Prodigy, one half of the Queensbridge duo, the infamous Mobb Deep passed away on Tuesday morning, June 20th, at the age of 42.

His impact in music is far reaching. As a matter of fact, it’s probably hard to quantify the level of influence he, and his partner Havoc, had on shaping the sound of East Coast hip-hop in the 1990’s. He had a precise way of stringing words together, and was best known for his ability to create alluring introductory verses. He detailed the grittiness of New York Street life in a way that was unmatched by his peers and many of his predecessors.

Prodigy was a rapper’s rapper, one who labeled himself the HNIC, and vowed to always Keep It Thoro. He did. As he matured from the sound of Shook Ones that brought him to fame in his late teens, he held on to his hard edge, even as the penchant for street rap faded in popularity. Prodigy remained true to who he was, and always spoke from his own experience. In recent years, that truth in his rhymes revealed his battles with depression, anxiety, addiction,  and sickle cell anemia, the autoimmune disease which, from initial reports, seems to be what led to his untimely demise.

At 42, Prodigy was a legend and elder statesman in the hip-hop game, but a young man in the grand scheme of things. He’s the latest addition to a list of emcees who died in their 40’s due to health related complications, a trend that shouldn’t go unnoticed.