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What Happened Between Then & Now

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'GAME LOST A LEGEND' Prodigy dead at 42

Mobb Deep rapper passes away days after Las Vegas concert

Rapper died just days after performing life in Las Vegas, his publicist confirmed.

*By Ellie Henman, Showbiz Reporter - 20th June 2017, 7:20 pm Updated: 20th June 2017, 11:43 pm

His publicist confirmed the New York rap legend passed away after being hospitalized “following complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis.”

He was in Las Vegas and performed last Saturday night with the Art Of Rap tour.

His publicist said in a statement to XXL Magazine: “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.

The rapper, real name Albert Johnson, created Mobb Deep in the 1990s

“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.”

Sickle cell anaemia is a condition which sees red blood cells die early, leaving a shortage in supply of healthy red blood cells.

It can result in incredibly painful blockages where blood is unable to flow correctly.

His last performance was in Las Vegas last weekend

TMZ later claimed Prodigy had “choked on an egg” during his stay in hospital.

They state: “Multiple sources connected to Prodigy and the investigation into his death tell us he choked on the egg … however, it’s still unclear if that ultimately caused his death.”

Prodigy, real name Albert Johnson, was active on social media just two days ago and his fans are now flooding his feed with messages.

One fan commented: “I feel sick. Rest in paradise hunny. Much respect for what you’ve done for hip hop.”

His publicist has confirmed he died following a short stay in hospital

The rapper battled Sickle Cell Anaemia throughout his life

He used his illness to try and inspire his fans to know they could achieve anything.

Another wrote: “Rest in peace king.”

Rapper Nas marked his death by posting a picture of the star on his Instagram page with the caption: “QB RIP King P.”

Rapper Nas revealed the news on his Instagram profile

US artist Twister later tweeted a picture of the pair together and wrote next to it: “A true legend of the game, one of the greats to put NY on the map.”

Lil Wayne also paid tribute, telling his fans: Damn. “RiP to the great one Prodigy. Rap game lost a legend the world lost a G….”

A true legend of the game, one of the greats to put NY on the map #RIP #Prodigy

11:51 AM - 20 Jun 2017

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 talented writer founded Mobb Deep in the early 1990s with Havoc, also known as Kejuan Muchita.

Their debut album Juvenile Hell was released in 1993 but their album Infamous saw them propelled to fame and their legacy has continued to this day.

Prodigy went on to start a solo career in 2000 and released his last album, Hegelian Dialectic, five months ago.

His fans have covered his social media feeds with messages of condolences

Prodigy’s battle with the sickle cell anaemia first came to light during his war of words with late rapper Tupac.

He later opened up about living with the illness and said he took it as a blessing and turned his life around.

He even wrote a song, You Can Never Feel My Pain, about Sickle Cell

In 2000, Prodigy even wrote a song, You Can Never Feel My Pain, about Sickle Cell.

He said: “Basically because at every Mobb Deep show, I would see somebody in the crowd, and they would yell to me like ‘Yo P, I got sickle cell too.’

Rapper said the illness was as a blessing and turned his life around because of it

“And they would ask how I was able to perform and do all that I do. I always encourage my fans that they should reach for their goals and reach high when doing it.

“To further this point I decided to drop something on my album to tell people about the pain that I and others with sickle cell suffer with, which is a handicap no different than living in poverty, but that it’s something you can escape.”

The rap legend’s most successful album with Mobb Deep was Infamous

Prodigy and Havoc aka hip hop duo Mobb Deep backstage at Blue Note Jazz Club in 2016

As well as his musical legacy, Prodigy will be remembered for his feuds – most notably his “beef” with Tupac.

During an interview in 2012, he said of Tupac: “I wanted to f**k [him] up. Jump him, cut him. He was sh****n on n****s. We was sh****n on them and it was going to be a problem if we ever saw them.

Speaking to ThisIs50, he added: “Thankfully, it never went down but, you know, it was bad that he had to die through all that petty rap beef bulls**t.”

Music video by Mobb Deep featuring Lil' Kim performing Quiet Storm