Hip-hop legend Biz Markie is undergoing medical care, despite reports saying the rapper died, his manager says.
In a Thursday statement to USA TODAY, Markie’s manager confirmed the earlier reports were inaccurate.
“The news of Biz Markie’s passing is not true. Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible,” Markie’s manager Jenni Izumi said. “At this time, we ask for your continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Izumi added:”Biz’s wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers and fans alike.”
The 57-year-old rapper and DJ, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, has been open about having Type 2 diabetes, telling ABC in 2014 about the health risks his doctors said he was facing.
“They said I could lose my feet,” Markie said. “They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”
The New York City native started his mainstream music career with the Juice Crew hip-hop group alongside DJ Marley Marlas the group’s beatboxer. Markie’s solo career gained traction with his hit single ”Just A Friend”from his second studio album “The Biz Never Sleeps.”
The song, which samples Freddie Scott’s ”(You) Got What I Need,” features verses about unrequited affection, with Markie rapping and singing the chorus off tune alongside a piano. The 1989 single stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 22 weeks.
Markie has made many TV and movie appearances according to IMDB, including his appearance on several episodes of the sketch comedy show “In Living Color,” portraying a beatboxing alien in ”Men in Black II” as a beatboxing alien, and had several cameos on the children’s show “Yo Gabba Gabba for his segment “Biz’s Beat of the Day.”
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