Biz Markie, ‘Clown Prince of Hip-Hop’ best known for ‘Just a Friend’, dies at 57 – .

Biz Markie, ‘Clown Prince of Hip-Hop’ best known for ‘Just a Friend’, dies at 57 – .

LOS ANGELES – Biz Markie, a hip-hop staple known for his beatbox prowess, mastery of the turntables and the 1989 classic “Just a Friend” has passed away. He was 57 years old.

Markie’s representative Jenni Izumi said the rapper-DJ passed away peacefully on Friday night with his wife by his side. The cause of death has not been released.

“We are grateful for the many supportive calls and prayers we have received during this difficult time,” Izumi said in a statement. “Biz has created an artistic legacy that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he has touched through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many of his family and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent jokes. “

Markie, whose birth name was Marcel Theo Hall, became known in the rap genre as the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” for his playful lyrics and humorous nature. He made music with the Beastie Boys, opened for Chris Rock’s comedy tour, and was a sought-after DJ for countless star-studded events.

The New York native’s musical career began in 1985 as a beat boxer for Juice Crew, a rap collective he helped Big Daddy Kane join. Three years later, he released his first album “Goin ‘Off”, which featured underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers”.

Markie burst into mainstream music with her platinum record song “Just a Friend”, the first single from her second album “The Biz Never Sleeps”. The Friends Zone Anthem cracked Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Pop Songs and made VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.

Markie, who has released five studio albums in total, has regularly booked more than 175 shows a year, according to the rapper’s website. He has appeared in television shows such as “In Living Color” and the 2002 film “Men in Black II”, in which he played an alien parody of himself in the film starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. .

Markie also taught the beatboxing method on an episode of the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba! ”


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