Today in Hip-Hop: R.I.P. Prodigy (November 2, 1974 – June 20, 2017)
On this day, June 20, in hip-hop history...
The lauded MC was universally considered one of the best rappers of all time and one of the forefront lyricists in the hip-hop world. His Mobb Deep partner, Havoc, produced effortlessly alongside Prodigy and their songs remain as a steadfast representation of real rap.
The Queens duo are best known for their most successful chart-topping albums, The Infamous, Hell on Earth, Murda Muzik and Infamy. Hit songs like "Shook Ones (Part II)," "Survival of the Fittest" and "Front Lines (Hell on Earth)," resonated with fans worldwide.
Prodigy came from a long line of accomplished men and women. According to CNN, his great-great-great grandfather founded the prestigious historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta, and his grandfather was a clarinetist for jazz icons like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington.
Before his untimely death, the rhymer was hospitalized after a Las Vegas show that was a part of The Art of Rap tour with Havoc, Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One and Ice-T. Though he was reportedly hospitalized for complications related to sickle cell anemia, which he had battled since birth, his official cause of death was accidental choking as it was revealed he choked on an egg while in the hospital. His passing left the hip-hop world in shock.
At the time, a statement released to XXL from Mobb Deep's publicist expressed their sadness. "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," the statement read.
Rest in peace, Prodigy, and may his legend continue to inspire.
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