Beloved rapper Biz Markie has passed away. He was just 57.
On Friday, July 16, TMZ confirmed that Biz Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, died after battling complications from diabetes. Reportedly, Biz passed away on Friday evening in a Baltimore hospital with his wife, Tara Hall, and other family members by his side.
While Biz’s debut album, 1988’s Goin’ Off, is considered classic that featured cuts like “The Vapors,” “Nobody Beats The Biz” and “This Is Something For The Radio,” he received crossover success a year later with his megahit “Just A Friend” from his sophomore album, The Biz Never Sleeps. His third album, I Need A Haircut, would change the Hip-Hop industry due to Biz and the label getting sued due to uncleared samples on the project.
A couple of weeks ago, the legendary rapper’s death was prematurely and erroneously reported. Big Daddy Kane took to social media to relay that Biz was indeed in ill health, he was still battling and needed your prayers.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, hip hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” said Biz’s rep, Jenni Izumi, in a statement. “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time. Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”
The tributes are pouring in to salute the Hip-Hop legend. Rest in powerful peace Biz Markie.