His family told TMZ that the man behind the hit “Just a Friend” died of complications from diabetes in a Baltimore hospital surrounded by loved ones. He was hospitalized last summer with the same illness.
A representative for Markie, legal name Marcel Theo Hall, confirmed the rapper’s death in a statement noting the massive impact he had made: “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.”
Marcel Theo Hall (April 8, 1964 – July 16, 2021), known professionally as Biz Markie, was an American rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer. He was best known for his 1989 single “Just a Friend”, which became a Top 40 hit in several countries. In 2008, “Just a Friend” made No. 100 on VH1’s list of the 100 greatest hip hop songs of all time.