MOBB DEEP RAPPER
Raised in Queens, Albert Johnson came from a musical family: his mother Frances was a late-period member of The Crystals, while his grandfather Budd was a noted jazz saxophonist. After appearing on the Boyz N The Hood movie soundtrack in 1991, the younger Johnson linked with his partner Havoc as Mobb Deep: their raw 1995 sophomore LP The Infamous is an essential transmission from rap’s hardcore East Coast. Four more Top 10 albums would follow, including 1996’s Hell On Earth and 2006’s Blood Money, with Prodigy also recording solo from 2000. A blunt but lyrically refined MC, he was no stranger to controversy: drawn into beefs with peers (later this included Havoc) both off and on wax, in 2007 he would be sentenced to three and a half years in prison for illegal firearm possession. Upon release, he published his autobiography My Infamous Life, and reformed Mobb Deep for live shows and 2014’s The Infamous Mobb Deep. Having released The Hegelian Dialectic (The Book Of Revelation) earlier this year, Prodigy succumbed to sickle cell anaemia on June 20.