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Entertainment: Paying tribute to Queens icon

By Daniel Offner

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Prodigy, one-half of the iconic rap group Mobb Deep, died in June 2017 from complications caused by sickle cell anemia, a disease he battled throughout his entire life. Now, five years since his untimely passing, the late emcee’s estate has finally announced the release of his first posthumous single, “You Will See.”

“Five years ago our family suffered an immense loss,” relatives in charge of the late rapper’s estate said in a release. “The music that Prodigy left behind is extremely precious to all of us. We felt the need and responsibility to hold on to it until we had the proper foundation to complete what he was working on and release it to the world. We hope his fans will enjoy and support our efforts as we move forward with this very personal and emotional process. ‘You Will See’ is a treasure of new music from Prodigy, no doubt indeed.”

Artwork for his new single, “You Will See” available now on all streaming platforms and digital music stores.

He and rapper/producer Havoc first became household names in the mid-90s with the release of their sophomore album, “The Infamous,” which is considered one of the most prolific and influential hip-hop albums of all time. Mobb Deep perfectly encapsulated the everyday struggles of life in the Queensbridge Houses through their music. The album achieved instant commercial success, debuting at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 charts in 1995.

“The Infamous” remains an East Coast hip-hop staple thanks to such timeless classics as “Shook Ones (Part II), “Survival of the Fittest,” and “Temperature’s Rising” to name just a few.

Prodigy left behind a great number of recordings, including the next two chapters of his trilogy “The Hegelian Dialectic,” a highly introspective project which began with the first volume, “The Book of Revelation” wherein he revealed his socially conscious and politically driven reflections.

The forthcoming second installment of the project, entitled “The Book of Heroine,” will be released this summer and focuses more on emotional struggles through examples of personal trials and tribulations with drugs, relationships, and the continuous distractions caused by lust.

The new single, “You Will See,” is the first of three upcoming singles to be released in anticipation of the forthcoming full-length album release. It features soulful vocals and production by Berto Rich, in conjunction with The North Star group, and is available now on all streaming platforms and digital music stores.

LISTEN: “YOU WILL SEE” BY PRODIGY (RAPPER)

Forest Hills resident competes on ‘Jeopardy!’

Tom Philipose with Mayim Bialik, guest host of “Jeopardy!”

Tom Philipose of Forest Hills made a national TV appearance last night on America’s favorite quiz show, “Jeopardy!”

The 18-year Forest Hills resident and writing professor at CUNY Guttman Community College is no stranger to TV quiz shows, as he’s also starred on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and “Cash Cab” in the past.

Philipose has taken stabs at “Jeopardy!’s” extensive audition process of interviews and tests in the past, and was excited to be invited to the show this time around.

He said that his job as a college professor and knowing a ton of trivial facts throughout his life is what helped him during his “Jeopardy!” experience.

“I always remind students that you want to be intellectually curious, you want to know things, you don’t want to act like you got it all figured out, and that you’ve got nothing left to learn. We should keep our minds open to new things,” Philipose said.

“I’m daily in that practice of practicing what I preach, because it’s good to know what’s up and what’s going on in the world,” he continued. “So I think I’ve been prepared for this experience.”

Since “Jeopardy!” tapes multiple shows in one day, Philipose knew he would be up against reigning champion Ryan Long, who is one of four players from this season alone to make the show’s Hall of Fame list with the most consecutive games won.

Philipose gave Long a run for his money in the first round, buzzing in with multiple correct responses in a row and finding the Daily Double, where he scored an additional $1,000. He finished the first round $200 ahead of Long.

“It was a real whirlwind rewatching the episode. I was watching and thinking, ‘I don’t know this answer,’ and then I saw myself buzzing in and getting it right,” Philipose said.

“I remembered that I didn’t get any questions wrong except for Final Jeopardy, but I just did not remember buzzing in and knowing some of them yesterday. It was really weird.”

In the Double Jeopardy round, Long’s performance picked up along with the help of a Daily Double, and Philipose went into Final Jeopardy just $4,000 behind.

The question in the final category, “UNESCO World Heritage Sites,” stumped all three contestants.

Philipose shockingly wagered all of his earnings, leaving him with nothing.

“I did that because I was down by a few thousand dollars, and I didn’t want to have any regrets. I told myself ‘This guy [Long] knows a lot and I didn’t like the category at all, but let me go all out,’” he said.

“I think for me, it was the right move, because I know that it didn’t matter what I bet because if I got it wrong, he was going to win anyway. All of my family and friends told me that they were glad I went all in.”

Although Philipose did not leave “Jeopardy!” a winner in the traditional sense, he is victorious in other ways.

During the show’s interview portion, Philipose discussed the time where he signed up for the bone marrow registry, and eventually donated bone marrow to a child who was dying.

“I was a copycat. My brother joined the registry first. We were told there were not enough or a lot of people of color on the bone marrow registry,” he said on “Jeopardy!”

“A few years passed, and we both got matched to children that we did not know and we were able to donate and help them out. I would recommend anybody join the registry because it’s a really easy way to save a life.”

The show’s guest host, Mayim Bialik, described his good deed as “unbelievable,” and the moment earned him a round of applause from the studio audience.

Philipose said that the interview portion of the show is the part he was most excited about.

“Regardless of what happened, I was at least able to get the word out about a really easy way to save people’s lives. The champion, Ryan, actually tweeted out some stuff about the bone marrow registry and gave me a shoutout, and that’s getting a lot of attention in a nice way like I was hoping for,” Philipose said.

When he’s not educating college students or starring on quiz shows, Philipose enjoys hanging out at all the staples in the neighborhood such as Nick’s Pizza, Forest Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and Forest Hills Gardens.

“The diversity is what I love most about Queens. Here we have real people. We hear 50 different languages every time we walk on a sidewalk … I feel comfortable and at home in a place like that,” he said. “They call it the ‘World’s Borough’ for a reason, and it’s got everything I’m looking for.”

On The Record: Kayleen Seidl, Actress

During summer 2014, Kayleen Seidl relocated to Astoria, Queens from the Midwest to pursue her musical theater career.

It was during a summer stock in Woodstock, New York when she decided to move to the big city on a whim.

She attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and earned degrees in vocal performance and Spanish. A few months into her move, she booked her first New York show at White Plains Performing Arts Center.

“I really came to give the musical theater industry a shot, and I basically said I’d give myself five years and see how it goes,” Seidl said.

“At about the five-year mark, I was in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ in Yiddish, which was enjoying a year-long run off-Broadway on 32nd St,” she continued. “I decided it was going well, so I’m still here.”

As a small town Catholic girl, becoming heavily involved with the National Yiddish Theatre was a pleasant surprise for Seidl, which allowed her to expand her knowledge of different cultures.

“It’s been really great. I’ve learned a lot about the culture and language; I didn’t know that Yiddish even existed growing up,” Seidl said.

“Now I’ll catch myself saying Yiddish words sometimes because they’re just so ingrained in me from this whole experience,” she added. “It’s been a really neat journey.”

Her favorite part about living in Queens is the diversity it has to offer, and of course, the food!

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