Prodigy of the great rap duo Mobb Deep has passed away earlier today. He was 42. Fellow Queensbridge rapper Nas broke the news on Instagram (as you can see above), and Mobb Deep's publicist sent the following statement to XXL:

It is with extreme sadness and disbelief that we confirm the death of our dear friend Albert Johnson, better known to millions of fans as Prodigy of legendary NY rap duo Mobb Deep. Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Vegas after a Mobb Deep performance for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis. As most of his fans know, Prodigy battled the disease since birth. The exact causes of death have yet to be determined. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family’s privacy at this time.

Prodigy was supposed to perform at Harlem Arts Festival this weekend.

Rest in peace to a true legend. You'll be missed but never forgotten.

El-P, Danny Brown, Biz Markie, Lil Wayne, Flying Lotus, and many more artists have already paid tribute.

Prodigy's Mobb Deep partner Havoc posted this: