The music world is reeling from the news that legendary rapper Prodigy of highly influential Queens duo Mobb Deep has died at the age of 42.
According to a statement from his publicist, Prodigy, whose real name was Albert Johnson, 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. TMZ is reporting that the MC may have choked on an egg during his stay at the hospital.
“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. 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.”
Rising from Queensbridge in the ’90s, Mobb Deep cemented their status in hip-hop history by way of raw, often eerie tracks like “Survival Of The Fittest,” “Shook Ones Part II” and “Quiet Storm RMX.”
More recently he had served time in prison, where he later released a cookbook of prison recipes in 2016. Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook was released on Infamous, Prodigy’s own imprint at Brooklyn-based Akashic Books. His track with Brooklyn’s Mark The Beast called “Beast With It” released in association with the second issue of Black Panther is out on June 29.
More on this story as it develops.