Rap music is good at creating its own mythology — so good that it can be hard at times to discern the difference between an exaggerated story and actual fact. Flee Lord is by no means the poster child for this debate nor somebody I hate (I enjoy his work and we’ll get to that) but his bio did raise questions. Allegedly he’s a protege of the late Prodigy (Albert Johnson) of Mobb Deep. I could have accepted that they were friends in real life without questioning it, even though there’s no evidence they ever recorded tracks together, but the line that really fucked with my head was Flee was by his side when he died in the hospital on June 20, 2017. I would’ve said this was just a Flee Lord fan exaggerating to make their favorite emcee more legendary, but Lord named himself Infamous Mobb Flee on social media.

Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of why I brought this up — the association with Prodigy and/or Mobb Deep is completely unnecessary to boost Flee Lord as an artist. If it’s all true, respect. If it’s all embellishment, Flee Lord is a talented enough emcee to not need the extra hype. “Pray for the Evil” had me convinced from the jump that he’s a talent, and Mephux is clearly the right producer to match his lyrical energy. He spits like a mixture of Vinnie Paz and Celph Titled, gruff voiced and incredibly tight to the beat. His focused delivery is met by focused lyrics on “When My Dough Comes.” Instead of making himself wealthy, Flee wants to improve life for everyone else.

“Try to save lil’ homey, ‘fore they cage homey
He need bread for class I’ma pay for lil’ homey
Open up a store and give certain people credit
OG’s and the grannies, I will never go collect it”

Whether or not Flee was respected by Prodigy is also immaterial to the respect he has from the rest of the rap game. You don’t get a Buffalo rap legend like Conway the Machine on a song by accident, and he’s right here on the song “Steppers” with his trademark slurred vocals. “Heard 6IX9INE testified, I’m not surprised at all.” That might date the album but that’s fine by me because it made me and everybody in the booth laugh. This song is all the credentials Flee Lord needed to be solidified in the rap game as far as I’m concerned.

While “Pray for the Evil” is not an exceptionally long album by the standards of old, it’s more than sufficient by the standards of the 2020’s, and may have been the most that could have been done during pandemic restrictions that year anyway. It’s also the first of a trilogy of albums under the same name, and I’m already intrigued enough by Flee Lord to want to hear the other two. By the time he vows that he wants to “end on a banger” with “Ease the Pain” I’m more than satisfied with his output here. “I’m a slave to the stage, I be rapping for my +masters+.” Flee Lord is a clever lyricist with a straightforward, no nonsense style that’s almost a throwback compared to the trends that swirled around him when this album dropped. Rest In Power Prodigy, and keep on rapping Flee, because I really wish I could have heard the two of you together on a track.

Flee Lord x Mephux :: Pray for the Evil
7.5Overall Score