Some of the legends from the 90s didn’t make it out of that decade; many that lived faded away. But one who kept working, hustling and reinventing himself was Mobb Deep’s Prodigy.
He and Havoc helped to defined East Coast hardcore rap — their classics are instantly recognizable.
The two feuded with all of the heavyweights of their day, and with one another, before eventually reconciling in 2014.
And whereas many rappers use their prison stints to give themselves a bit of an edge, Prodigy used his as an opportunity to make some money and to give both inmates and those on the outside trying to make a dollar holler a cookbook full of delicious recipes that didn’t call for many ingredients.
In fact, you can take a look at the rapper preparing one of the recipes here:
Why all of this reminiscing and mythologizing?
Well, Prodigy has died at 42.
He and Havoc were in Las Vegas, doing a Mobb Deep show. The rapper collapsed after the duo finished performing. Early reports, according to XXL, say that it was Prodigy’s sickle cell anemia that took his life.
Prodigy has long struggled very publically with the disease, with Tupac even making fun of him for it in “When We Ride on Our Enemies.”
Despite being a veteran of the game, Prodigy was still active in making new music. Just last week he, Raekwon and AZ collaborated on a video for their new track, “Save Them.”
It’s a sad day for hip-hop fans, and for art fans in general.
Let’s all honor Prodigy’s memory with a few spins of his greatest hits, and consider donating to the Red Cross’ Sickle Cell Donor program if you can.