Prodigy, whose gravelly monotone helped make Mobb Deep one of the iconic hip-hop duos of the 1990s, died Tuesday in Las Vegas at the age of 42. The rapper, who burst on the scene alongside partner Havoc with their 1995 album "The Infamous," suffered from sickle-cell anemia his entire life. "The One and Only" was one of his final songs.
The lead single from Mobb Deep's 1995 album "The Infamous," "Shook Ones Pt. II," helped put the Queensbridge, N.Y. duo on the national map -- and years later, its iconic instrumental was featured during a pivotal scene in Eminem's "8 Mile."
"Survival of the Fittest" may have been overshadowed by fellow "Infamous" track "Shook Ones Pt. II," but its classic mid-90s cadence and raw beat deserves plenty of love on its own.
Mobb Deep dropped "Hell on Earth" one year after making a massive splash with "Infamous." The first single from the album, "Drop a Gem On 'Em," took aim at Tupac Shakur, who was feuding with the group before his death -- which came before the album's release.
Legendary beatmaker Pete Rock, who gave the world the horns on "They Reminisce Over You," enlisted Prodigy and the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah and Raekwon for "Tha Game" on his underrated "Soul Survivor" album.
"Quiet Storm" did not live up to its title, as the first single off Mobb Deep's certified platinum "Murda Music" quickly became the talk of hip-hop radio and TV shows. Its cinematic instrumental and Prodigy's gritty monotone flow made it an instant '90s hip-hop classic.
And because "Quiet Storm" was so popular -- and the '90s was the era of remixes -- Lil' Kim joined Havoc and Prodigy for one of the few that lived up to the original, especially with the Queen Bee adding her own style to the hook.
Fellow Queensbridge native Nas lent a memorable verse to "It's Mine," the second single off of "Murda Muzik." The video is classic '90s, too.
From Prodigy's 2000 solo debut "H.N.I.C.," Alchemist-produced banger "Keep It Thoro" reminded plenty of tough-talking younger rappers exactly what Mobb Deep's frontman was all about.
Prodigy's second solo album, "H.N.I.C. Pt. 2" -- sense a them? -- didn't get as much love as its prior effort, but it still had plenty of moments where the rapper showed off his clear talent, such as "Represent Me."