June 20 In Hip-Hop History: Prodigy Of Mobb Deep Passes Away At 42


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Seven years ago today, Hip-Hop lost one of the most recognizable voices from New York.

On June 20, 2017, Prodigy of Mobb Deep passed away at 42. The "H.N.I.C" rapper, born Albert Johnson, died after he reportedly choked on an egg while he was hospitalized in Las Vegas for complications related to his battle with sickle-cell anemia. The Queens native was in Vegas to perform alongside Havoc at the Art of Rap Tour featuring Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T. A few weeks after his death, his daughter Fahtasia posted a touching message to the late rapper's Instagram page.

"You have such a beautiful soul & it saddens me that there is so many people who will never get the chance to meet , experience AND appreciate this side of you," she wrote. "I love you dad & you will forever be a blessing to this world and to my heart . Thank you ...we miss you . ❤️"

Prodigy grew up with an extremely musical family before he got into the rap game himself. He came from a long line of jazz and doo-wop artists while both his parents were in their own respective groups. His mother, Fatima Johnson, was in a girl group called The Crystals and his father, Budd Johnson Jr., was in a doo-wop group called The Chanters. Prodigy began rapping with his partner Havoc after they met at the High School of Art & Design in Manhattan. They released their debut album Juvenile Hell in 1993 and went on to release eight more albums together including The Infamous (1995), Hell On Earth (1996) and Murda Muzik (1999).

In 2000, Prodigy decided to go solo and dropped his debut album H.N.I.C. From there, he dropped four other solo LP's and four collaborative albums with The Alchemist, Boogz Boogetz and Big Twins & Un Pacino. Back in 2017, Prodigy's estate released the rapper's first posthumous album Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation). Five years later, the estate released the sequel Hegelian Dialectic 2 (The Book of Heroine) and announced the third installment, Hegelian Dialectic 3 (Book of the Dead).

Rest in peace, Prodigy.

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