Albert Johnson, a.k.a Prodigy, was one half of the influential New York rap duo, Mobb Deep. Kejuan Muchita, a.k.a. Havoc, completed the duo. Sadly, Hip Hop has lost another great talent. Prodigy passed away today, at the young age of 42. He was born with the sickle cell disease. Complications from a sickle cell crisis, following a Mobb Deep performance in Las Vegas, ultimately took his life. Although Mobb Deep, disbanded in 2012, they reunited to record 2014’s The Infamous Mobb Deep. Prodigy and Havoc continued to tour and even record together since then.
I can still remember that feeling the first time I heard “Shook Ones Pt. II”. The production was dark, grimy and magnetic. Then throw Mobb Deep’s verses in and you have a surefire hit. Nevermind the fact that I was too yound to be listening to anything from Mobb Deep back then. “Shook Ones Pt. II” went on to be their biggest hit. although they had a string of popular songs including “Quite Storm”, “Get Away” and “Survival of the Fittest”. Mobb Deep deserves respect for a career that has spanned nearly 25 years.
Prodigy released an autobiography in 2011 entitled My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. One little know fact from his biography is that Puff Daddy would have originally signed Mobb Deep as his first rap act, not the late The Notorious B.I.G. What happened? Mobb Deep didn’t exactly jump at the chance for the deal, so he signed The Notorious B.I.G. instead. The rest is history. A part of Hip Hop’s history will always have a place for the fiery New York rapper Prodigy, who delivered some of the genre’s wittiest lines.
Prodigy will truly be missed.