Rapper Prodigy, one half of the legendary New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has died at the age of 42.
The rapper’s publicist said in a statement Tuesday that Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Las Vegas “for complications caused by a sickle-cell anemia crisis.” Prodigy has battled sickle-cell since birth and was in Las Vegas for a performance.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
Prodigy was born Albert Johnson in New York. He found success in the ’90s with fellow rapper Havoc in Mobb Deep. The duo’s hits included Quiet Storm with Lil Kim, Shook Ones (Part II) and Hey Luv (Anything).
Mobb Deep released its studio first album, Juvenile Hell, in 1993 and continued to come out with new music through 2014, when their most recent album, The Infamous Mobb Deep was released.
Their second album, The Infamous, was released in 1995 and is a hardcore hip-hop classic. The Infamous produced the hit Shook Ones Pt. II.
Their influential music has been described by Rolling Stone as a “raw, vivid, and vicious distillation of East Coast gangsta rap”.
Prodigy launched a solo career in 2002, releasing mix tapes in collaboration with producers including the Alchemist and Big Twins. He released his last album, Hegelian Dialetic, in January.
He performed last at the Hot 97 Summer Jam at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on June 11 this year. Prodigy had a concert scheduled in Newark for June 30.
Prodigy released a cookbook of prison recipes last year, based on his time in jail. The book, Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook, was released on Infamous, Prodigy’s own imprint at Brooklyn-based Akashic Books.
Condolences started pouring in on Twitter once news of his passing spread.
REST IN PEACE GOD P.
— BLUE CHIPS 7000 (@ActionBronson) June 20, 2017
I'm sick to my stomach, what terrible news to wake up to. RIP Prodigy one of my favourite rappers of all time, can't believe this.
— Boi-1da (@Boi1da) June 20, 2017
Glad I got to do something with P. He was a solid dude, RIP King.
— Boi-1da (@Boi1da) June 20, 2017
RIP Prodigy. This is one of my favorite rap verses ever. pic.twitter.com/EDrUy98TFT
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) June 20, 2017
Unbelievable. Rest in peace Don P. 🕯
— “KKAAYYTTRRAA” (@KAYTRANADA) June 20, 2017
Nooooo not Prodigy!!!!!!
— Cannibal Aux (@atrak) June 20, 2017
— Just Blaze (@JustBlaze) June 20, 2017
— DJBooth (@DJBooth) June 20, 2017
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
Wow. RIP Prodigy True Legend …..🙏🏽
— DJ Pauly D (@DJPaulyD) June 20, 2017
Love and light to the family and friends of Prodigy.
One of Queen’s finest. He will be greatly missed.
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) June 20, 2017
— methodman (@methodman) June 20, 2017
— 9th Wonder (@9thwonder) June 20, 2017
— ScHoolboy Q (@ScHoolboyQ) June 20, 2017
#RIPPRODIGY 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢 Mobb Deep is my favorite rap group of all time. Anybody that knows me knows this to be true…
— Rah Digga (@therealrahdigga) June 20, 2017
new york and the world just changed. rest in peace Prodigy.
— el-p (@therealelp) June 20, 2017
RIP Prodigy. Every time I met him he was the nicest guy and he was at the top of his game til the very end. A true legend.
— Jonwayne (@jonwayne) June 20, 2017
Haven't woke up with an upset stomach all year. Woke up today and saw Nas post something about RIP Prodigy smh 😢🙏🏽 Sad day in Hip-Hop 🕯
— Jae Millz (@JAE_MILLZ) June 20, 2017
Wow RIP Prodigy 😔
— ROYCE (@Royceda59) June 20, 2017
Rest In Peace Prodigy….. HipHop will miss you.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) June 20, 2017
Damn Man. Prodigy dying hurt. Sad for Hip Hop.
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) June 20, 2017
RIP Prodigy one of the greatest rappers ever!!!!!
— Danny Brown (@xdannyxbrownx) June 20, 2017
I really hope this prodigy story isn't true
— Smoke DZA (@smokedza) June 20, 2017
R.I.P. Prodigy damn… he showed me love since day one
— Kid Ink (@Kid_Ink) June 20, 2017
RIP PRODIGY 🙏🏾 . HIP HOP LOST ANOTHER LEGEND
— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) June 20, 2017
—With files from The Associated Press