In a private, warm and loving ceremony befitting a king this afternoon, family, friends and Hip Hop luminaries came to pay their respects, farewell and celebration to Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, one of the true innovators and street legends of Hip Hop music and culture. Tributes from those who knew him dearly and others he inspired were made in celebration (and mourning) of Prodigy. Prodigy was born November 2nd 1974 with one of the most severe forms of sickle-cell anemia, SS type. His struggles with this illness and other hardships caused him much pain throughout his life yet he persevered and became one of the legends of Hip Hop.
As one half of Mobb Deep, Prodigy may be most known for his iconic verse on “Shook Ones.” The duo amassed much success on albums The Infamous, Hell on Earth, and Murda Muzik, among many others. Prodigy also released music on his own, with first solo album H.N.I.C in 2006. He followed that up with mixtape Return of the Mac and H.N.I.C II in 2008. Prodigy was more than a Hip-Hop artist, but a genuine human being aware of his faults and open to sharing them with the world. He was featured in the 2009 documentary Rhyme and Punishment, which provided an inside look at rappers who had been incarcerated. He delved deeper than that, releasing an autobiography in 2011 titled My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. His impact in the music industry, individually and within Mobb Deep, is truly indelible.
At the service, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was invited to speak and share inspirational words with those assembled. Acknowledging the spiritual purpose and power of Prodigy’s life, the Minister focused on how Prodigy lived his life and less on the loss of his life. He encouraged the audience to pay special attention to the magnificence of Prodigy’s contributions and find a way to be inspired to honor his life through their service with the limited time remaining on earth.
In attendance to honor Prodigy was his his wife Ikesha, his three children, sister, brother and other family, his music partner Havoc, his music producers, LL Cool J, 50 Cent, Ice T, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, and numerous business associates like Steve Rifkin and attorney L. Londell McMillan. Rest in peace King!