Biz Markie’s manager has confirmed the rapper is still alive amid rumours circulating online that the New York rap icon had died.
“The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true,” the rapper’s manager said in a statement reported by Pitchfork. “Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible.
“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.”
Biz’s longtime friend and collaborator Big Daddy Kane later took to Instagram to express his disdain for those who spread misinformation about Biz.
“Please keep my brother in your prayers. Yes, he has some serious health issues, but he is still alive, and his wife would like y’all to respect his privacy,” Kane said. “And remember—it’s better for you to get the news correct than get the news first. Check your facts, people. And Wikipedia, do better.”
The rumours follow a number of the rapper’s previous health scares: Biz was hospitalised in 2020 for an undisclosed illness related to Type II Diabetes, and reportedly suffered a stroke.
Biz Markie, born Marcel Theo Hall, is a Harlem rapper best known for his 1989 radio hit “Just a Friend.” He’s been referred to as the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop” and has made several appearances in film and television including Men In Black II, Celebrity Fit Club, and Empire.
Although Biz has not put out a solo album since 2003’s Weekend Warrior, he contributed music to Yo Gabba Gabba in 2009 and Aquabats Radio Down! the year after. He was also featured on Cut Chemist’s track “Moonlightin’ with Biz” in 2018.