Today’s terrible news for the hip-hop community is that rapper Biz Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, has died at the age of 57 due to complications from diabetes, according to TMZ. He was hospitalized with the same problem in 2020, and he has already succumbed to the condition. According to TMZ, the rapper died around 6:25 p.m. tonight in a Baltimore hospital, according to a family source.
The rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer was a multi-talented artist and entertainer who earned the label “Clown Prince Of Hip-Hop.” He was a member of the Juice Crew, based in New York, and was best known for rhymes written by Big Daddy Kane (also of the Juice Crew).
His debut album Goin’ Off was released in 1988 and included underground singles “Nobody Beats The Biz” and “Vapors.” His second album, The Biz Never Sleeps came out just a year later, and even if you’re unfamiliar with Biz Markie’s extended catalogue, odds are most people have heard his breakout hit from this record, “Just A Friend.” After its release in 1989, it became a global hit, and still gets played even today, decades later.
His third album, I Need A Haircut, was released in 1991, followed by All Samples Cleared! in 1993. That title alludes to a historic sample case in which one of his songs, “Alone Again,” was involved. Weekend Warrior, his final solo album, was released in 2003. Markie was an on-screen personality and a comedian in addition to his music career, including appearances in Men In Black II and a spell opening for Chris Rock’s “No Apologies” tour in 2008.
A legend has died. May he rest in peace.