Prodigy Discusses Living A Lifetime Filled With Excruciating Pain (Video)
June marked the first anniversary of Prodigy’s passing. His death blindsided the Hip-Hop community, despite his frequent, frank discussions about living with sickle-cell anemia. He even used his 2000 debut solo album, H.N.I.C, as an opportunity to share his struggles with the illness on “You Can Never Feel My Pain.” Though his ultimate cause of death was unrelated to the disease itself, he was already in the hospital due to sickle-cell anemia complications and the years of work he did in bringing awareness to the blood disorder continue to show results despite his absence.
In a new episode of the Noisey series “The Therapist,” in which well known personalities discuss intimate issues with Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, the late Mobb Deep rapper goes into painful detail about the reality of living with his debilitating illness. “I look at pain as my friend,” says Prodigy. “Pain is somebody that’s just going to always be there, and you learn from each other.” Diagnosed with the hereditary disorder at three-months old, Prodigy was one of roughly 10,000 Americans affected by sickle-cell anemia, a disease which disproportionately affects African Americans.
He tells Dr. Singh that he was diagnosed with the SS type of the disease, “the worst kind.” He goes on to explain the intricacies of his illness, saying “my blood cells don’t carry enough oxygen and when a blood cell doesn’t carry enough oxygen, my blood cells change shape.” This causes his blood cells to “interlock with each other” and become a source of pain. “It’s excruciating pain. Like, it’s to the point where I can’t even move. They have to pick me up and put me in a wheelchair and carry me to the hospital,” he shares.
His disease prevented him from taking part in contact sports as a kid and the lack of a cure left him with a lifetime of obstacles. But the physical illness was just one part of his pain. “I feel like it gave me a mental disorder a little bit,” says Prodigy. “It was really traumatic, going through all that pain as a kid. It made me not believe in God. [I was] having discussions with God, begging God to make the pain go away and the pain wouldn’t go away, so I’m like ‘who the hell am I talking to? God is not responding.'”
Near the four-minute-mark, Prodigy tells a story about a premonitory experience he had. “That night, when I laid down to go to sleep, all the lights was off in my room and I’m laying there and I seen a black shadow walk across my room. The only thing I could describe it as is the Black Spiderman. I put the sheet over my head like a little kid and I woke up the next morning, the pain woke me up. I hadn’t been sick in six years.” He says that black shadow was a visual embodiment of his pain, which had returned after being at bay for many years. “They feed off of negativity, they feed off of anger,” he says, relating the arrival of the shadow to his previous destructive behavior.
Elsewhere, Prodigy discusses his incarceration, his spiritual journey, UFOs and more.
As previously reported by Ambrosia For Heads, the FDA approved a new drug for the treatment of sickle-cell anemia in 2017, the first time in 20 years.