Rolling Stone- Biz Markie, the pioneering rapper, producer, and beatboxer whose jovial goofiness and innovative samples made him a singular presence in hip-hop, died Friday at the age of 57.
“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,” his rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement. “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time.
While a cause of death was not revealed, the rapper had struggled in recent years with health issues related to his decade-long battle with Type 2 diabetes.
This really sucks.
There was a Twitter rumor a few weeks back that Biz Markie had passed (which needs to stop happening) and his manager came out and said he was ok.
Fast forward to today and this drops and it’s a gut punch.
Five albums, beginning with “Goin Off” in 1988, followed by “The Biz Never Sleeps” in 89 helped open hip hop up stylistically thanks to Boz’ unique style. Beatboxing, singing his own choruses, and ridiculous punch lines- Biz helped pioneer it all. Because of this he was dubbed “the clown prince of hip hop”.
His smash hit “Just A Friend” remains one of the top 100 hip hop songs of all time and is still more than rel today.
I’m at dinner typing this on my phone on a web browser ready to fire my phone at the wall so I can’t give him the respect he deserves, but I’ll post something Sunday night for Sunday Night Sample that does him justice.
Rest In Peace Marcell Hall aka Biz Markie.