Prodigy, one-half of the legendary group Mobb Deep, has passed away today.
According to TMZ, his publicist Roberta Magrini said that he was rushed to the hospital right after Mobb Deep performed “for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis.” Prodigy has been battling this disease since birth. The exact cause of death has yet to be determined.
Prodigy is survived by his wife, Ikesha Dudley; a son, T’Shaka; a daughter, Fahtasia; a brother, Greg; a stepdaughter, Kiejzonna Dudley; and a step-granddaughter, Brooklyn Harris.
Prodigy has been an influential figure in hiphop. As part of Poetical Prophets, before the name change to Mobb Deep, they were recognized in The Source in their legendary “Unsigned Hype” column. When I first heard of Mobb Deep, I’ve heard ‘Shook Ones, pt. 2′, and the moment I heard the first three seconds of that song, it definitely sent chills down my spine, ’cause it was something I’ve never heard before. So, they’ve been on my radar, aside from the Wu-Tang Clan. But, when they put out ‘G.O.D. pt. 3’, I immediately tuned in and it became official to me that they were a force to be reckoned with. With Havoc’s and Alchemist’s dark soundscapes, they’ve painted Queensbridge as a city that I didnt wan’t to walk through at night. One of the important things that many that are reading this is that if you were around at the time that Mobb Deep’s music came out, whether it was Nas’s ‘Illmatic’ or ‘I Am’ album.. the beats had that cold feel to it, which made the visuals of what they’re speaking about so real to me.
I remember my first NY trip back in ’96 for the weekend. I was staying in Nyack (upstate NY) with a friend of mine. When we came to the city at night, all I remember was the storytelling that the music made that kept me on my toes. This was probably all because of the dumb rumors that was going around at the time in some areas of the West Coast, even in my circle. And it didn’t help that I went around the time that the rivalry was going on, either. Being on the streets I stood out like a sore thumb; like heads knew I wasn’t from NY.
Anyhow, enough about that. It sucks that we’ve lost a legend, but hiphop has gained an angel. Thank you for the music and the stories you’ve shared, whether it was through your book, or your music.