The hip hop community is sending well-wishes and prayers on behalf of Biz Markie, who reportedly has been hospitalized for weeks. The 56-year-old rapper is in a Maryland-area hospital for a severe illness related to type 2 diabetes and not COVID-19, according to a TMZ report.
“He is receiving the best care from an amazing team of medical professionals, and we remain positive about the outcome,” said a rep for the rapper, who rose to fame in the 1980s, offering a unique approach to his rhymes — a combination of rapping, singing and beat-boxing. Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, created “Just a Friend,” a song from his second studio album that came to be his most famous and that reached No. 9 on the Billboard charts in 1989. That song has appeared in movies, shows and television commercials.
Since the news, several of Markie’s peers took to social media to send their condolences and well wishes. Fat Joe took his Instagram account and penned a heartfelt tribute to the New York native who inspired him to become a rapper as well. “I met @officialbizmarkie when I was a teenager. He was the first superstar to tell me he believed in me, and I’ll make it. This is so inspirational to me knowing someone who made it to tell me I’ll make it,” Joe wrote underneath a vintage video of him and Markie at a clothing store. He added, “Biz also made my favorite hip hop song ever, ‘Vapos.’ When I grew up, I had nothing, and I told them all I was going to get rich or die trying. I love you Biz. Thank you for always bringing joy to this world.”
The Bronx native concluded his tribute with a call for fans to keep his “brother” in their thoughts and prayers. “And always remember, ‘NOBODY BEATS THE BIZ,’ ” wrote Fat Joe.
Rapper Ice T took to Twitter and wrote, “Just heard @BizMarkie has been in the Hospital… Get well Homie!”
Producer and rapper Missy Elliot tweeted, “Sending Prayers up for our bro @BizMarkie during this time for healing and strength.” The Virginia native attached a throwback video of Markie displaying his infamous beat-boxing skills.
Check out some of the reactions from other stars to Markie’s hospitalization.
During a 2014 interview with ABC News, the rapper spoke about his diabetes diagnosis and revealed that he lost 141 pounds to get it under control, going from 385 pounds to 244 pounds. The rapper even noted that he wanted to go about his weight loss the old-fashioned way and not with a quick-fix surgery.
“I wanted to live. If I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse,” Markie told the outlet. “They said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”