Biz Markie, pioneering ‘Just A Friend’ rapper, has died aged 57

Iconic rapper Biz Markie – born Marcel Theo Hall, and dubbed ‘The Clown Prince of Hip Hop’ for his legendary tenure as a pioneer of the genre and his inimitable sense of humor – was died at the age of 57.

News of his passing was confirmed by agent Jenni Izumi, who wrote in a statement: “We announce with deep sadness this evening, with his wife Tara by his side. , hip hop pioneer Biz Markie passed away peacefully. We are grateful for the calls and prayers of support we have received during this difficult time.

“Biz created an artistic legacy that will forever be celebrated by his industry colleagues and his beloved fans, whom he was able to touch on his life. through music, spanning more than 35 years.

“He left behind a wife, many family members and close friends, who will remember his bubbly personality, frequent jokes and frequent jokes. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”

TMZ reported that Markie passed away at 6:25 p.m. Friday (July 16) at a Baltimore hospital. Markie’s cause of death is still unknown at the time of writing, although it is known to be the rapper have had serious health complications late due to complications of his type 2 diabetes.

Early report of his death circulated earlier this month, although Izumi clarified on July 1 that the rumors that he had passed away were untrue and that Markie was in the hospital, “surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide services the best possible health care”.

Markie previously lost 140 pounds of weight in an attempt to control her diabetes. “If I don’t make changes, it will make my diabetes worse,” he explained in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “[Doctors] said I might lose my legs. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things can happen. “

A Harlem native who grew up on Long Island before cutting his teeth in New York City nightclubs, Markie was a monolith in hip-hop’s golden age. He made significant waves with his 1988 debut ‘Goin’ Off’, thanks largely to his unmistakable beatboxing over the single ‘Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz’ .

His major breakthrough will come next October, with his second album, ‘The Biz Never Sleeps’, fueling his most successful track to date, ‘Just A Friend’. Notable for its combination of rap and singing, the classic cut peaked at number 9 on the Billboard charts, and in 2000 was ranked 81st in 100 Wonders of a VH1 Greatest Hit.

Markie will release three more solo albums, most recently in 2003 with “Weekend Warrior”. However, he continued to be busy in the years that followed, most notably on TV with appearances in Wild ‘N Out, SpongeBob SquarePants, Adventure Time and Sharknado 2: Second person.

In addition to her own iconic endeavors, Markie is also a member of the Juice Crew and The Flip Squad.

Tributes to Markie poured in following the announcement of his passing. Among those who paid their respects included Juicy J, Kerry Washington, Bootsy Collins, Red hot chili bassist Flea and the Minnesota Vikings.

LL COOL J shared an Instagram video of himself in tears after learning the news.

“I just wanted to say… rest in peace my friend Biz Markie. So many memories, man. He was in my grandmother’s basement when I wrote ‘Rock The Bells.’ We used to hang out back in the day, running around Queens, Long Island, and I’m glad we did what we had to do until the end… some work we had to do, man.

“Love you so much brother. I want to send love to all your fans, millions of fans around the world, your family. Send my love to your family, wife your management and the rest of the power, man. Love you, man. Peace.”

In other places, Violent boys‘Mike D wrote a tribute on Rolling Stone, you can read it in its entirety here.

Part of his letter read: “It is also important to note that Biz is not only a rapper or record producer, but also a real entertainer. He can blend in and rock the crowd in any setting – from his legendary early appearances in New York City’s Latin Quarter to the Tibetan Freedom Concert in the Park. San Francisco’s Golden Gate. Once he was performing the opening DJ for us – just him, recording, mic and audience singing along – and the power was suddenly cut off. He doesn’t miss a beat, beatboxes human and sings a cappella without amplification. He cannot be stopped. Biz, we love you and we miss you and we are so grateful for all that we have done together and done in the time we have had. Much love…”

Also to pay tribute to Biz is But be carefulQuestlove, who wrote: “Biz built me ​​man. In my early stages, it was Biz who taught me REAL places to copy profiles….

“Biz taught me which cities are good at digging… ..Biz taught me where to collect 45 years …… Biz taught me how to collect 8 Glue !!”

Missy Elliott added: “I can remember so many times trying to crack a box like you until my lips hurt. Whenever we see each other, your energy is always full of Life / Love / & Good bacteria.

“Your impact in the culture is 4EVER & you will NEVER be forgotten. King rest in peace.”

Biz Markie, pioneering ‘Just A Friend’ rapper, has died aged 57


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