Rapper Prodigy, one-half of the New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, died from "complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis," the rapper's rep confirmed to ET. He was 42.
The rapper, whose real name is Albert Johnson, had battled sickle cell since his birth, and was in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a performance.
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"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's rep said in a statement. "Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Las 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's claim to fame was being a part of Mobb Deep alongside rapper Havoc. The duo's biggest hits included "Shook Ones," "Survival of the Fittest" and "Quiet Storm." The artists' music was a fundamental part of the '90s rap era, which also included rappers like Notorious B.I.G., Wu Tang Clan and Nas, and was a key figure in the East Coast vs. West Coast rap battle.
In 2011, Prodigy released his autobiography, My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep's Prodigy, after being released from prison due to a gun-possession charge. He then returned to music and last year released an untitled 5-track EP.
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Upon hearing the news of his passing, artists like Lil Wayne, Sean "Diddy" Combs and more took to social media to share his condolences.
"Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G. ?? to and for his fam. Love. MOBB," the rapper tweeted.
"@RIPPRODIGY," Diddy wrote on Twitter alongside a snippet of Mobb Deep's music video for "Survival of the Fittest."
"QB RIP King P. Prodigy 4 Ever," Nas captioned his Instagram post.
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