Prodigy, one half of New York rapper duo Mobb Deep, dead at 42

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Rapper Prodigy of the group "Mobb Deep" performs during the J.A.M. Awards in New York

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Prodigy, one half of New York rapper duo Mobb Deep, died on Tuesday days after being hospitalized for complications related to sickle cell anemia, his publicist said. He was 42.

Prodigy, born Albert Johnson, was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital “a few days ago” after a Mobb Deep performance in the city, his publicist Roberta Magrini told Reuters in a statement.

The rapper had suffered from sickle cell anemia, a hereditary blood disorder, since birth, and the exact cause of his death has not yet been determined, she said.

Mobb Deep, formed by rappers Prodigy and Havoc, from the New York City borough of Queens, was a seminal part of the 1990s East Coast gangsta rap scene emerging from New York alongside Nas and Notorious B.I.G., scoring a breakthrough with its 1995 album “The Infamous.”

The duo released its last album in 2014, “The Infamous Mobb Deep,” and most recently were on The Art of Rap tour in a lineup that include DMX and Ghostface Killah, performing in Las Vegas last week.

Rap music stars including Sean “Diddy” Combs and Nas paid tribute to Prodigy on Tuesday. Nas posted a photo of the late rapper on Instagram with the caption “Family. We Mobb Deep 4 Ever. RIP Prodigy.”

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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