Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Culture | By Marion Pratt

Prodigy, half of rap duo Mobb Deep, dead at 42

Prodigy, half of rap duo Mobb Deep, dead at 42

Prodigy's publicist confirmed to the Associated Press that Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Las Vegas "for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis".

Even though these moments weren't probably his most shining, it only shows that his career is as storied as numerous rap giants from hip hop's history. His grandfather, Albert "Budd" Johnson, played the saxophone and clarinet for Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Prodigy was pulled out of a meet-and-greet with fans on June 17 after his security team noticed him "struggling". Shortly after, they changed their name to Mobb Deep and released a debut album, "Juvenile Hell", in 1993.

The project didn't generate much buzz, but the duo found more success with their sophomore album "The Infamous". Alongside Nas and Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep were key contributors to the sound of hardcore East Coast hip-hop during the '90s.

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"Chris was the greatest hip-hop manager that ever lived", Prodigy said in a Complex interview.

Mobb Deep's Prodigy poses for a photo, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, in NY.

Prodigy alongside group member, Havoc, represented one of the notable rap gangs that rocked the early 90s with popular songs such as 'Shook ones' and 'Quiet storm'. Prodigy, meanwhile, had begun releasing his first solo material, starting with the No. 18-charting "H.N.I.C".

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He also appeared on collaborative projects such as 2007's "Return of the Mac" and 2013's "Albert Einstein".

Johnson had some legal troubles.

Mobb Deep's Prodigy reportedly had some medical complications last weekend which may have ultimately contributed to his shocking death. He has battled sickle cell since birth and was in Las Vegas for a performance. Released in 2016, Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook highlighted the ingenuity he exercised to eat healthy while serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for gun possession.

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Musicians around the world have paid tribute to American rapper Prodigy who has died aged 42.

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