Prodigy, Mobb Deep, Dead at Age 42.June 20, 2017
Rapper Prodigy, who was 1/2 of the great rap group Mobb Deep, has passed at the age of 42.
It was revealed that the star, whose real name is Albert Johnso, was on tour in Las Vegas while performing with the "Art of Rap" tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.
The young rapper reportedly suffered from health issues throughout his life, but it was not immediately clear what the cause of death was. However, the star had long suffered from sickle cell anemia, which is a condition in which red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and cause extreme pain before the cells die due to blockage of blood flow, leaving the carrier with a shortage of healthy red blood cells.
"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 publicist 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.”
The star broke out onto the music waves with his friend Havoc, forming Mobb Deep in their hometown New York City in the 1990s. The duo participated in high profile feuds during their early years, and once had "beef" during the media-fueled East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry with Tupac and Biggie Smalls.
Their influential music has been described by Rolling Stone as a "raw, vivid, and vicious distillation of East Coast gangsta rap".
The duo released their first in 1992 with the name Poetical Prophets, and , and released their first Mobb Deep album a year later with the album Juvenile Hall. The duo reached commercial success together in 1995 with the release of the critically acclaimed album The Infamous, which sold over 500,000 copies within the first two months after release. They released the album Hell on Earth a year and a half later, which also received widespread critical acclaim.
The two even collaborated with the likes of Nas and Lil Kim with the latter releasing one of their most memorable songs to date titled 'Quiet Storm.'
Prodigy stepped onto the solo saw in 2000, releasing mix-tapes in collaboration with a range of producers including Un Pacino, Big Twins, and the Alchemist. He released his last album, Hegelian Dialectic, in January.
The star came from a musical family with grandfather and great uncle both prominent during the Bebop era of jazz. His mother was a member of 1960s vocal group The Crystals.
BY. JASON ALEXIA