Biz Markie, the rapper whose classic “Just a Friend” was a smash hit in 1989 and has since been sampled in countless songs and videos, died Friday in a Baltimore hospital of complications from diabetes. Hey 57.
TMZ released the story of his death, but weeks before, a series of reports prematurely reported his passing. Those were dispelled by his manager, but it was recognized that he had been in poor health for some time.
A statement from his representatives confirmed the death. “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support we have received during this difficult time. Biz created an art legacy that will always be celebrated by his industry peers and beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members, and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent jokes.
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Born Marcel Theo Hall on April 8, 1964 in Harlem, New York, he adopted the stage name Biz Markie and began his career in New York City nightclubs, expanding to universities.
During his career, he worked as a rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer. His debut album, Leave came out in 1988, led by the single, “Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz”.
His second studio album followed in 1989. The Biz never sleeps featured “Just a friend, “ a lament over the woman’s troubles that featured him rapping and sadly singing about a girlfriend. It rose to No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and was certified platinum.
His third album, I need a haircut, was criticized for a lawsuit by songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan, who claimed that Markie used a sample from his 1972 hit, “Alone Again (Naturally), “ without permission. It turned out to be a landmark court case and led to the album being withdrawn from circulation by Warner Bros. The spending provided a cruel lesson for the hitherto Wild West of sampling, underscoring the need to obtain permission from copyright holders. author before using other people’s music. artists.
Biz Markie’s career was affected by lost momentum, and his fourth album, titled All samples Clear!, it didn’t do particularly well. However, he established himself in the rap pantheon for his previous work and collaborated on several albums by other artists, most notably the Beastie Boys, including his groundbreaking 1992 album. Check your head.
As for acting, Biz Markie made appearances on Fox’s In vivid colors and in the movie Men in Black II. He also appeared on the television series. Fastlane, Kung Faux, Celebrity Fit Club, The Andy Milonakis Show, Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘n Out and dozens of episodes of the Nick Jr. I gabba gabba!
Markie opened the show at Chris Rock’s No apologies tour in 2008, touring other artists but closing with his own big hit. He also appeared in a RadioShack commercial, repeating the line “Oh, Snap! Guess what I saw “from” Just a Friend “.
Later in her career, she appeared as a guest star on the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode “Kenny the Cat” and did voice acting work in an episode of the animation Adventure time.
In 2014, it appeared in Sharknado 2: The Second and appeared in 2016 on the Fox TV series Empire, performing (once again) “Just a Friend”. He was also on the ABC series. Blackish in 2017.
His career culminated in hosting a weekday satellite radio show on SiriusXM.
He is survived by his wife, Tara Hall. No memorial plans have been announced.