The Illuminati & Hip-Hop: A Conversation With Prodigy

Written by on March 3, 2019

Prodigy: You got this power that people call God. There’s many names for it. Allah, God, The Creator, The Most High. But the power exists. Some people, they don’t like to admit that power exists or they just don’t believe it. They atheists, you know what I mean? But me personally, I know there’s a higher power and that power is real. That power is one force, right? It’s one god force on this planet, and we are given free will to do what we want with that power. You can use that power for good and then you can use that power for evil, too. But there’s only one power. So when people saying that God and the devil- Nah, there’s only one. But you can use that force for bad. That’s what these people are playing with. They’re playing with that energy that exists out here that we all have access to. Rob: Prodigy, what’s going on, man? Prodigy: Rob, kid.

Rob: Chillin’, man. Prodigy: Good to see you. Rob: You asked me to come up here and meet you. We’re gonna have this talk. But where are we right now, man? Can you tell us where we’re at? Can we say? Prodigy: We actually at the home of a friend of mine, Cynthia. She does these immersive plays. I’m actually a part of one of them and we working on another one. The original one that we worked on is called The Illuminati Ball. We actually do it here in the house. Rob: So we’re in the illuminati house? Prodigy: Basically, yeah. Rob: I want to take it all the way back to the beginning. 1995 was the first time I ever heard about the illuminati. It was in a verse. You were on LL Cool J’s I Shot Ya remix- and you said, Illuminati, you want my mind, soul, and my body I don’t know if we all knew what you meant at the time. I know it started a trend where then every rapper started using illuminati in their rhymes.

For you, when you first wrote that lyric, what was going on in your head? What was the message you were really trying to convey? Prodigy: You know I grew up in Long Island ’til I was like 12. Then I moved to Queens. I moved to Lefrak. But in Long Island, they had the gods and the earths. You know, like the Five-Percent Nation, the Nation of Islam. It’s not the same thing, but affiliated in a way. It was always intriguing to me because they was out there hustling and doing they thing, but at the same time, they had a lot of knowledge.

I had a group of friends in school and we were all interested in this information. We would actually cut out of school to go to the library because we realized the school wasn’t teaching us about the history of our culture and our people. I had bumped into these other books that these Muslim brothers used to sell on the streets. The author was Dr. Malachi Z. York. His books just opened my eyes even wider. Simple things like when you say, Amen after you pray, where does that come from? The origin of the Bible, the origin of the Koran. I came across the word illuminati. I wanted to put what I was learning into the music, but I didn’t want to turn the fans off. So I decided to plant seeds. People are not going to understand what I’m talking about yet, but it’s going to make them curious. Rob: About a year later, after this song comes out, Jay-Z drops his debut, Reasonable Doubt, and on it, he has a song called D’Evils produced by DJ Premier.

Prodigy: Right. Rob: And they sample your line: Illuminati, want my mind, soul, and my body. Rob: Then from there, I mean, you name it. Everyone from Jay-Z to Kanye West, Drake, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar. We’re talking about Beyonce and Madonna has talked about the illuminati in their lyrics. Prodigy: Beyonce line was crazy, too. Because I’m like, Is she taking a shot? Or is she doing what I did? Just like putting it in there? I don’t know. It’s interesting to see her even say that in a song. Rob: What is the illuminati? If you could break down what it is that we’re actually talking about when we say illuminati. Prodigy: It’s a group that was formed in the 1700s, something like that, 1600s. This dude named Adam Weishaupt, he started this group of people, like powerful, rich people that basically shape popular opinion and the way the world is gonna move forward. The word means, the illuminated ones. Light is like information. You know what I mean? Like, Oh, you see light now. I found out that the origin of the information that they were teaching, it basically comes from this group called the Essenes in Egypt.

These were like the original black culture. Like the scholars, doctors, scientists, esoteric thinkers, and they just knew how to do stuff. For example, look at the pyramids. Nobody understands how the pyramids were built. These are the people that had that knowledge. Eye of Horus, the pyramids: those are artifacts and things from black culture. They represent certain things of our people from ancient black history of Egypt. Like ancient Egypt. You’ve got these group of people, the break into the tombs, they steal the riches like the gold and the mummies.

They rape and pillage our culture. They got you thinking your own people and your own artifacts and your own symbolism is evil. Rob: It’s funny, okay. We talked about this journey that started 20 years ago- even beyond that because it goes back to when you were in high school and you were learning- but you first dropped the lyric 21 years ago. You have a new album coming out where these things start to come into play again. The Helay- Prodigy: Hegelian- Rob: -The Hegelian Dialectic is the name of the album. The Hegelian Dialectic. Talk to me about this album. Prodigy: It’s basically my magnum opus-type of album. From ’95, ’96 when I first dropped that seed From that point on, I would keep dropping little seeds here and there, here and there, just building up to the point where we could have a full conversation about this. I didn’t know when it was going to happen. I didn’t know what I was going to call the project. But this has been planned since I was 19. Rob: Definitely a lot of information on this album. The things that- Even on the surface.

I think people might approach No Religion and be like, Oh, he used the Jay-Z sample. And connects to D’Evils connects to Illuminati- Prodigy: That was like a straight shout-out. I love Jay-Z. Even though we went through our little bullshit, whatever. Rob: Brotherhood of elite rappers. Prodigy: Yeah, he definitely one of them. You know what I’m saying? Rob: But you know it’s a deeper meaning as well. So you used that as the icing on the cake of- Prodigy: Right. Rob: There’s a whole thing under that, of what you’re trying to say, and I think throughout this album. But I definitely appreciate you for your time and the information and the clarity. Prodigy: Thank you, man, for even wanting to do this man. Rob: Nah, of course. Prodigy: People need to know this story. .

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