Albert Johnson, better known as Prodigy and one half of golden-era hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, died today (20th June) at the age of 42.

Mobb Deep’s 1995 debut album, The Infamous, remains one of the defining classics of hip-hop’s golden era and a testament to the lyrical dexterity of ’90s New York.

A statement from Prodigy’s publicist confirms the news:

“It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.”

Owen Jones