Biz Markie, Legendary Rapper Behind ‘Just a Friend,’ Dead at 57

Considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop melodies of all time.

Music
12,470 Hypes 18 Comments

Biz Markie, the rapper and cultural icon known for his Top 40 single “Just a Friend,” has died at the age of 57. The cause of death has not yet been publicized.

“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 representative Jenni Izumi said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “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,” she 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.”

In June, rumors had spread on social media that the rapper — whose real name is Marcel Hall — had died after seeking medical care, which Izumi was quick to dispel. According to Pitchfork, the artist was previously hospitalized in 2020 for an illness related to type 2 diabetes.

Markie, who had been dubbed the “Clown Prince of hip-hop,” first came on the scene in the 1980s after releasing his debut album Goin’ Off. Born in Harlem and raised in Long Island, the MC released several studio albums over the course of his 30-plus-year career, finding critical acclaim with his melodic hip-hop ballad “Just a Friend.” The song reached  No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and was listed on VH1’s 100 greatest hip hop songs of all time. The former Juice Crew member was also renowned for his beatboxing skills.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

This Detroit Rapper's Comeback Just Produced Hip-Hop's Next Viral Hit
Music

This Detroit Rapper's Comeback Just Produced Hip-Hop's Next Viral Hit

This song goes so hard it makes Meek Mill’s intros seem tame.

Chris Brown Faces Charges Over a Pet Monkey
Music

Chris Brown Faces Charges Over a Pet Monkey

Don’t share everything on social media.

Rihanna Offers a Behind-the-Scenes Look at "Bitch Better Have My Money"
Music

Rihanna Offers a Behind-the-Scenes Look at "Bitch Better Have My Money"

RiRi takes us behind the scenes of her hit single.


KYLE. featuring Kehlani - Just A Picture
Music 

KYLE. featuring Kehlani - Just A Picture

KYLE. continues his exploration of catchy, snyhthesizer-infused pop sounds with his latest song

Amazon Just Got Approved To Monitor You While You’re Asleep
Tech

Amazon Just Got Approved To Monitor You While You’re Asleep

How that technology will be used is still unclear.

Whim Golf Sets New Beginnings With SS22 Collection
Fashion

Whim Golf Sets New Beginnings With SS22 Collection

Combining a performance-driven side with product original fabric designs.

Winner of $28 Million USD Blue Origin Space Ticket Can’t Go Anymore Due to 'Scheduling Conflicts'
Tech 

Winner of $28 Million USD Blue Origin Space Ticket Can’t Go Anymore Due to 'Scheduling Conflicts'

The mystery millionaire has chosen to fly on another date.

Joshua Vides Slams Peacebird Men Over Fraudelent Collaboration
Art

Joshua Vides Slams Peacebird Men Over Fraudelent Collaboration

Featuring installations and a whole range of products that the Chinese label made without the artist’s consent.

New NASA Images Show Drastic Effects of California Drought
Tech

New NASA Images Show Drastic Effects of California Drought

Snow has completely melted almost a month ahead of schedule in the Sierra Nevada.


Pop Smoke and Future Party at a Club in New Visual for 'Mr. Jones'
Music

Pop Smoke and Future Party at a Club in New Visual for 'Mr. Jones'

The song is on the late rapper’s posthumous album, ‘Faith.’

ICECREAM Joins Forces with Black Sand Surf for Exclusive Capsule Collection
Fashion

ICECREAM Joins Forces with Black Sand Surf for Exclusive Capsule Collection

Moving towards a more multicultural, harmonious future for the sport of surfing.

Y-3 Wants You To Disappear With Its FW21 Collection
Fashion

Y-3 Wants You To Disappear With Its FW21 Collection

Elevating Y-3’s functional designs with new stylistic elements.

Dwayne Johnson Says 'Black Adam' Was the "Hardest Undertaking" of His Entire Career
Entertainment

Dwayne Johnson Says 'Black Adam' Was the "Hardest Undertaking" of His Entire Career

The film has officially wrapped production.

Sherrie Levine Challenges the Canon of Art History in "Hong Kong Dominoes"
Art

Sherrie Levine Challenges the Canon of Art History in "Hong Kong Dominoes"

On view at Hong Kong’s David Zwirner gallery.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Adblock Detected.

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. If you enjoy our content, please add us to your adblocker's whitelist. We'd really appreciated it.