Prodigy, Mobb Deep rapper, dead at 42

Last Updated Jun 20, 2017 5:51 PM EDT

Prodigy, one half of influential New York rap duo Mobb Deep, has died. He was 42.

The rapper was hospitalized in Las Vegas last week "for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis," his publicist said in a statement Tuesday. Prodigy had battled sickle cell his entire life. The exact cause of death was not known, according to his rep.

"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," the statement read. "We would like to thank everyone for respecting the family's privacy at this time."

Prodigy found success in the 1990s with fellow rapper Havoc as Mobb Deep, with hits that included "Shook Ones, Pt. II," "Hey Luv (Anything)" and "Quiet Storm" featuring Lil Kim.

He also released a prison recipe cookbook, "commissary kitchen: my infamous prison cookbook," last year.