Albert Johnson (November 2, 1974 – June 20, 2017), better known by his stage name Prodigy, was an American rapper and one half of the hip hop duo Mobb Deep with Havoc. He was the great-great-grandson of the founder of Morehouse College.
Born in Hempstead, New York. Prodigy became a member of the duo Mobb Deep. He comes from a musical family—his grandfather, Budd Johnson, and his great-uncle Keg Johnson are remembered for their contributions to the Bebop era of jazz. His mother, Fatima Johnson, was a member of The Crystals. Propelled to awareness partially by fellow rapper Nas, who took a similar approach lyrically on his Illmaticalbum from 1994, as well as with the aid of a successful single, “Shook Ones Pt. 2,” Mobb Deep released The Infamous in 1995 and sold over 500,000 within the first two months. A year and a half later, at the end of 1996, Prodigy and Havoc released Hell on Earth; debuting at number six on SoundScan the album was composed with both evocative beats and cinematic rhymes that communicated the darkside of New York’s urban landscape. Due to a grim video for “Hell on Earth (Front Lines)” and theatrical Scarface-like photos inside the CD booklet picturing the duo with guns and a mound of cocaine, Mobb Deep had created an elaborate image for themselves that took hardcore gangsta rap to a new level for East Coast hip hop and the album sold over 500,000 units within the first two months again. Its next release, Murda Muzik, was heavily bootlegged while still in its demo stage, leaking, onto the streets and over the internet, rough versions of the nearly 30 songs the duo had recorded.