Article via OkayPlayer.com
Extremely sad news, rap fans, as the legendary Mobb Deep lyricist Prodigy has passed away. According to his fellow Queensbridge rap savant, Nasir Jones, the man born Albert Johnson has shed his mortal coil. No other details have been offered and we will continue to follow along with the story as it develops.
Born in Hempstead, New York, raised in Queens, Prodigy became a member of the street-wise duo Mobb Deep. His grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his great-uncle Keg Johnson were strong contributors to the Bebop era of jazz, making Prodigy just that for music at a young age. Nas helped to raise public consciousness about Prodigy and Havoc, as the single, “Shook Ones Pt. 2,” raced up the hip-hop charts.
An album fueled by the inner city experiences of the then-young lyricists, The Infamous and Hell on Earth became hip-hop classics, studied by the likes of Eminem, Capone-N-Noreaga and more.
The group’s publicist issued a statement confirming the news stating:
“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.”