Biz Markie has died at 57.
A source close to the family tells TMZ that the legendary rapper passed away in a Baltimore hospital at 6:25 p.m. on Friday night (July 16). His wife, Tara Hall, reportedly held his hand as he took his last breath.
Biz, born Marcel Hall, had been in hospice care and dealing with health complications in recent years. In late 2020, he suffered a stroke while being hospitalized for complications with Type 2 diabetes.
Late last month, there were premature reports of his death, prompting a response from his family and friends including Big Daddy Kane. “Please keep my brother in your prayers,” the hip-hop legend said at the time. “Yes, he has some serious health issues, but he is still alive, and his wife would like y’all to respect his privacy.”
The Harlem-born rapper, who was nicknamed the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop,” was best known for his hit single “Just a Friend” off his 1989 album The Biz Never Sleeps. The song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum.
In the wake of his passing, the hip-hop community took to social media to mourn the loss.
This one hurts baad … RIP to my Aries bro… ahhh man @BizMarkie damn im gonna miss u so so many memories.. hurts bad. My FRIEND
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) July 17, 2021
Travel safe OG. Rest in Power to the legend Biz Markie. Love & Respect. pic.twitter.com/x3eMEFAvnA
— Immortal Technique (@ImmortalTech) July 17, 2021
BIZ MARKIE 👑 🙏🏽
— MARSHA AMBROSIUS © (@MarshaAmbrosius) July 17, 2021