BMI is saddened by the death of Prodigy (real name Albert Johnson), who passed away Tuesday, June 20, at the age of 42. The rapper was reported to have been hospitalized in Las Vegas prior to succumbing to complications stemming from sickle cell anemia.
Most renowned as one half of critically acclaimed New York City hip-hop duo, Mobb Deep, Prodigy helped establish an influential name for the group, alongside partner Havoc, via uncompromising singles like “Quiet Storm,” “Shook Ones,” and other tracks that firmly reasserted East Coast rap as a gritty, viable entity in the `90s. Prodigy visited BMI’s New York office in November of last year for a moderated conversation about his life, his career and his native hometown’s contributions to hip-hop.
In addition to his groundbreaking recordings with Mobb Deep, Prodigy enjoyed a hugely successful solo career, releasing five albums, his most recent being Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation), which dropped this past January. He also collaborated, over the course of his career, with artists like Nas, The Alchemist, Big Twins and Un Pacino. Beyond hip-hop, Prodigy was an author, having penned My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy and Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook.
Prodigy will be missed by his friends and fans at BMI.