Biz Markie, the Just A Friend rapper whose legal troubles altered the makeup of hip-hop, dies at 57 from complications of diabetes
- The rapper Biz Markie (born Marcel Theo Hall) died Friday night in a Baltimore hospital at age 57, TMZ reports
- Markie reportedly died of complications of type 2 diabetes, which he had been suffering from throughout the past year
- He was best known as a one-hit wonder with the classic track Just A Friend
- But Markie inadvertently changed the face of rap after he was sued for using uncleared samples in 1991, leading to the current era of sparser sampling
Biz Markie, the rapper who rose to fame with the one-hit wonder Just A Friend, has died at age 57.
The hip-hop legend died at a Baltimore hospital on Friday night from complications of diabetes, TMZ reports.
Although Markie was best known for his instantly catching song and other tunes, he inadvertently helped to end an era of unchecked sampling in hip-hop as the result of a 1991 lawsuit against him.
End of an era: The rapper Biz Markie, who rose to fame with the one-hit wonder Just A Friend, died Friday at age 57 from complications related to his type 2 diabetes, TMZ reported; seen in 2018 in LA
A representative for the late rapper shared a statement about his death to TMZ.
‘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,’ they said.
‘He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.’
Markie had previously been hospitalized in the summer of 2020 due to health issues related to his type 2 diabetes.
Legend: ‘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,’ his representative told TMZ; seen in 1988