Prodigy was born Albert Johnson in Hempstead, N.Y. and battled sickle cell anemia since birth. He was taken to a Las Vegas hospital for complications following a live set on the third annual Art of Rap Tour on Saturday. That same day, he posted this new pic:
His cause of death remains unknown to the public. Here's his publicist's 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 and Havoc released their debut Mobb Deep record, Juvenile Hell, in 1993. Prodigy started dropping solo albums in 2000 with H.N.I.C. and dropped No. 5, Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation), back in February. In April he showed up on AZ's "Save Them" alongside Raekwon.
Mobb Deep came back in 2014 with their eighth full-length, The Infamous Mobb Deep, after their first-ever extended break between albums, which stretched eight years. In 2011 Prodigy ended a three-year jail sentence for a weapon possession charge; it led to the publication of Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook last fall.
The hip-hop community's tributes started pouring in instantaneously:
Shattered hearing news of Prodigy while here Luxembourg tour. MobbDeep duo=nice guys, I would see him occasionally out in LI. #restinbeats— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) June 20, 2017
Love and light to the family and friends of Prodigy.— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) June 20, 2017
One of Queen’s finest. He will be greatly missed.
Rest In Peace Prodigy….. HipHop will miss you.— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) June 20, 2017
Haven't woke up with an upset stomach all year. Woke up today and saw Nas post something about RIP Prodigy smh 😢🙏🏽 Sad day in Hip-Hop 🕯— M ! L L Z ¥ (@JAE_MILLZ) June 20, 2017
Prodigy and Mobb Deep was a big influence to me. I used to freestyle to Keep It Thoro everyday in my dorm room. Rest in Power Prodigy— Stalley (@Stalley) June 20, 2017
Terrible terrible news damn #prodigy no words. Im live on shade 45 sirius xm right now tune in we gonna talk all things P— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) June 20, 2017
RIP PRODIGY 🙏🏾 . HIP HOP LOST ANOTHER LEGEND— LORD FLACKO JODYE II (@asvpxrocky) June 20, 2017
RIP PRODIGY sleep well king...— ghost (@therealstylesp) June 20, 2017
I don't even need to tell you how influential P was. He already did it for us. NO ONE FOLDED THEIR BANDANNA LIKE P.— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) June 20, 2017
RIP to a true legend. pic.twitter.com/zAsglNflK4
I got to sit up in Quad studios w/ my brother n Prodigy while we was working on Royalty. Prodigy wrote his verse on paper wit a pencil. RIP— Steve G. Lover (@Steve_G_Lover) June 20, 2017
rest in power prodigy— thebe kgositsile (@earlxsweat) June 20, 2017
- crazy thing Prodigy was still making good records... his recent projects are dope as well #bars... sad day.— BLACK MILK (@black_milk) June 20, 2017
R.I.P Prodigy & God bless you and your family for everything you gave the game.— Dizzy Wright (@DizzyWright) June 20, 2017
Prodigy ! RiP I'll never forget going to New York and hearing mobb deep for the first time. In queens. Life changing sound. Hell on earth.— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) June 20, 2017
new york and the world just changed. rest in peace Prodigy.— el-p (@therealelp) June 20, 2017
You're going to have to give me a second to process this and to write something. Because I got nothing that isn't 91 tweets long.— Jean Grae (@JeanGreasy) June 20, 2017
RADIATE IN POWER PRODIGY— KOOL A.D. (@veeveeveeveevee) June 20, 2017
"There's a War going on outside No Man is safe from..." -The P, E Double: May Allah Be Pleased w our Brother. Your works remain. 🙏🏿— سيف الله (@JayElectronica) June 20, 2017
Man I'm rocked by the news of my man p passing... So many memories w him n havoc n the fellas.. Man im @ a loss— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) June 20, 2017
#RIPPRODIGY 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢 Mobb Deep is my favorite rap group of all time. Anybody that knows me knows this to be true...— Rah Digga (@therealrahdigga) June 20, 2017
Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G. 🙏🏽 to and for his fam. Love. MOBB— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) June 20, 2017
Dag. Prodigy was always super kind when I met him and that meant a lot to me having idolized him. What a loss.— ill na na patekar (@HIMANSHU) June 20, 2017
I just got in the car. Phone is on shuffle. Song P and I JUST did started playing as soon as I got in. Trying to not break down.— Just Blaze (@JustBlaze) June 20, 2017
Prodigy was one of the people who raised me lyrically so I'll basically be sad all day..— ROYCE (@Royceda59) June 20, 2017
Watch a Fuse interview with Mobb Deep: