Rapper Prodigy, a member of the New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has died at 42.
Prodigy's publicist confirmed to the Associated Press that Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Las Vegas "for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis." The rapper, who was born Albert Johnson in New York, had battled sickle cell since birth, though the exact cause of death was unclear.
"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. "We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family's privacy at this time."
Prodigy found success in the 90s alongside fellow rapper Havoc in Mobb Deep, a landmark group in East Coast rap. Prodigy and Havoc grew up together in Queensbridge Houses, the famous Queens housing development also associated with Nas, the group portraying their struggles on their seminal 90s albums The Infamous and Hell on Earth.
Stars including Lil Wayne, Talib Kweli, Ciara and A$AP Rocky took to social media Tuesday to mourned Prodigy's passing.
"Prodigy! Rip I'll never forget going to New York and hearing Mobb Deep for the first time," producer Flying Lotus tweeted. "In queens. Life changing sound. Hell on earth."
Love and light to the family and friends of Prodigy," shared hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. "One of Queens' finest. He will be greatly missed."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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