By MESFIN FEKADU
AP Music Writer
New York City (AP) – Rap artist Prodigy, a member of the hardcore New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has passed away. He was 42.
The rapper’s press agent said in a statement Tuesday that Prodigy was hospitalized a few days back in Las Vegas “for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis.” Prodigy has battled sickle cell considering that birth and was in Las Vegas for an efficiency.
The precise cause of death was not clear, the representative stated.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg informed The Associated Press in Las Vegas that it could use up to six weeks to identify a cause of death. However he stated foul play was not believed. Officer Laura Meltzer said Las Vegas cops were not called to examine the death.
Prodigy was born in New York. He found success in the ’90s with fellow rap artist Havoc in Mobb Deep. The duo’s hits consisted of “Peaceful Storm” with Lil Kim, “Shook Ones (Part II)” and “Hey Luv (Anything).”
“It is with severe sadness and shock that we confirm the death of our dear buddy Albert Johnson, better understood to millions of fans as Prodigy of famous NY rap duo Mobb Deep,” the statement checked out from Prodigy’s publicist. “We want to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Nas, who is likewise from Queens, New York, called Prodigy a “king” in an Instagram post. Prodigy’s rap partner, Havoc, posted 2 photos on Instagram, one with the caption: “Permanently.” And Lil Wayne tweeted: “Rap video game lost a legend the world lost a G.”
Others, from Sean “Diddy” Combs to Q-Tip, also commemorated Prodigy, who was often applauded for his skilled rhymes and lyrics.
Mobb Deep made a platinum plaque for the 1999 album, “Murda Muzik,” which featured the remarkable remix of “Quiet Storm,” still performed by Lil Kim on the road today. The duo also reached gold status with the albums “Infamy,”” Hell on Earth “and”
The Infamous.”Prodigy launched numerous solo albums, including the gold-selling “H.N.I.C.” 2000.
He released a cookbook of prison recipes in 2015, based upon his time in jail. The book, “commissary kitchen area: my infamous jail cookbook,” was released on Infamous, Prodigy’s own imprint at Brooklyn-based Akashic Books.
He stated remaining in jail changed him. Prodigy served the majority of a 3.5-year sentence in a medium-security dorm at Mid-State Correctional Facility near Utica, New York, after a plea deal on a weapons possession charge in 2007.
“It made me understand the gravity, the reality of having everything taken from you. My profession, my household, my freedom,” he informed The Associated Press in an interview in 2015.
The rapper, who is a daddy of two, stated it was difficult to leave his kids who were young when he went to jail.
“I just inform them, you know, it was dreadful. You do not ever want to be in that position. Learn from my errors. Learn from me. You do not have go through it yourself,” he stated.
Associated Press Author Ken Ritter contributed to this report from Las Vegas.
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