Birth Name: Albert T’Chaka Johnson
Date of Birth: November 2, 1974
Place of Birth: Hempstead, Long Island, New York, U.S.
Date of Death: June 20, 2017
Place of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Ethnicity: African-American, as well as small amount of English
Prodigy was an American rapper, author, and entrepreneur. He was one of hip hop duo Mobb Deep, with Havoc. He was also known as Lord-T (The Golden Child) and H.N.I.C.
He was the son of singers Fatima Collins and Albert Jackson Johnson IV. His mother was a member of 1960s girl group The Crystals. He grew up in Queens, New York City. Prodigy was married to Kiki Johnson, and had two children.
Prodigy’s paternal grandfather was jazz saxophonist Albert J. “Budd” Johnson III (Albert Jackson Johnson III, the son of Albert Jackson “A. J.” Johnson, Jr. and Kate/Katie Peak/Peaks). Prodigy’s grandfather Albert was born in Texas. Prodigy’s great-grandfather Albert was the son of Albert Johnson and Millie Benison. Kate was the daughter of Leason Peaks and Amanda Hall.
Prodigy’s paternal grandmother was dancer Bernice Milbrey (Bernice Virginia Milbrey, the daughter of Charles Henry Milbrey and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Williams). Bernice was born in Virginia. Charles was the son of George Milbrey and Alice Burton. Elizabeth was born in North Carolina, the daughter of John Williams and Dora.
Prodigy’s maternal grandfather was named Charles E. Johnson.
Prodigy’s maternal grandmother was Beatrice/Bernice Alethia Mann (the daughter of Ferdinand Meshack Mann and Josephine Louise “Josie” Shaw). Beatrice was born in New Jersey, to parents from Georgia. Ferdinand was the son of Ferdinand Mann and Mary C. Alxander. Josephine was the daughter of Charles Augustus Shaw, who was born in Florida, and of Anna/Annie Francis White.
Anna’s parents, Prodigy’s great-great-great-grandparents, were Josephine Elizabeth Thomas and The Rev. William J. White (William Jefferson White), who was a minister, educator, and journalist; he founded Harmony Baptist Church in Augusta, and co-founded Augusta Institute, which became Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University. William was the son of a white slaveowner, William White, and of a black/mixed-race black slave, Chaney.
In his autobiography, My Infamous Life: The Autobiography of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, 2011, Prodigy states that his paternal grandparents were of half black and half Cherokee Native American descent. This does not appear to be accurate. All of his traceable ancestors are listed as “black” or “mulatto” on records. Prodigy also referred to his ancestors The Rev. William and Josephine as being of “95% Irish” descent, but it is not clear if this is accurate, either.
Prodigy’s maternal great-grandmother, Josephine Louise “Josie” Shaw, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Prodigy’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Anna/Annie Francis (White) Shaw – https://www.findagrave.com
He also stated in his autobiography that his paternal grandparents were “half black, half Cherokee Indian”. This does not appear to be accurate. All of his traceable ancestors are listed as Black or “Mulatto” in Census records.
His birth name was Albert T’Chaka Johnson. He grew up in Queens, New York City. His parents were Albert Jackson Johnson IV and Fatima Johnson who were both born in Manhattan, New York City. Both were singers. Fatima was a later member of the 1960s girl group, The Crystals, under the name Fatima Collins.
His paternal grandfather, Albert J. “Budd” Johnson III, was born in Texas the son of Albert Jackson Johnson Jr. and Kate Peak who were also born in Texas. His paternal grandmother, dancer Bernice Milbrey, was born in Virginia the daughter of Charles Mibrey and Elizabeth Williams. Charles was born in Virginia. Elizabeth was born in North Carolina
His maternal grandparents were Charles E. Johnson and Beatrice Mann, the daughter of Ferdinand Mann and Josephine Shaw. Beatrice was born in New Jersey and her parents were born in Georgia. His maternal great-great grandparents were Charles Shaw and Anna Francis White, the daughter of William Jefferson White and Josephine Thomas. Anna and her parents were born in Georgia.
William Jefferson White, Prodigy’s maternal third great-grandfather, was a minister and journalist who founded Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University. He is believed to be the son of a slaveowner William White and his slave, Chaney. Prodigy states in his autobiography that William Jefferson and his wife Josephine were “5 percent black and 95 percent Irish”. Some Irish ancestry is possible but “95 percent” each is unlikely.
He grew up in Queens, New York City. He had two children. He was also known as Lord-T (The Golden Child) and H.N.I.C.
“His father was white and his mother had African-American and Native American ancestors. He could pass for white, but self-identified as black”.
Prodigy’s paternal grandfather was jazz saxophonist Albert J. “Budd” Johnson III (the son of A. J. Johnson and Kate).
Prodigy’s paternal grandmother was called Bernice.
Have you something against the word “mulatto” (what the slave Chaney was according to all accounts), to highlight her twice as black in one phrase (black/mixed-race black slave).
Not for you.
Better photo needed.