Kiki Johnson stood by Mobb Deep rapper Prodigy through his “dumb***” youthful days, his stint in prison and eventually through the life-long battle with sickle-cell anemia that would lead to his death this week.
The Mobb Deep rapper, whose real name was Albert Johnson, died on Tuesday after being hospitalized in Las Vegas for several days. A spokesperson for the rapper told TMZ that he was taken to the hospital after a Mobb Deep performance when he developed complications from sickle cell anemia.
Prodigy was very open about his personal life, writing extensively about his relationship with Kiki Johnson in the autobiography My Infamous Life. In the book (via an excerpt published in Complex), he wrote about how he and Mary J. Blige almost hooked up, but Prodigy and Kiki were in a committed relationship, and he ultimately went back home to Kiki.
“I felt like a fool for not pursuing her but I was really in love with my woman,” Prodigy wrote. “Havoc hooked up with Mary’s girlfriend that night and I went home to KiKi.”
Kiki Johnson was just as committed to Prodigy, sticking by the rapper even though their relationship started off on a bit of uneven footing. In his autobiography, Prodigy wrote that Kiki had a young daughter when they first met and was looking for a serious relationship, but he was still a “young dumb***” and not quite ready to commit.
Kiki Johnson also remained by her husband through his legal troubles. In 2007, Prodigy was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. As Hip Hop Dx noted, Kiki paid visits to Prodigy in what a fellow Mobb Deep member described as a very depressing experience in jail.
“In his blog, Alchemist goes into great detail, describing everything from the four-hour ride through upstate New York to the misleading ‘George Washington old school’ style exterior of the correctional facility,” the report noted.
Alchemist’s blog went on to say that the jail was “designed to break your spirit,” from the dank smell to the “frying electric chair” sound the doors made when opening and closing.
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The couple made it through the imprisonment together, with Prodigy telling The Village Voice that they decided to treat it as if he were on tour. However, the relationship was not always easy, including allegations of infidelity and accusations from other members of Mobb Deep that Prodigy was secretly gay.
Though Kiki Johnson stayed by Prodigy’s side during their nearly two decades together, she remained out of the spotlight herself and has not issued a public statement since the rapper’s death.
[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]