Albert Johnson, better known as Prodigy, was a widely respected American rapper who was apart of the hip-hop duo Mobb Deep. Coming from a family with a strong presence in the music industry, Prodigy was exposed to a variety of Jazz genres and became a prominent icon in the hip hop community thanks to fellow rapper and mentor Nas. Prodigy became well-known for his dark and outspoken lyrics on the album Hell on Earth that usually pertained to the harsh realities of growing up in the urban landscapes of New York. The Iconic rapper passed away on June 20, 2017. Given Prodigy’s essential contributions to the hip-hop genre, the final question remains of how much was the memorable artist actually worth?
Prodigy’s Net Worth In 2017: $12.5 Million
How did the innovative rapper get there? And how did Prodigy’s unique presence garner him this type of wealth? Let’s take a closer look.
While Prodigy was initially active in 1989, he became truly recognizable and respected when he joined up with fellow rapper Havoc to form the group Mobb Deep. After releasing their initial album Juvenile Hell in 1993 as teenagers, the duo quickly went back to the studio to record their commercially successful album The Infamous in 1995. The latter album gained notoriety through its harsh lyrics dealing with crime and poverty in inner city neighborhoods. The album was so innovative and impactful that it is credited with redefining the sound of hardcore hip-hop.
Rather than rest on the laurels of their incredible success from The Infamous, Prodigy and Havoc were doggedly determined to unleash an even more poetically grim album. Released in 1996, Hell on Earth was a gutsy album that is considered to be the duos best work as it unabashedly made subliminal disses toward several west coast rappers. The polarizing yet original work peaked at number one on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums in 1996.
Aside from his impressive success as a musical artist, Prodigy was known for the back and forth feud he had with west coast rapper 2Pac. The two rappers were notorious for their diss lyrics within their respective albums and the height of their contention was particularly prevalent from 1995-1997.
In 2000, Prodigy debuted his solo album, H.N.I.C., which received widespread critical acclaim. The tone of the album was a more conscious side of Prodigy than his previous hardcore-rap offerings with Havoc. Still, Prodigy was always able to bring the album back to it’s roots of blunt gangster rap that garnered him his initial fame in the 90’s.
H.N.I.C was created into an album trilogy over the next 12 years, and while each subsequent album was not as lucrative or as popular as the last, they never ventured far from Prodigy’s core values as a consciously outspoken gangster rapper. For better or for worse, Prodigy epitomized what it meant to be a hardcore gangster rapper as he did several stints in prison from the early to mid 2000’s, usually as the result of possessing illegal firearms.
Prodigy’s final recorded and released works came in the form of an untitled EP, which consisted of five tracks.
Although Biggie and 2Pac will always be considered the notorious leaders of the East Coast and West Coast rap scene respectively, Prodigy fearlessly and eloquently conveyed his unwavering hatred towards any all west coast rap icons while being cognizant of his own personal perils growing up in New York. Prodigy’s distinctive style and story telling adeptness are some of the many attributes that the hard-working hip-hop artist displayed throughout his career. While the news of Prodigy’s death is nothing short of devastating, his timeless contributions to the hip-hop genre in general will always be looked upon with a sense of eternal respect given the truth and passion that was behind every single word on every memorable track that he created.