Man Behind 'Most Paralyzing Rap Lyric Ever' Dead at 42

Prodigy of Mobb Deep was hospitalized for complications from sickle cell anemia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2017 7:10 AM CDT

Prodigy, one half of iconic rap duo Mobb Deep, died Tuesday in Las Vegas. He was 42. Born Albert Johnson, the rapper was hospitalized after a weekend performance "for complications caused by sickle cell anemia," a disease he'd battled since birth, his publicist says in a statement. An official cause of death is not known, reports NPR. More:

  • The Washington Post looks at how sickle cell anemia influenced Prodigy's rap music, and in particular, what "might be the most paralyzing rap lyric ever written": "I'm only 19, but my mind is old." Variety notes the same lyric ended up in Broadway's Hamilton.

  • At Rolling Stone, Jon Blistein describes how Prodigy and his rap partner Havoc burst onto the rap scene in 1992 and continued making music together, despite solo careers, for more than two decades.
  • Variety mentions Mobb Deep's feuds with Tupac Shakur and Jay-Z. Even Prodigy and Havoc feuded for a time, though they eventually reunited. Havoc has posted a series of photos of the pair on Instagram.
  • Other members of the hip hop community are paying tribute on social media. Carl Lamarre at Billboard rounds up posts from Nas, Lil Wayne, Method Man, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
  • Meanwhile, Billboard compiles seven remixes "that best reinterpret a few of Mobb Deep's most beloved songs."
(More rap music stories.)

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