One half of New York rap duo Mobb Deep, Prodigy, has died at age 42.
Prodigy, whose real name is Albert Johnson, passed away from complications caused by his life-long battle with sickle cell anemia. He had performed in Las Vegas just days earlier for Mobb Deep on the ‘Art Of Rap’ tour with Ghostface Killah, Onyx, Ice-T and more.
— Ghostface Killah (@GhostfaceKillah) June 20, 2017
“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,” his publicity said in a statement.
“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.”
Sickle Cell anemia is a condition where red blood cells form a sickle shape and break down.
Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G. 🙏🏽 to and for his fam. Love. MOBB
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) June 20, 2017
Prodigy first broke out into the hip-hop music scene as part of Mobb Deep with his partner Havoc in the 90s. He has become one of the key figures in the ‘golden age’ of rap from that time and Mobb Deep played a large role in New York hip hop along with Nas, Notorious B.I.G and Wu Tang Clan.
He took some time away from the scene when serving time in prison after agreeing to a plea deal over weapons charges in 2007 and later released an autobiography, ‘My Infamous Life: The Autobiography Of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy’, and a prison cookbook, ‘Commissary Kitchen’.
RIP PRODIGY 🙏🏾 . HIP HOP LOST ANOTHER LEGEND
— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) June 20, 2017
Many of his his friends and fans have taken to social media to mourn Prodigy including Nas, Kehlani, Schoolboy Q and more.
Damn man…. Life is a gift. p was a gift to his fam and the rap world RIP P
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) June 20, 2017
I got into the elevator at my Brooklyn apartment last year with ed Sammy and lo.. this man walked out and I had to stop the elevator like …WAIT.. what's your name? He said prodigy. We all lost it. He came over, we smoked, talked, he gave me his new book, we never forgot about it… thank you for being a legend, a father, and on the personal tip a very welcoming neighbor. 17 Monster will miss you forever. RIP P