As the news of Prodigy’s death spread on June 20th, all of us were truly “The Shook Ones”.
As one-half of the Hip-Hop duo, Mobb Deep, Prodigy (born Albert Johnson) was a living legend. He was a rapper, an actor, an author and a businessman. Although he had a record deal with Jive at age 16, Prodigy’s life wasn’t always an easy one. He had plenty of fueds throughout his career and a few run-ins with the law, which landed him a 3 1/2 year prison sentence in 2007 for illegal possession of a firearm. Regardless, his biggest battle was one he fought with his own body, suffering from life-long sickle-cell anemia.
In 1993, at age 18, Mobb Deep released their first studio ablumb, Juvenile Hell. Their second album, The Infamous in April ’95 and third album, Hell On Earth in November ’96, both sold over 500,000 copies each and were RIAA Certified Gold in the first two months. With the success of Mobb Deep, coupled with the length of experience Prodigy had in the rap game, let’s just say he has had a hand in over 30 albums to date (and that’s just the ones I can find!) He also wrote an autobiography in 2001 called, My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy.
Oddly enough, this month was the 25th anniversary of Mobb Deep recording Juvenile Hell. He was even out touring with his long-time partner and friend, Havoc, along with Ghostface Killah, Ice-T, Onyx and KRS-One on the Art Of Rap Tour in Las Vegas.
Prodigy was hospitalized several days ago, while on tour, due to an episode of sickle-cell causing him excruciating and debilitating pain. After being there only a few days, the news was announced that he had died at age 42. As of now, an autopsy has been completed, but the official cause of death has not been determined.
Many of his friends and peers, including Nas, Noreaga, Q-Tip, Just Blaze and Snoop (to name a few) have put out statements praising the him and reflecting on the way the man and the music influenced them. And… I’m sure that, like myself, you will be hearing his grimey, street-life lyrics in your head more than usual for the next few weeks. We send love to all of those who are mourning the loss of revolutionary artist.
#TheInfamous #Prodigy #TrulyALegend