Prodigy, one half of Mobb Deep, has died in Las Vegas, TMZ reports. He was 42.
Prodigy Cause of Death
He’s battled health problems for years, most notably suffering from sickle cell, but right now the cause of death is unknown. He was found unconscious Tuesday morning.
Prodigy was in Vegas over the weekend performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, Ice-T and others. He performed on Saturday night and appeared to be in good health. There was also an advertised afterparty at popular nightclub 1OAK in Las Vegas following the show.
Mobb Deep’s publicist sent XXL the following statement:
“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.”
Prodigy, alongside his partner Havoc, formed the hip hop group Mobb Deep in New York City in the early 1990s. Some of their biggest hits include “Quiet Storm” and “Shook Ones.”
He was considered an excellent wordsmith who oversaw the majority of Mobb Deep’s lyrics while Havoc was hailed as one of New York’s leading record producers. Two of their albums – The Infamous (1995) and Hell on Earth (1996) – are considered critical and financial successes.
Born Albert Johnson and raised in Queens New York, Prodigy began his career in 1989. He came from a long line of successful musicians and artists; his grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his great-uncle Keg Johnson contributed to the Bebop era of jazz and his mother, Fatima Johnson, was a member of The Crystals.
Countless stars and music industry insiders have taken to social media to express their condolences. Rapper Nas was the first to report the news.