Biz Markie, known for classic rap song ‘Just a Friend,’ dies

LOS ANGELES – Biz Markie, a hip-hop staple regarded for his beatboxing prowess, turntable mastery and the 1989 basic “Just a Close friend,” has died. He was 57.

Markie’s agent, Jenni Izumi, stated the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday evening with his spouse by his facet. The trigger of demise has not been released.

“We are grateful for the numerous calls and prayers of guidance that we have acquired for the duration of this hard time,” Izumi reported in a assertion. “Biz made a legacy of artistry that will endlessly be celebrated by his field friends and his beloved enthusiasts whose lives he was in a position to touch as a result of music, spanning above 35 yrs. He leaves at the rear of a spouse, lots of relatives associates and close pals who will miss his vivid temperament, continuous jokes and regular banter.”

Markie, who beginning identify was Marcel Theo Hall, turned acknowledged within just the rap genre realm as the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” for his lighthearted lyrics and humorous nature. He designed songs with the Beastie Boys, opened for Chris Rock’s comedy tour and was a sought-right after DJ for numerous star-studded occasions.


The New York-native’s audio occupation commenced in 1985 as a defeat boxer of the Juice Crew, a rap collective he assisted Massive Daddy Kane join. A few several years later on, he unveiled his debut album “Goin’ Off,” which featured underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”

Markie broke into mainstream music with his platinum-selling song “Just a Good friend,” the lead solitary on his sophomore album “The Biz In no way Sleeps.” The pal-zone anthem cracked Rolling Stone’s top 100 pop tracks and designed VH1’s listing of 100 greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

“This one hurts baad … RIP to my Aries bro…” Q-Suggestion of A Tribe Called Quest explained on Twitter, wherever an outpouring of mourning for Markie was rising, “ahhh guy @BizMarkie damn im gonna miss out on u so so numerous memories.”

Questlove stated he discovered from Markie early in his career.

“Biz constructed me gentleman,” Questlove posted on Instagram along with a photograph of him and Markie. “In my early early levels it was Biz who taught me the Authentic sites to cop records….Biz taught me what metropolitan areas had good digging…..Biz taught me wherever to gather 45s……Biz taught me in which to acquire 8Observe TAPES!!”


Right after two thriving albums, Markie was served with a copyright infringement lawsuit for a track on his 3rd studio album “I Will need a Haircut” in 1991. He and his label, Warner Bros Documents, were being sued by Irish singer Gilbert O’Sullivan who claimed that things from his 1972 hit “Alone Once more (Naturally)” ended up illegally sampled in Markie’s “Alone Again”

The decide dominated to halt additional distribution of the album, which was reissued devoid of the illegal monitor. The judgment also improved the landscape of audio sampling by dictating they were preapproved by the authentic operator.

Even with the setback, Markie introduced his fourth album “All Samples Cleared!” in 1993 that was an clear reference to the courtroom struggle. He produced his remaining album “Weekend Warrior” a ten years later.

Markie stored his identify pertinent as he consistently booked much more than 175 shows a year, in accordance to the rapper’s web page. He’s appeared on tv displays such as “In Living Color,” “Empire” along with “black-ish” and the 2002 movie “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 technique of beatboxing in an episode of the children’s display “Yo Gabba Gabba!”

“We misplaced a different Rap legend Mr. Biz Markie,” Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins tweeted. “To a lot of us he was much more than Just a Mate.”

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