Prodigy, one half of Mobb Deep, has died in Las Vegas. A cause of death has not been released, but the rapper had been hospitalized for complications caused by sickle cell anemia prior to his death, publicist Kathy Iandoli told CNN.
As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth.” The publicist added “the exact cause of death has not been determined.”
Prodigy had been in Las Vegas for a Mobb Deep performance.
Born Albert Johnson, the rapper’s family had a storied history. His great-great-great-grandfather, William Jefferson White, founded Georgia’s Morehouse College in the basement of his Baptist church. His grandfather, Albert “Budd” Johnson, was a saxophonist and clarinetist for Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, and Benny Goodman. Johnson met fellow Queens, New York native Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita, when they were both freshman at Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design.
Prodigy was just 42 years old.