Mobb Deep rapper Havoc did not initially believe the reports of his longtime collaborator Prodigy’s death on Tuesday at age 42, according to TMZ. Prodigy had a long history of health troubles stemming from his battle with sickle cell anemia.
“I knew that he was in the hospital, but I know that he’s not dead – he goes to the hospital all the time,” Havoc remembered thinking, in a video obtained by TMZ. “Rumors get around, dumb shit. I was laughing to be honest with you, because I had not directly spoken to P[rodigy], but I knew his status every day since I left [Las] Vegas.”
Just in case, Havoc put in a call to Mobb Deep’s road manager, who delivered the news that Prodigy had died. “The road manager was just crying like I never heard before,” Havoc recalled. “I’m still just fucked up. I can’t even listen to ‘Shook Ones’ or any song. I can hardly look at the pictures … I still can’t believe it.”
Havoc was 15 years old when he met Prodigy; the two released their first album as Mobb Deep in 1993. Prodigy had been born with sickle cell anemia, so the duo was accustomed to working around his health issues. “We’re used to P[rodigy] going to the hospital – not like every day, but we’ve been dealing with this for over 20 years,” Havoc said. “”[He] goes to the hospital, stays in for three days, maybe five tops, and then he gets better and he’s out. [So this time], it wasn’t something to be like, ‘oh my god, he’s crazy sick!’ It’s like, sometimes he has sickle cell crisis.”
Havoc thought that Prodigy’s health was improving during his latest hospital visit. “I was checking up on him, calling my road manager to make sure – ‘how P doing, he good?'” Havoc explained. “‘He was in pain, but he’s doing better.’ Day two: he’s even better, he’s walking around.”
Mobb Deep’s road manager delivered the shocking news that Prodigy died on Tuesday while Havoc was driving with his five-year-old son following kindergarten graduation. “I’m on the highway; I can’t pull over; I can’t do nothing,” the rapper said. “I could have crashed with my kids in the car. I’m still just fucked up.”
Prodigy’s cause of death has not yet been determined.