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Prodigy Of Hip Hop Duo Mobb Deep Dead At 42 (Photo)

| by Jonathan Constante

Albert Johnson, better known as Prodigy from the New York rap duo, Mobb Deep, has died at age 42.

Prodigy had been battling sickle cell anemia since birth, the Daily Mail reported. The rapper was hospitalized due to complications from his condition and choked on an egg prior to his death on June 20, according to TMZ.

The cause of death might also be linked to him performing in 110-degree Las Vegas heat. Prodigy was pulled out of a meet-and-greet with fans on June 17 after his security team noticed him "struggling."

Sickle cell anemia causes white blood cells to curve in shape, which can then cause blockages in blood vessels. The condition can worsen with dehydration.

An official cause of death has not been determined at this time.

Prodigy was performing in Las Vegas on the Art of Rap tour. The concert included other hip hop legends such as Ghostface Killah of Wu Tang Clan, KRS-One, Ice-T and Onyx.

Mobb Deep's publicist issued the following statement:

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.

News of the rapper's death sent shock waves all throughout social media, with several artists -- both old and new -- paying tribute to one of the all-time greats.

"Damn. RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G. (prayers) to and for his fam. Love. MOBB," Lil Wayne tweeted.

"Rest In Paradise young Blood can't believe you gone lord we was just chilling !! Hold ya head," tweeted Ghostface Killah.

"Damn man.... Life is a gift. p was a gift to his fam and the rap world RIP P," wrote QTip.

Prodigy's great-great-great-grandfather, William Jefferson White, founded Georgia's Morehouse College in the basement of his Baptist church, CNN reported. His grandfather, Albert "Budd" Johnson, played the saxophone and clarinet for Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington.

Prodigy met fellow New York native Kejuan "Havoc" Muchita at Manhattan's High School of Art and Design. They bonded over their love of hip hop and would eventually go on to form the legendary duo, Mobb Deep.

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