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Biz Markie, the rapper abaft the iconic 1989 distinct “Just a Friend” who afterwards begin success as a DJ and producer, has died at age 57. His manager, Jenni Izumi, accepted Markie’s afterlife to assorted outlets.

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“Biz created a bequest of ability that will consistently be acclaimed by his industry aeon and his admired admirers whose lives he was able to blow through music, spanning over 35 years,” Izumi said in a statement, per CNN. No account of afterlife was given, but Markie had a history of diabetes, and TMZ addendum his afterlife comes afterwards “a alternation of complications.”

Markie, built-in Marcel Theo Hall in New York City, begin Top 10 blueprint success in his mid-twenties through “Just a Friend”‘s memorably bawl choir and a notable video that saw him dressed as Mozart anguish at a piano. He wrote and co-produced the song, which hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went platinum in 1990.

Before that, Markie had been a acknowledged beatboxer and rapper in New York’s arising assertive hip-hop scene. “I started out as a animal beatbox, and again I progressed into a rapper,” he told MTV News in 1990. He shined as allotment of the rap aggregate Juice Crew alongside Big Daddy Kane and affecting ambassador Marley Marl. “Just a Friend” fabricated him a pop brilliant — and by 1996, he appeared on DJ Kool’s “Let Me Clear My Throat” remix with Doug E. Fresh, cementing his abode in addition iconic pop-culture moment; the song lives on in sports arenas and affair soundtracks.

In the aboriginal 1990s, hip-hop was still an emerging, mutating genre, and one of its better battles came via producers’ and rappers’ use of samples. A alternation of battleground lawsuits brought this to the fore, including one by Irish songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan that targeted Markie for his 1991 song “Alone Again,” which sampled O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)” anatomy 1972.

The cardinal from the case, Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc., declared that crooked samples are a anatomy of absorb infringement, consistently alteration the music industry and, best directly, hip-hop. Markie, accepted as abundant for his faculty of amusement as his agreeable prowess, called his 1993 anthology All Samples Cleared!.

In total, he appear bristles albums throughout his career, the aftermost of which, 2003’s Weekend Warrior, featured collaborations with Diddy and DJ Jazzy Jeff. He was a common bedfellow on Beastie Boys albums, appeared on Will Smith’s 1999 anthology Willennium, and took centermost date on The Avalanches’s 2016 consciousness-expanding song “The Noisy Eater.”

Markie begin affluence of success as a DJ and alike fabricated a few blur and television appearances, including a notable arena in 2002’s Men in Black II area he beatboxes to Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as an conflicting postal worker. Added recently, he appeared on Empire and Black-ish, and affluence of SpongeBob admirers accept acicular out on amusing media that he accurate Kenny the Cat. His “Look Around” song from a 2010 Yo Gabba Gabba! adventure is an complete smasher.

Throughout his career, Markie consistently knew who he was. “My appearance of music is blue and unpredictable,” he told MTV News, “but you consistently can see that it will be a hit.”

Friends, fans, and collaborators — including Missy Elliott, Q-Tip, Mark Ronson, and added — accept paid accolade to the backward rapper on amusing media.

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