New York rapper Prodigy, one half of the influential rap duo Mobb Deep, has died at 42 years old.
The cause of death has not yet been released, but the Queens rapper has been long suffering from sickle cell anemia.
Prodigy was in Las Vegas for a Mob Deep show.
According to CNN, Prodigy was born Albert Johnson, the rapper's family had a storied history.
His great-great-great-grandfather, William Jefferson White, founded Georgia's Morehouse College in the basement of his Baptist church.
His grandfather, Albert "Budd" Johnson, was a saxophonist and clarinetist for Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Benny Goodman.
Johnson met fellow Queens, New York native Kejuan Muchita when they were both freshman at Manhattan's High School of Art and Design.
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.
They scored a record deal as teens and released the album "Juvenile Hell" in 1993.
The project didn't generate much buzz, but the duo found more success with their sophomore album "The Infamous."
With its gritty rhymes and contributions by the artists Nas and Raekwon, the album helped launch Mobb Deep to the top of the hardcore, hip hop ladder.
Mobb Deep was famously involved in the mid-90s East Coast/ West Coast beef. Tupac mentions them in Hit Em Up even addressing Prodigy's illness.
Rappers from all walks of life took to social media to express their condolences to the artist who paved the way for many.
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