The death of Prodigy shook hip-hop fans to the core and one man mourning the loss was LeBron James. The NBA icon paid tribute to the Mobb Deep rapper in the perfect way: by blasting their music in honor of the late MC.
“Mobb Deep vibe all night long,” King James captioned the first of many videos uploaded to his Instagram story on June 20, hours after new broke that Prodigy (one half of the legendary NYC hip-hop duo) had passed away. The 42-year-old rapper, along with Havoc, 43, had a huge influence on the Cleveland Cavaliers star. In the second video, as King James was getting a shave, he said that he “grew up on these boys,” and their music “help[ed] me get through tough days as a kid.” Even as the clippers were buzzing, LeBron couldn’t help but banging his head along to the music.
LeBron jammed along to tracks like “Hell On Earth (Front Lines),” “It’s Mine,” and “Give Up The Goods (Just Step),” according to Uproxx. In the last of the videos shared, LeBron was really feeling it. Cranking his fist up in the air and rolling his head, the NBA champ jammed out to #MOBB. The pleasure he felt with the music seemed to overcome his sorrow over the loss of one of the most beloved voices in rap music. If Prodigy was looking in, he would be proud at the tribute and glad that he helped LeBron get through some dark times as a youth growing up in Ohio.
King James wasn’t the only one deeply affected by Mobb Deep’s music. Shaquille O’Neal, 45, tweeted that Prodigy was a “hip hop legend,” and was a MC who wrote “real lyrics.” Lil Wayne, 34, called Prodigy “a legend” and a G. Others like Lin-Manuel Miranda, 37, Ice T, 59, and Travis Barker, 41, chimed in, all heartbroken by the sudden death of one of hip-hop’s renowned rappers.
LeBron is on his Instagram story paying homage to Prodigy.
(📹 kingjames | instagram) pic.twitter.com/v7ULrqm1zJ
— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 21, 2017
Prodigy (born Albert Johnson) had been hospitalized in Las Vegas due to complications with a “sickle cell anemia crisis,” according to his rep. Prodigy had been battling the disease since birth, but in a 2012 interview, he called it a “blessing,” since it taught him to never “f*ck around” with his health. Before his death, Prodigy had shared the stage with KRS-One, Ice-T, Onyx and Ghostface Killah on the Art of Rap Tour. While the cause of death remains unknown, a report claims that Prodigy really died from choking on an egg while in the hospital. No matter how he died, it’s clear from LeBron’s reaction that he will be missed.
Our thoughts continue to go out to Prodigy’s family, friends and fans during this time of loss.