The rapper Prodigy, half of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has died in Las Vegas, TMZ reports. He was 42 years old.
“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 N.Y. rap duo Mobb Deep,” a Mobb Deep representative wrote in a statement to XXL. “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.”
He had been in Las Vegas last week to perform as part of the Art of Rap tour, which included fellow hip hop mainstays Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One and Ice-T. His last performance was on Saturday.
Together with his partner Havoc, the pair emerged from the Queensbridge Houses to score hits in the ’90s with tracks including “Shook Ones” and “Quiet Storm.”
Prodigy was born Albert Johnson in Hempstead, N.Y. on Nov. 2, 1974 to Fatima Johnson, who was a member of R&B group the Crystals. He formed Mobb Deep with Havoc in the early ’90s and the group released their debut, Juvenile Hell, in 1993. They achieved widespread acclaim with their second album, The Infamous, which is regarded as among the most seminal albums to emerge from the ’90s East Coast hip-hop scene.
In fact, Mobb Deep occupied such a prominent space among East Coast hip-hop artists that they became a focal point of the West Coast-East Coast feud that dominated the genre in the ’90s. Tupac Shakur ridiculed Mobb Deep by name on his 1996 track “Hit ‘Em Up” — even referring to one of the members having sickle cell anemia — which Mobb Deep responded to when they released “Drop a Gem on ‘Em” shortly after Shakur’s 1996 death.
Though Mobb Deep released their eighth and final studio album The Infamous Mobb Deep in 2014, they continued to tour. And Prodigy remained musically prolific, releasing multiple solo projects including last year’s Untitled EP. That collection included “Beast With It,” a song recorded as a companion to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther comic series.
Tributes to the late rapper began to flood social media. Nas shared a photo captioned with “QB RIP King P. Prodigy 4 Ever,” while Method Man simply wrote, “P!” “Rest in peace,” Ciara shared, while Lil’ Wayne wrote, “Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G.” Music producer Just Blaze had a simpler message, tweeting one word: “Heartbroken.”
Lil Wayne WEEZY F ? @LilTunechi
Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G. ???????? to and for his fam. Love. MOBB
2:43 PM - 20 Jun 2017
5,530 5,530 Retweets 7,845 7,845 likes
methodman ? @methodman
2:20 PM - 20 Jun 2017
297 297 Retweets 399 399 likes
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Ciara ? @ciara
Rest In Peace #Prodigy ??
2:23 PM - 20 Jun 2017
320 320 Retweets 569 569 likes
Joe Budden ? @JoeBudden
Rest In Peace Prodigy….. HipHop will miss you.
1:57 PM - 20 Jun 2017
2,975 2,975 Retweets 2,415 2,415 likes
DJ CLUE ? @DJCLUE
Rest In Peace Prodigy #MobbDeep We have a lot of memories..from the Mixtapes to doing freestyles… https://www.instagram.com/p/BVkmaKpgcOV/
2:44 PM - 20 Jun 2017
34 34 Retweets 68 68 likes
Russell Simmons ? @UncleRUSH
Love and light to the family and friends of Prodigy.
One of Queen’s finest. He will be greatly missed.
2:14 PM - 20 Jun 2017
435 435 Retweets 486 486 likes
Charlamagne Tha God ? @cthagod
Damn Man. Prodigy dying hurt. Sad for Hip Hop.
2:11 PM - 20 Jun 2017
1,486 1,486 Retweets 1,517 1,517 likes
Just Blaze ? @JustBlaze
2:03 PM - 20 Jun 2017
655 655 Retweets 812 812 likes
Date Posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 , Total Page Views: 1357
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