20 of the Best Prodigy Songs
Today (June 20) is a tragic day in the world of hip-hop. Prodigy of seminal rap group Mobb Deep has passed away while being hospitalized in Las Vegas due to complications caused by sickle cell anemia, a disease the rapper has battled since birth.
Born Albert Johnson, Prodigy was age 42 at the time of his death and was just onstage over the weekend for a performance on the Art of Rap Tour in Vegas, making the death a stunning one to his family, friends and fans.
Prodigy first made waves alongside his partner-in-rhyme and longtime friend Havoc as part of the duo Poetical Prophets. But the Queens reps would later change their name to Mobb Deep prior to scoring a record deal with 4th & B'way Records, where they released their debut album, Juvenile Hell, as teens. However, Mobb Deep's big break would come with the release of their 1995 sophomore effort, Infamous, the first of three consecutive classic albums from the group. The project established them as the leaders of gritty, East Coast rap, with Prodigy gaining a rep as one of the more formidable spitters in all of hip-hop.
Making appearances alongside the likes of Nas, Big Pun, LL Cool J and Kool G Rap, by the time Prodigy's solo debut, H.N.I.C., touched down in 2000, the Hempstead, N.Y. native would find himself in the conversation for the best MC during an era where a slew of titans were making a name for themselves. He also found himself in warfare with heavyweights like Jay Z, proving that he could go up against the best of them.
Throughout the aughts, Prodigy put in double time as a solo artist and part of Mobb Deep, unleashing notable projects like Return of the Mac and H.N.I.C. Pt. 2, and would continue to be one of the more active veterans in rap after his release from prison, with his recent offering, Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation), evidence of his consistency and knack for quality long players.
In celebration of his life and his brilliance as a wordsmith, XXL highlights 20 of our favorite solo songs from Prodigy on which he kicks the "thun language." R.I.P. Prodigy, one of the illest rappers of all-time.