his album O.N.I.F.C. (2012),[9] and then-16-year-old Kendrick Lamar for his debut mixtape Y.H.N.I.C. (2003).[10]

H.N.I.C. was certified Gold by the RIAA on December 18, 2000.


While Prodigy was working on H.N.I.C. and the Murda Muzik album with Mobb Deep, he started living a healthy lifestyle.[citation needed]

"Quiet Storm", a track that appeared on Murda Muzik, was originally intended for H.N.I.C. Prodigy utilized the song as a platform to share his personal struggles with Sickle-cell disease, which has affected him throughout his life. In the track "You Can Never Feel My Pain," Prodigy delves into the emotional toll of the disease, revealing that it has led to depression and a desire for controlled substances and alcohol.[citation needed]

The 6th track "Keep It Thoro" does not have a hook or chorus; this was the central idea of the song, with Prodigy making this clear with the penultimate line "heavy airplay all day with no chorus." However, Prodigy's manager at the time, Chris Lighty, thought the song would receive more radio airplay with a chorus. After the album release, Havoc released a version with a chorus, editing the penultimate line out. The Alchemist, the producer of this track, later commented that "the hook was dope too but the song was already powerful enough." This version of the song was included on the Japanese edition of the album as a bonus track.[11]

Prodigy's wife KiKi appears on the track "Trials of Love" as B.K. (aka) Mz. Bars, the only time she appears on a song. She made her video appearance in the Hey Luv video from Mobb Deep's Infamy (2001).[citation needed]

The album appeared on "The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s" list by Complex magazine.[12]

Track listing[edit]

1."Bars & Hooks (Intro)" 1:19
2."Genesis" 2:49
3."Drive Thru (skit)" 0:16
4."Rock Dat Shit"Bink Dogg4:21
5."What U Rep" (featuring N.O.R.E.)Hang Men 34:32
6."Keep It Thoro"The Alchemist3:05
7."Can't Complain" (featuring Twin Gambino & Chinky)Prodigy4:19
8."Infamous Minded" (featuring Big Noyd)Robert Kirkland3:27
9."Wanna Be Thugs" (featuring Havoc)Havoc2:50
10."Three" (featuring Cormega)The Alchemist2:20
11."Delt with the Bullshit" (featuring Havoc)Havoc3:22
12."Trials of Love" (featuring B.K. (aka) Mz. Bars)The Alchemist3:50
13."H.N.I.C."EZ Elpee3:03
14."Be Cool (skit)" 0:16
15."Veteran's Memorial"The Alchemist4:56
16."Do It" (featuring Mike Delorean)Rockwilder3:20
17."Littles (skit)" 1:19
18."Y.B.E." (featuring B.G. of the Cash Money Millionaires)Stephen "Lost Spirit" Dorsain, Nashiem Myrick, Prodigy4:21
19."Diamond" (featuring Bars & Hooks)Just Blaze4:05
20."Gun Play" (featuring Big Noyd)Rockwilder4:44
21."You Can Never Feel My Pain"Ric Rude3:27
22."H.N.I.C. (Outro)" 0:18


Chart (2001) Peak
US Billboard 200[13] 18
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[14] 2
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[15] 6


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Jason Birchmeier (2000-11-14). "H.N.I.C. - Prodigy". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  2. ^ Soren Baker (2000-11-17). "Record Rack - latimes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  3. ^ "Prodigy - H.N.I.C." HipHopDX. 2001-01-12. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  4. ^ "Feature for November 14, 2000 - Prodigy's "H.N.I.C."". Rapreviews.com. 2000-11-14. Retrieved 2015-06-14.
  5. ^ Rollingstone Album Guide Reviews
  6. ^ Miles, Kenneth (January 2001). "Record Report: Prodigy – H.N.I.C". The Source. No. 136. New York. p. 190.
  7. ^ Crowley, David (December 2000). "Revolutions: Prodigy – H.N.I.C." Vibe. New York. p. 196. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  8. ^ "Prodigy Returns To 'RapFix Live'". MTV. July 11, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2023.
  9. ^ "Wiz Khalifa O.N.I.F.C. Title Is 'All Love,' Prodigy Says". MTV. Viacom Media Networks. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  10. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Explained How Prodigy Inspired Him To Make His First Mixtape As A 16-Year-Old". Uproxx.com. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-26.
  11. ^ "The Alchemist Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1)Prodigy "Keep it Thoro" (2000)". Complex. Retrieved 2017-09-24.
  12. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 2000s". Complex UK. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  13. ^ "Prodigy Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  14. ^ "Prodigy Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  15. ^ "Prodigy Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Prodigy – H.N.I.C." Recording Industry Association of America.