The hip-hop world lost another great one on Tuesday when news broke that Mobb Deep member Prodigy had passed away. He was 42.
The Associated Press noted that news of his death came via the rapper’s rep, who revealed that Prodigy was recently hospitalized due to complications with his sickle cell anemia. At the time of his hospitalization, Prodigy was on tour with his Mobb Deep partner Kejuan Muchita a.k.a Havoc and several other artists including Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T. He last performed on stage Saturday night.
“It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Further details surrounding his passing have not yet been released.
Prodigy, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was born and raised in New York. Along with Havoc, the two childhood friends formed the duo Mobb Deep and burst onto the music scene in 1992. They soon became an intricate part of the East Coast rap game and were even brought into the coastal beef between Biggie and Tupac Shakur when Pac called them out in his single “Hit ‘Em Up.” Before that diss though, the duo personally had beef with Tha Dogg Pound, who put out a song titled “New York, New York.” Mobb Deep then fired back with the single “LA, LA.”
Some of the pair’s biggest hits include “Shook Ones (Part II)” off the album The Infamous and the remix of “Quiet Storm” with Lil Kim, which was featured on the 1999 album Murda Muzik.
Prodigy released solo albums, but never really captured the same success he enjoyed with his Mobb Deep partner.
Following his release from New York’s Mid-State Correctional Facility in 2011 for a gun-possession charge, Prodigy decided to explore his other talents besides music. He published a book that same year entitled My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and then followed that up with cookbook released last year titled Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook. But he will surely be remembered for his mark on music.
News of his death has hit the hip-hop community very hard and many artists such as Nas and Nicki Minaj have reacted and expressed their condolences and grief via social media.
Prodigy is survived by his two children.
[Featured Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Photo]