Biz Markie, the pioneering rapper, producer, and beatboxer whose sense of humor 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.
“Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years,” Izumi added. “He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter. We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one.”
His cause of death is unclear, but the New York MC (born Marcel Theo Hall) was hospitalized in April 2020 because of diabetes complications and reportedly suffered a stroke while in a diabetic coma last year as well.
Beatboxing his way into the rapidly growing New York hip-hop scene in the mid-1980s, Biz Markie (born Marcel Theo Hall) made his mark with his unique rhyme style, sense of humor, and witty lines that won him the nickname the Clown Prince of Hip-Hop.
May he rest in Power.