Prodigy Is Dead, Mobb Rapper Dies Aged 42
The rapper Prodigy, who made up one half of the group Mobb Deep, has died aged 42.
The hip hop star, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was on tour in Las Vegas performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.
The artist suffered from health issues throughout his life, however it wasn’t immediately clear what the cause of death was. He had long suffered from sickle cell anaemia, a condition in which red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells. The condition can lead to a painful blockage of blood flow.
“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 anaemia 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 first broke out onto the music scene with his partner, 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”.