Rapper, singer and actor Biz Markie died Friday in Baltimore, according to their representatives. The Harlem-born artist and hip hop pioneer had “his wife Tara by his side” when she passed away from complications from diabetes. Hey 57.
Born Marcel Theo Hall, the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop” had its biggest hit in 1989 with the ubiquitous song “Just A Friend” from his album. The Biz never sleeps. The track spent 26 weeks in BillboardHot 100 chart, reaching number five. The comic song about romantic frustration appeared in a video that begins with a group of young people performing. the dozen and shows Biz singing on the piano dressed as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The track is a rendition of Freddie Scott’s 1968 R&B tune. “(You have what I need, “Which has the same melody but doesn’t end with an” oh, snap! “
Markie’s career began in clubs from New York to Washington, DC, and her first album, 1988’s Leave presented the clandestine hit “Nobody beats the cake. “It is not only sampled Steve Miller but quoted from a particularly annoying jingle for a now defunct local electronics chain.
His third album, I need a haircut, which came out in 1991, which was a turning point for hip hop and copyright law. The soft rocker of the 1970s Gilbert O’Sullivan sued for unauthorized use of a sample of his song “Alone again … naturally)“On Markie’s track”Just one more time. “The suit had lasting repercussions for the music business. Markie’s next album was shamelessly called All samples erased!
In the 1990s, Markie began to appear in film and television, first in Robert Townsendsuperhero movie The meteorite man and on sketch comedy shows like In vivid colors. He played an alien in Barry sonnenfeld2002 hit Men in black ii, who met him with Will Smith. (He rapped on the song “So Fresh” from Smith’s 1999 album Willenium.) The ’90s and early’ 90s also saw Markie make guest appearances on various Beastie Boys albums.
As an actor, Markie lent his voice as the host of the Comedy Central series. Crank Yankers. His longest television puppetry career was with Nickelodeon I gabba gabba! He appeared in 44 episodes (as himself) from 2007 to 2019 and was also in the I gabba gabba! Live! Show.
Biz’s passing drew many tributes from colleagues and fans online.