The Source magazine salutes the late rapper (and one of the founding members of Mob Deep) Albert Johnson p.k.a. Prodigy on his birthday. Had the emcee lived, he would have celebrated his 44th year around the sun.

Since this gifted emcee’s introduction to the game as a member of Poetical Prophets, he has been making waves.

Poetical Prophets was the precursor to the group now known as Mobb Deep and was the name the guys went by when they were listed in The Source’s 1991 “Unsigned Hype” column. Prodigy and his rap partner, Havoc used emceeing as a way to reach their fans with cinematic commentary for close to three decades.

Much of their acclaim came from Prodigy’s honest and rugged delivery, his brilliant intellect and genuine love for the culture.

In “Survival of The Fittest,” he informed us “There’s a war goin’ on outside no man is safe from… You could run, but you can’t hide forever” and that there was no such thing “as halfway crooks.”

For many, he also was the first time that anyone knew about the secret society that runs the world. He told us all to be careful because the “Illuminati want my mind, soul and my body.”

In addition to his illustrious career with Mobb Deep, Prodigy had a note-worthy solo career, producing the following albums: H.N.I.C. (1, 2 and 3), The Bumpy Johnson Album and Hegelian Dialectic (The Book of Revelation). He also collaborated with producer and friend Alchemist producing Return of The Mac and Albert Einstein. And while music was his first love, he ventured into filmmaking and publishing, writing three Hip-Hop classic books: “My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mob Deep’s Prodigy,” “Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook” and “HNIC: An Infamous Novella.”

Since his untimely demise in Las Vegas,  Hip-Hop as a collective has had a broken heart. Even though Prodigy is physically gone, he lives on through his music, his family and the impact his artistry left on the world. His family has worked tirelessly to keep his name alive. For more information on what has been going on since his transition, please click below:

Source Exclusive: The Family of Prodigy Sues Hospital and Physician For Wrongful Death