Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

Akashic Books

||| |||

Catalog » Browse by Title: H » HNIC


By: and

Prodigy, from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, launches Akashic’s new Infamous Books imprint with a story of loyalty, vengeance, and greed.

$11.95 $8.96

Available as an e-book for:

Available as an audio book: Audible

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What people are saying…

“After reading this can’t-take-my-eyes-from-the-pages hardened street novella, I’m thinking less is much more. The authors’ writing rarely misses a beat with characters caught in a violent criminal world with no escape. The work is a breath of fresh air from lengthy, trying-too-hard-to-shock street lit and is an excellent choice for all metropolitan collections.”
Library Journal (starred review, Pick of the Month)

“The urban setting is unnamed but familiar in this brief, bloody tale of wasted lives lived short and hard.”
Publishers Weekly

“Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance.”
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

“In a genre that too often places incorrect ebonics in the mouths of black characters and fails to cross the empathy gap to get into their heads, Savile and Prodigy arrive at a seamless voice that is a refreshing take on crime fiction tropes . . . if tone and texture are what you’re looking for in your hardcore literature . . . H.N.I.C. delivers the goods.”

H.N.I.C. is written by Prodigy himself and shows the extent to which good rappers can make good storytellers.”
Brooklyn Based

“Ultimately, H.N.I.C. deals on all the right levels and is completely satisfying.”
Blackout Book Review

“If you don’t have this novella in your library collection already, please be on the lookout for this 2013 release, H.N.I.C., penned by Hip Hop artist Prodigy of the group, Mobb Deep.”

“The strength of this novella, in addition to its straightforward prose and rapid pacing, rests on the universal theme at its center: loyalty. Loyalty and the bullshit our friends put us through . . . Like any good work of crime, H.N.I.C. is grounded in such common experiences and, like any good work of crime, it speaks to all of us, despite the fact that very few of us can bypass an alarm system through some computer trickery.”
Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together

“It tells the…urban tale of deceit, greed and questioned loyalty with just enough drama to keep you turning the pages.”
Literary Jewels

“A brutal and quick read . . . custom-made for the big screen.”
Charles Tatum’s Review Archive

“You can tell that a true lyricist created this gritty tale about greed, betrayal, and street romance. The wordplay is dead on. Combine that with the details that give the freshness of immediate experience and you are no longer reading the story, you are suddenly a character in it. This is what good writing does—it puts you right there in the middle of the action. Excellent read. Salute!”
—Miasha, best-selling author of Secret Society

“Prodigy is a proven storyteller and his skills spill over into the literature game effortlessly. This is a five-star read.”
—JaQuavis Coleman, best-selling coauthor of the Cartel series

H.N.I.C. is a quick yet engaging read that kept me flipping the pages to see what would happen next.”
—K’wan, best-selling author of Animal



*Please note that this title will ship on or before the official publication date of July 16, 2013.

* * *

Click here to read a front page New York Times Arts Section feature about H.N.I.C. and the Infamous Books imprint.

Click here to read a feature about H.N.I.C. and Infamous Books at Publishers Weekly; here to read an article in the Village Voice about Mobb Deep and Infamous Books; here to read about Infamous Books on AllHipHop.com; here to read about Infamous Books and Prodigy at Vibe; here to read a feature on Prodigy and the Mobb Deep tour; here to read an interview with Prodigy at the New York Daily News; and here to read a feature on Prodigy, H.N.I.C., and Infamous books in Brooklyn Based.

Prodigy, from the legendary hip-hop group Mobb Deep, launches Akashic’s new Infamous Books imprint with a story of loyalty, vengeance, and greed.

Pappy tries to break out of the game before the head of his crew, Black, gets them all killed. Against his better judgment Pappy agrees to do one last job, but only because it’s the price of his freedom. He knows Black can’t be trusted. He knows his “brother” would rather see him dead than let him walk away. Yet he still agrees to do the job because Black isn’t the only one who can’t be trusted. Sometimes you have to kill for what you want.

Further developing the stark realism and uncompromising streetwise narratives of his lyrics, H.N.I.C. cements Prodigy’s position as one of the foremost chroniclers of contemporary urban life. Simultaneously a fast-paced crime drama and an engrossing, unsentimental moral tale, H.N.I.C. peers into the dark heart that underpins the codes of loyalty and friendship, betrayal and vengeance.

With H.N.I.C., Prodigy inaugurates Infamous Books, a revolutionary partnership that pairs the Infamous Records brand with Brooklyn-based independent publisher Akashic Books. Infamous Books’ mission is to connect readers worldwide to crime fiction and street lit authors both familiar and new. Future releases include works by national best sellers JaQuavis Coleman, K’wan, Miasha, Prodigy, and many others.

Click here to watch a video of Prodigy on Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club; here to watch a video of a library event created by AALBC; click here to watch a video of Prodigy at Stupid Dope; click here to watch a video of Prodigy talking H.N.I.C. and Eminem at BallerStatus; here to see Prodigy read from and discuss H.N.I.C.; and click here to listen to an audio excerpt of the first chapter of H.N.I.C.

Listen to interviews with Prodigy on NPR’s Microphone Check, WNYC’s Soundcheck, FanBro’s Podcast, and Huffington Post Live.

Read an interview with Prodigy at Ebony.com, at Open City, at Phresh.cc, and at Okayplayer.

Check out photos from the H.N.I.C. book launch at powerHouse Arena at Frank151 and as part of the Akashic Insider.

Check out this feature on Infamous Books at the 2014 Calabash Festival in The Gleaner (Jamaica).

Read about the Infamous Book launch at AllHipHop.com, and watch an interview with Prodigy below:

Book Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Published: 7/16/13
  • IBSN: 9781617752322
  • e-IBSN: 9781617752377
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617752360


ALBERT “PRODIGY” JOHNSON, as one half of the hip-hop phenomenon Mobb Deep, has sold millions of albums and recorded with the elite of hip-hop, R&B, and rock. Prodigy is the founder and curator of Infamous Books, and is the author of the memoir My Infamous Life and coauthor, with Steven Savile, of H.N.I.C.. He lives in Queens, New York.

More info »

STEVEN SAVILE, a multiple finalist for the British Fantasy Award, has written for Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, Stargate, Warhammer, Sláine, Fireborn, Pathfinder, and other popular game and comic series. He wrote the story for the international best-selling computer game Battlefield 3, which sold over five million copies in its week of release, and served as head writer for the popular online children’s game Spineworld. He is coauthor, with Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, of H.N.I.C.

More info »