Prodigy, a renowned rapper and part of the rap duo Mobb Deep, has reportedly died. He was all of 42 years and was not doing well for the past few weeks.
While Prodigy’s cause of death is yet to become known, reports suggest that the rapper was taken to hospital last week “for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis” in Las Vegas. His health issue was not new and he had faced the problem for the last many years.
A statement announcing his death said, “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…We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Prodigy who faced many issue both criminal and professional was born in Hempstead, New York. He comes from a musical family—his grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his great-uncle Keg Johnson are remembered for their contributions to the Bebop era of jazz. His father Budd Johnson Jr, was a member of a Doo wop music group called The Chanters. Initially he worked under the alias Lord–T (The Golden Child), and landed an uncredited guest appearance on the Boyz N The Hood soundtrack on the song “Too Young” by Hi-Five. In high school, he met Havoc through a mutual friend. The duo became The “Poetical Prophets”, before choosing the name “The Infamous Mobb Deep” from a mutual friend.
The two created a magic of sorts and due to a grim video for “Hell on Earth (Front Lines)” and theatrical Scarface-like photos inside the CD booklet picturing the duo with guns and a mound of cocaine, Mobb Deep had created an elaborate image for themselves that took hardcore gangsta rap to a new level for East Coast hip hop and the album sold over 500,000 units within the first two months again. Its next release, Murda Muzik, was heavily bootlegged while still in its demo stage, leaking, onto the streets and over the internet, rough versions of the nearly 30 songs the duo had recorded. He also released a prison recipe cookbook, “commissary kitchen: my infamous prison cookbook,” last year.
Prodigy was married to Kiki. In his biography he discusses a situation where KiKi thought that he was involved with Lil’ Kim: “KiKi always thought Kim and I were sexing, but it never happened. When KiKi first heard the “Quiet Storm” remix featuring Kim, out of jealousy she told me, “That song is wack.” Read more about Prodigy’s relationship with KiKi below. In My Infamous Life, Prodigy discusses the joy he experienced when his first child T’Shaka was born: “KiKi was four months pregnant, and we found out we were having a boy! I was happy. Yeah, I’m ready to have a son! I didn’t even know what being ready to have a kid meant, I was just ready. We were really in love. I had been all over the world and realized that KiKi wasn’t one of those money-hungry hoes. She was a special girl.”