Albert Johnson better known by his stage name Prodigy, was an American rapper and one half of the hip hop duo Mobb Deep with Havoc died at age 42 on June 20, 2017.
The cause of his death is yet unknown but he was hospitalized for complications caused by sickle cell anaemia prior to his death, according to a co-author on one of his books, Kathy Iandoli.
1.His great-great-great-grandfather, William Jefferson White, founded Georgia’s Morehouse College in the basement of his Baptist church.
2. His grandfather, Albert “Budd” Johnson, was a saxophonist and clarinetist for Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.
3. Johnson met fellow Queens, New York native Kejuan Muchita when they were both freshman at Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design.
4. The pair bonded over their shared love of hip hop and formed Mobb Deep. Johnson took the moniker Prodigy, while Muchita chose the performance name Havoc.
5. They scored a record deal as teens and released the album “Juvenile Hell” in 1993.
6. Prodigy detailed his beef with Tupac in a 2012 interview with Hip Hop DX.
“When we made ‘The Infamous,’ we had a song called ‘Survival of the Fittest,'” the rapper explained. ” On that song, in the beginning, my man that came home from jail…in the beginning of the song, he says, ‘Thug life, we still living.'”
“Tupac was the one who was most known for saying that,” Prodigy said. “So I think that pissed Tupac off a little bit.”
Mobb Deep was entangled in the East Coast/West Coast rapper rivalry of the ’90s.
7. Two of their biggest hits were “Quiet Storm” and “Shook Ones.” Being a part of Mobb Deep didn’t keep Prodigy from solo projects like his album “H.N.I.C.”
8. Johnson had some legal troubles. In 2007, he was sentenced to three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm.
9. He detailed that incident and more in his memoir “My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy.”
10. In 2016, the rapper published “Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook” with Iandoli, which contained recipes and stories about the food he experienced while in prison.