Rapper Prodigy of the group Mobb Deep. Picture: Supplied

Prodigy, one half of legendary New York rap duo Mobb Deep, died on Tuesday after being hospitalized for complications related to sickle cell anemia, his publicist said.

The rapper was 42-years-old.

Prodigy, born Albert Johnson, was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital a few days ago after a Mobb Deep performance in the city, his publicist Roberta Magrini told Reuters in a statement.

The rapper had suffered from sickle cell anemia, a hereditary blood disorder, since birth, but the exact cause of his death has not yet been determined, she said.

Mobb Deep, formed by rappers Prodigy and Havoc, was a seminal part of the 1990s East Coast gangsta rap scene emerging from New York alongside Nas and Notorious B.I.G. They scored a breakthrough with their 1995 album "The Infamous", which contained the iconic hip hop single "Shook Ones Pt II".

The duo released its last album in 2014, "The Infamous Mobb Deep," and most recently were on The Art of Rap tour in a lineup that included DMX and Ghostface Killah.

Stars, including Sean "Diddy" Combs and Nas, paid tribute to Prodigy.

Nas posted a photo of the late rapper on Instagram with the caption "Family. We Mobb Deep 4 Ever. RIP Prodigy."

Thabo “Tbo Touch” Molefe also paid tribute to the late rapper:

Reuters, IOL