Remembering The ‘H.N.I.C.’, Prodigy
A Salute To The Infamous One, Prodigy
Prodigy, one half of the Queens bred Hip-Hop duo Mobb Deep, died in Las Vegas on June 20th, after a hospitalization due to complications with his ongoing struggles from sickle-cell anemia. He was 42 years old.
Prodigy (birth name Albert Johnson) met Havoc, the other half of Mobb Deep, at the High School for Art & Design in Manhattan, and they began to work together on music, first in the form of Poetical Prophets. After rebranding themselves, they released their debut album, Juvenile Hell in 1993 to a tepid response. It was with their sophomore effort, The Infamous where their fame really took off . The album contains one of the songs they are most known for: “Shook Ones (Part II)”.
Mobb Deep played a major role in reviving the East Coast rap scene after West Coast rappers had dominated the early 90s and they even had famous rivalries with the likes of Tupac, Jay-Z, and more. Tupac even mocked Prodigy’s battle with sickle-cell anemia in his famous diss track “Hit ‘Em Up”.
In recent years, Mobb Deep split in 2012 after a dispute between Prodigy and Havoc, but they buried the hatchet in 2013 and later released their eighth (and as of now final) album, The Infamous Mobb Deep, in 2014.
Mobb Deep were currently touring on Ice-T’s “The Art of Rap” Tour, which included rappers, Ghostface Killah, Onyx, and KRS-One among others. June 17th’s show was the final in which Prodigy performed.
Mobb Deep’s publicist had this to say to XXL in light of Prodigy’s passing:
“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. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”
Prodigy released seven solo projects, the most popular being his solo debut, H.N.I.C., released back in 2000. in 2011, he also released his autobiography, “My Infamous Life”.
Image by Shotti for Parlé Mag
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