Mobb Deep Rapper Dies at 42 After Battle With Sickle Cell Anemia

The rapper Prodigy, who made up one half of the group Mobb Deep, has died aged 42.

The hip hop star, whose real name is Albert Johnson, was on tour in Las Vegas performing with the “Art of Rap” tour alongside Ghostface Killah, Onyx, KRS-One, and Ice-T, amongst others. Mobb Deep performed Saturday.

The artist suffered from health issues throughout his life, however it wasn’t immediately clear what the cause of death was. He had long suffered from sickle cell anaemia, a condition in which red blood cells contort into a sickle shape and die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells. The condition can lead to a painful blockage of blood flow.

Prodigy first broke out onto the music scene with his partner, Havoc, forming Mobb Deep in their hometown New York City in the 1990s. The duo participated in high profile feuds during their early years, and once had “beef” during the media-fueled East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry with Tupac and Biggie Smalls.

Their influential music has been described by Rolling Stone as a “raw, vivid, and vicious distillation of East Coast gangsta rap”.