Rapper, producer, DJ and human beatbox Biz Markie has died at 57, due to complications from Type II Diabetes and reportedly suffered a stroke.
Born Marcel Theo Hall on April 8, 1964 in Harlem, N.Y., Biz Markie was best known for his extraordinary skills as a beatboxer and his 1989 hit “Just a Friend” The single from his second album The Biz Never Sleeps reached No. 9 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
Biz created a legacy that will never be duplicated but always respected by the hip-hop community for decades to come.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, hip-hop legend 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 of artistry that will forever 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 his wife, many family members, daughter and close friends and fans that will miss him dearly.
His final studio album was 2003’s Weekend Warrior, but he continued to tour as a DJ.