LAS VEGAS (CelebrityAccess) — Prodigy, who comprised half of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, died Tuesday at the age of 42.
In a statement released by his publicist to Rolling Stone, the cause of death was said to be complications of sickle cell anemia, a genetic blood disorder that predominately affects people of the Mediterranean region, and among people of African origin.
"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," the statement read. "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 his Mobb Deep compatriot Havoc came of age in New York City and helped to propel the East Coast rap sound to national prominence and in the process, became one of the most successful hip-hop recording duos in the history of the genre, selling more than 3 million records.
Prodigy also had a successful solo career, releasing a string of records and mixtapes, as well as collaborations with other artists such as Un Pacino and The Alchemist.
In 2008, Prodigy was forced to put his career on hiatus after he was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. During his time in prison, he developed a reputation as a make-shift cook and after his release, he published "Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook," a volume detailing both his institutional experiences, as well as the store of recipes he developed while incarcerated.
After his release, he had a brief falling out with Havoc, but the two reunited and resumed their professional relationship in 2013. – Staff Writers