As a fan of hip-hop who grew up in the golden era, I had to stop getting my hopes up that the legends of days past would ever be able to match the quality of their early work. One by one, even the most dependable producers and MC’s have let us all down. So I was pleasantly surprised, borderline shocked, at how good the new collaborative LP from Prodigy of Mobb Deep and long-respected beatsmith Alchemist is. The 8.2 Pitchfork review of Albert Einstein helped tip me off but honestly all it took to sell me was one listen. It’s not hard to explain why, the simple formula of sample-based beats and no nonsense rhymes works beautifully. These are two rap vets with resumes filled with classics who show convincingly that they still have something to prove. The real revelation here is Prodigy. The music is some of the Alchemist’s best but he’s always remained consistent. Prodigy on the other hand sounds like he woke up out of his drug-induced haze, found some lyrical clarity and took advantage of the perfect sonic backdrop to showcase his revitalized skills. If you were a fan of Mobb Deep, vintage beats and/or real rap I can’t give this a higher recommendation.