Queens rapper Prodigy and member of Mobb Deep, died 3 years ago in Las Vegas. Prodigy died after choking on an egg while he received hospital treatment for sickle cell anaemia. He was 42.
Prodigy was born Albert Johnson on Nov. 2, 1974, in Hempstead, N.Y., on Long Island, to Budd Johnson Jr. and Fatima Frances Johnson. His family was a musical one: His mother was a member of the famous girl group the Crystals in its later years, and his grandfather, Budd Johnson, was a well-regarded jazz saxophonist.
After a brief spell rapping under the name Lord-T (The Golden Child), Prodigy teamed up with the rapper and producer Havoc (born Kejuan Muchita) in his first year of high school. They initially performed together as Poetical Prophets, and they were selected for the Source magazine’s influential “Unsigned Hype” column.
They soon changed their name to Mobb Deep, and in 1993 they released their first album, “Juvenile Hell,” their first album.
Mobb Deep became one of the most successful rap duos in hip hop, having sold over 3 million records. Three of their notable albums were The Infamous (1995), Hell On Earth (1996) and Murda Muzik (1999), and their top hits include "Shook Ones, Pt. II", "Survival of the Fittest" and "Hell on Earth".
The duo disbanded in 2012 but reunited in 2013. Prodigy died on June 20, 2017. Havoc is currently working on a new Mobb Deep album. The group has been performing live since its 2013 reunion and continues to do so despite the loss of one its members.
Prodigy brought to his lyrics a no-nonsense personality and a vivid eye for detail in sometimes achingly poetic evocations of cruel street life in the Queensbridge housing projects.
“I put my lifetime in between the paper’s lines,” he rapped on “Quiet Storm,” one of Mobb Deep’s most memorable songs.