The music business and his wide legion of followers were rocked by the news of Biz Markie’s tragic death. Celebrities and other artists went to social media to pay their respects, and the outpouring is a testament to his lasting impact on hip-hop.
When one investigates the circumstances surrounding the rapper’s health, it becomes clear that the “Just a Friend” hitmaker battled a number of health issues, especially in the final years of his life.
Biz Markie Cause Of Death
Rapper Biz Markie, often known as the Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, passed away on Friday from unspecified circumstances. He was 57.
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“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,” a spokesman for the “Just a Friend” rapper said in a statement to EW.
The statement continued: “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. 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.”
TMZ claimed the rapper died from “a series of complications from diabetes that he’s been fighting for more than a year,” yet EW was given no official cause of death.
In 2010, Hall received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. He stated that he reduced his weight through physical activity and dietary changes in an interview with the New York Daily News published in September 2013.
A year later, he said,“I wanted to live. Since I have to be a diabetic, if I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I’m trying to get off [the diabetes meds]. The way you gotta do it is to lose weight. I’m off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest.”
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) July 17, 2021
Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall and who was born in April of 1964, was supposedly dead at the beginning of July. Despite denying the accusations, his manager said the hip-hop legend was “still under medical care” and “surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible.”
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Hall’s representatives revealed to TMZ in July 2020 that the actor had spent weeks in a hospital in the Maryland area owing to issues with diabetes. Then, in April of this year, rapper Big Daddy Kane revealed on The Breakfast Club that Hall had suffered a stroke and was making a full recovery.
“He’s in rehabilitation now. He’s getting better and stronger every day,” Kane said at the time. “Last time I talked to him on the phone, he got a real light voice, but last time I talked on the phone. He stuck his middle finger up at me, so I think he’s coming along.”
Hall’s first album as Biz Markie, Goin’ Off, was published in 1988, and featured the single “Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz” as well as other hits including “Vapors” and “Nobody Beats the Biz.” A year later, on his Biz Never Sleeps album, he released the song “Just a Friend,” which would go on to become his biggest success.
“I just wanted to make a story rap record, not to go pop or anything,” Hall told EW in an interview published in 2019 to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the friends-zone jam, on which he raps and sings interchangeably over a sample of Freddie Scott’s “You Got What I Need.” In 2008, the song was included on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Hip Hop history.
As soon as “Howard Stern and Frankie Crocker and all the white stations in the country started playing it,” Hall realized the song had become a national triumph. Because I toured the country promoting the album on my own dime and expense account. Three more studio albums and a handful of compilations followed for the hip-hop superstar.