The rapper Prodigy, who was one half of the iconic New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has died at the age of 42.
According to a statement released by Mobb Deep’s publicist,
“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.”
Prodigy co-founded the Queens-based Mobb Deep in the early ’90s, alongside partner Havoc (Kejuan Muchita).
The two became synonymous with a brand of East Coast gangsta rap that represented the ill street blues, grit and grime of pre-gentrified New York City, debuting with Juvenile Hell in 1993.
But it was their 1995 follow-up, The Infamous, that cemented their image and legacy.
The music was dark, with eerie undertones that reflected the environmental hazards and criminal exploits of day-to-day living in the hood.
“New York got a n**** depressed / so I wear a slug-proof underneath my Guess,” Prodigy rapped on 1995’s “Survival of the Fittest.”
“New York got a n**** depressed / so I wear a slug-proof underneath my Guess,”
Prodigy rapped on 1995’s
“Survival of the Fittest.”
Prodigy’s mother, Fatima Johnson, was a member of the ’60s R&B group The Crystals, and also served as Mobb Deep’s first manager.
When she passed, on Christmas Eve, 2016, Prodigy publicly eulogized her on Instagram:
“I want to take a moment and salute this beautiful soul.
Fatima Johnson, may u Rest In Peace,”
“There wouldn’t be a Mobb Deep without you literally!!
Our first manager, our first support team and believed in us when no one else did!
You’ll always always be remembered.”
Prodigy, “Mac 10 Handle” (2007)