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 typical “Just a Close friend,” has died. He was 57.

Markie’s agent, Jenni Izumi, mentioned the rapper-DJ died peacefully Friday night with his wife by his facet. The cause of dying has not been launched.

“We are grateful for the several phone calls and prayers of assist that we have obtained for the duration of this tough time,” Izumi reported in a assertion. “Biz created a legacy of artistry that will without end be celebrated by his marketplace friends and his beloved supporters whose life he was capable to touch via tunes, spanning above 35 yrs. He leaves guiding a spouse, a lot of household customers and shut buddies who will overlook his lively identity, frequent jokes and recurrent banter.”

Markie, who beginning name was Marcel Theo Hall, turned recognized in the rap genre realm as the self-proclaimed “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” for his lighthearted lyrics and humorous mother nature. He made audio with the Beastie Boys, opened for Chris Rock’s comedy tour and was a sought-following DJ for countless star-studded situations.


The New York-native’s audio career began in 1985 as a beat boxer of the Juice Crew, a rap collective he served Massive Daddy Kane be a part of. 3 several years later, he launched his debut album “Goin’ Off,” which showcased underground hits “Vapors” and “Pickin’ Boogers.”

Markie broke into mainstream songs with his platinum-providing song “Just a Friend,” the guide single on his sophomore album “The Biz Never ever Sleeps.” The mate-zone anthem cracked Rolling Stone’s major 100 pop tracks and built VH1’s list of 100 biggest hip-hop songs of all time.

“This one particular hurts baad … RIP to my Aries bro…” Q-Idea of A Tribe Termed Quest mentioned on Twitter, the place an outpouring of mourning for Markie was expanding, “ahhh gentleman @BizMarkie damn im gonna skip u so so numerous recollections.”

Questlove stated he uncovered from Markie early in his job.

“Biz constructed me man,” Questlove posted on Instagram alongside with a photograph of him and Markie. “In my early early levels it was Biz who taught me the True areas to cop records….Biz taught me what towns had good digging…..Biz taught me where by to obtain 45s……Biz taught me the place to obtain 8Monitor TAPES!!”


Soon after two productive albums, Markie was served with a copyright infringement lawsuit for a track on his third studio album “I Need to have a Haircut” in 1991. He and his label, Warner Bros Information, ended up sued by Irish singer Gilbert O’Sullivan who claimed that aspects from his 1972 strike “Alone Once again (By natural means)” have been illegally sampled in Markie’s “Alone Again”

The judge dominated to halt further distribution of the album, which was reissued with no the unlawful keep track of. The judgment also modified the landscape of music sampling by dictating they were preapproved by the unique proprietor.

Inspite of the setback, Markie unveiled his fourth album “All Samples Cleared!” in 1993 that was an evident reference to the court docket fight. He launched his final album “Weekend Warrior” a 10 years afterwards.

Markie saved his name appropriate as he constantly booked far more than 175 displays a year, according to the rapper’s web site. He’s appeared on television shows together with “In Dwelling Shade,” “Empire” together with “black-ish” and the 2002 film “Men in Black II,” in which he played an alien parody of himself in the movie starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.


Markie also taught the approach of beatboxing in an episode of the children’s clearly show “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 extra than Just a Pal.”

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