NCIS: Los Angeles star and music legend LL Cool J sends out his love over the tragic death of his friend and fellow icon, Biz Markie.
“Rest in power Biz… I love you bro,” LL Cool J captions the heartfelt, tearful video for his late friend. The world learned of classic hip-hop rapper and producer Marcel Theo Hall’s death Friday, July 16. TMZ reports the icon, known to fans the world over as Biz Markie, passed at 6:25 p.m. Eastern. He was surrounded by his wife, Tara Hall, and family at the time of his death.
The trade cites complications from worsening Type 2 diabetes as the cause. Biz was 57-years-old.
“I just want to say… Rest in power, Biz Mark, my friend. We have so many memories, man. He was in the basement of my grandmother’s house when I wrote ‘Rock the Bells’,” LL Cool J says of his dear friend and colleague on Instagram Friday.
“We used to always hang out back in the days, running around Queens… Long Island… And I’m glad we got to do some of the things we got to do towards the end, man. Love you bro.”
Within the heart-wrenching video, LL sends love to “the fans – your millions of fans across the world… I send my love to your family, your wife, to your management. Rest in power, bro. Love you, man.”
The Life of Hip-Hop Legend Biz Markie
Sadly, family, friends, and some fans knew Biz’s final days were at hand. Early July brought rumors – and even false reports – that the rap icon had passed on. His manager, Jenni Izumi, would refute the claims, telling NBC News that: “Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible.”
Izumi cited that Hall’s family was aware the outpouring of love and support during his battle with advanced diabetes, adding: “Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike… At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Native to Harlem, Marcel Theo Hall was born April 8, 1964 in the Manhattan suburb. During his lifetime, Biz Markie took music charts by storm with his genre-transcending hit “Just a Friend.” Biz would offer much more, but his legacy is forever bound to this timeless smash release. Within, the iconic rapper and producer poured his love of multiple genres and his own comedic stylings into one of the greatest Hip-Hop/Pop mash-ups of all time.
“Just a Friend” would climb to No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 all the way back in 1989. This was a tremendous feat in an age when the genre was still getting legs in popular culture.
From there, the sky was the limit. From recording with The Beastie Boys, Wu-Tang Clan and Slick Rick, to appearing in the Men in Black franchise and countless other film & television roles celebrating his uniqueness, Biz Markie would be everywhere – and beloved for it the world over.
Rest In Peace, Biz Markie.