The death of legendary rapper and “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” Biz Markie on Friday sparked a wave of gratitude and admiration from fans and fellow performers.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce, tonight, with his wife Tara by his side, hip-hop pioneer Biz Markie has passed away peacefully,” manager Jenni Izumi said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News on Friday. . “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. “
The cause of death was not immediately made public. However, Markie, 57, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her late forties and was hospitalized last year for an extended period due to complications from the disease, according to TMZ.
Markie – whose first name was Marcel Theo Hall – was born in Harlem, New York, and was known for his beatboxing and goofy character.
He was best known for his 1989 platinum single, “Just A Friend,” and went on to make some well-received cameos in the film. Men in Black II and as Kenny the cat in the series Sponge Bob SquarePants. He also appeared on the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba, where he taught kids to beatbox.
Although he never again had a hit that achieved the same popularity as “Just A Friend,” he was friends with many other artists, including Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J and Questlove, and collaborated with some of them.
On Friday, friends and fans shared memories and favorite clips of Markie performing on social media.
In a tearful video posted to Instagram, LL Cool J said he remembered “running in Queens and Long Island” with Markie when the two were younger, and being with Markie in the sub. ground of his grandmother when he misinterpreted the song “Rock the Bells”.
“I’m glad we got to do what we have to do towards the end. … I love you man, peace, ”said LL Cool J.
Musician Questlove also shared an emotional post on Instagram, writing about everything he learned from Markie. He also called Markie DJ back at a White House Correspondents’ Dinner and he lit up the room.
“Biz built me up man,” Questlove wrote. “This cat was one in a million. I will never forget my first time at #NerdProm during O’s first term and Biz was the dj and I asked him ‘what is the Wobble –– BIZ loved having you if you weren’t at the running something –– ‘AYE VAUGHN, he doesn’t know The Wobble !!!’… he plays it and I’ve never seen a black song transform an entire costume room – the press / White House staff / even Rachel Maddow fled behind the bar (she was serving drinks) and went downstairs. “
Artists like Missy Elliot also mourned Markie’s death and spoke about its impact.
“I remember so many times trying to box like you until my lips are sore,” Missy Elliott wrote. “Your impact in culture is 4EVER. “
Actor Kerry Washington gave Markie’s music credit for teaching him “how to let music live in my body”.
“We were amazed,” Washington wrote. “He was a genius. “
Artist Fab 5 Freddy celebrated Markie’s “unique genius of comedic hip hop” and shared a clip from Kool G Rap’s music video for “Erase Racism,” saying Markie’s lyrics made “smile and think what racism is stupid ”.
DJ Rhettmatic called Markie, quite simply, a “hero”.
“I grew up doing breakdancing to your music and it was an honor to share the stage with you! A true innovator in the field of music! New Kids On The Block frontman Danny Wood wrote.
Other hip-hop artists also mourned Markie’s death, calling him a “king” and a “legend.”
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D also shared his own post in mourning several recently deceased hip-hop artists including DMX, MF Doom, Gift of Gab and now Markie.
DJ Flipout also shared a recording of a call with Markie, in which the rapper called after breaking a copy of his “Let Me Turn You On” single, and wanted to buy Flipout to replace it.
“He said he stepped on his copy, broke it and cried,” Flipout wrote. “But now I’m crying. Rest in peace BIZ. “
Fans also shared their favorite clips of Markie, including her iconic performance in Men in Black II, and some of chance encounters where Markie improvised on the spot.
Fan thanked Markie for teaching her daughter to beatbox on the show Yo Gabba Gabba.
And, in a thread a few days before Markie’s death, musician and music writer Sahan Jayasuriya asked people to send positive energy to the rapper, who he said had health issues.
Jayasuriya wrote a long thread on Markie’s contributions and said that “the world fell in love with the business from the moment he arrived and really embraced him for the person he is because no one beats him”.