Remembering Rapper, Prodigy Of Mobb Deep: Lessons We Can All Learn

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Rapper Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, who brought us ’90s hits like “Shook Ones, Part II”, “Quiet Storm” and more died on June 20, 2017. He was only 42.

He suffered from health issues throughout his life, including sickle cell anemia, however there are some who still argue about his true cause of death. Sickle cell anaemia is a condition in which red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells. The condition can lead to a painful blockage of blood flow.

“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”, his publicist said in a statement. “Prodigy was hospitalized in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anaemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”

People who have sickle cell disease have abnormal hemoglobin, called hemoglobin S or sickle hemoglobin, in their red blood cells. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

In sickle cell anemia, the red blood cells become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body. There’s no cure for most people with sickle cell anemia.

The son of a long line of musicians, Prodigy co-founded the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep with Kejuan Muchita, better known as Havoc, in the early 1990s. They released their debut album Juvenile Hell in 1993, and went on to release three more full-lengths before the end of the decade, continuing to release music and tour together in the new millennium. The most recent Mobb Deep album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, was issued in 2014.

The duo participated in high profile feuds during that time, and once had “beef” during the media-fueled East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry with Tupac and Biggie Smalls.

Mobb Deep reached commercial success together in 1995 with the release of the critically acclaimed album The Infamous, which sold over 500,000 copies within the first two months after release. They released the album Hell on Earth a year and a half later, which also received widespread critical acclaim.

Since then the rapper had been performing at shows and even created a healthy cookbook after his stint in prison in 2007.