Biz Markie, the rapper, singer, and actor behind the 1989 hit “Just a Friend,” died Friday in Baltimore. He was 57.
Born Marcel Theo Hall on April 8, 1964, in Harlem, N.Y., Markie was raised on Long Island and began his music career performing in nightclubs and colleges, eventually becoming a member of Marley Marl’s famed Juice Crew, where he performed as a beatboxer. Markie made many TV and film appearances, most notably as a rapping alien in “Men in Black II,” and on “Yo Gabba Gabba.” More recently, he appeared in “Empire” and “Black-ish.” He was in production on the film “Chaaw,” which is set for a May 2022 release.
“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 rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement to Rolling Stone.