Prodigy, the American rapper part of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, passed away on the 6th of June in Las Vegas. Abert Johnson - that's his real name - has been suffering from Sickle Cell Anaemia since birth, although the cause of death has not been revealed yet.

The Infamous Mobb

When hip hop fans hear the term the Infamous Mobb they immediately form affectionate connections to the rap duo which gave fans hits like shook ones, quiet storm among other songs. The first time the duo worked together they called themselves the Poetic Prophets and a year later they changed their name to Mobb Deep and in 1993 removed the timeless hit shook ones.

The stage names of the rappers are Prodigy and Havok, while their real names being Albert Johnson and Kejuan Muchita respectively.

Albert Johnson’s family was musical as his mother was a member of the famous girl group Crystals in its later years and his grandfather Budd Johnson was a well-known Jazz saxophonist. Albert first started rapping under the name Lord-T the golden child and later on, in his first year of high school he met up with Kejuan a rapper and producer and that's when they started calling themselves Poetic Prophets and got recognition on the Source in their unsigned hype section. Later in 1993, they released their first album Juvenile Hell by this time they had already taken the name that fans and musicians know, Mobb Deep.

They later reached commercial success in 1995 with the release of their critically acclaimed album the Infamous which sold over 500,000 copies within 2 months of its release. A year later they released Hell on Earth which was later certified Gold on April 9th, 1997.

Prodigy's health and life growing up

If you listen to the raps of Prodigy you will as times sense an intimate knowledge of pain coming from him, one might say that's because of the life he lived while growing up in the projects.

Well, that's one reason; the other is that he had to learn to live with pain all his life. This is because he used to get pain attacks on his entire body at random times, brought about by his sickle cell anaemia.

In his autobiography, he says at times when he was at school and felt the pain coming; he had to start walking so as to get his mind off the pain that started attacking him from his feet going up.

At times he had to go to the hospital up to six times in a year with some stays lasting up to a month. As he grew older this extreme pain led him to abuse drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with the pain. This led him to live a life of crime, his pain had made him cold and temperamental and he did a couple of illegal things including drug dealing.

In 2008 he was caught and sent to a 3-year jail term ending in 2011 for illegal possession of a firearm. During this time he said he reflected on his disease and how it affected his life. He wrote part of his autobiography while incarcerated in the Mid-State Correctional Facility in Marcy, N.Y. After his release, he went on to be a sickle cell activist and even wrote a cookbook last year based on recipes he used to stay healthy when he was locked up.

“I used to look at sickle-cell like it was a curse,” he said in the video. “It isn’t even about that. It’s like an alarm, like a burglar alarm, somebody breaks into your house, that’s what sickle cell is for your body.”

Rest In Peace

Prodigy has left behind a wife Ikesha Dudley, a son, T'Shaka, a daughter, Fahtasia a brother Greg, stepdaughter Kiejzonna Dudley and a step-granddaughter Brooklyn Harris.

My best wishes are with the family, may they have strength during this trying time as Prodigy has done a lot in his life definitely leaving an impact. Due to the long-term effects of sickle-cell anemia, the life expectancy is typically between 40 and 60 years, according to the National Institutes of Health. His achievements show that he used his time wisely and I feel it right to now wish him a peaceful rest. R.I.P to one-half of the Infamous, Prodigy.