American rapper Prodigy of the rap group Mobb Deep has passed on today at the age of 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.
Prodigy had suffered sickle anaemia all his life, but the cause of his death is yet to be confirmed.
“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 and his Mobb Deep cohort, Havoc, grew up together in Queens, New York City. Mobb Deep was formed in 1992 and reached commercial success in 1995 with the release of the critically acclaimed album The Infamous, which sold over 500,000 copies within the first two months after release. They released the album Hell on Earth a year and a half later, which also received widespread critical acclaim.
Prodigy went solo in 2000, and released 8 studio albums, the last being Hegelian Dialectic, released in January 2017.
Many rappers and Prodigy’s colleagues have already taken to social media to honor him.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) June 20, 2017