Biz Markie, the beloved hip-hop legend, is in poor health. The "Just a Friend" rapper has been out of the public eye for a while, and rumors falsely swirled that he had died on June 30. However, as of July 1, Biz Markie was still alive but dealing with concerning issues, according to his representative.
The rumor first spread when DJ Webstar, the producer behind the 2006 hit "Chicken Noodle Soup," posted that Biz Markie died, as did The Shade Room, a prominent celebrity and music gossip outlet. Social media users claimed Biz Markie died due to complications of type 2 diabetes but could not be confirmed that night, and the initial postings were soon deleted. Manager Jenni Izumi denied that Biz Markie died in a statement sent to multiple media outlets shortly thereafter.
"The news of Biz Markie's passing is not true," Izumi said. "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."
Rap legend Big Daddy Kane also addressed Biz Markie's condition and slammed those who spread false death rumors. "For those concerned, Biz Markie is still alive," he said in a July 1 Instagram video. "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. 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. Keep my brother Biz in your prayers."
As of press time, there are no further updates on Biz Markie's condition. The rapper is known to most for his iconic song "Just a Friend," taken from his 1989 album The Biz Never Sleeps. Its chorus has become a chant often sang by crowds at concerts, sporting events and other gatherings. It's a hip-hop staple and Biz Markie's best-known work. However, the rapper (real name Marcel Theo Hall) also recorded fan favorites "Vapors," "Nobody Beats the Biz" and "Spring Again."
Outside of music, Biz Markie is a large figure in popular culture due to work in TV and film. He has appeared in movies like Men in Black II, The Meteor Man and Sharknado 2: The Second One, as well as TV shows including In Living Color, Black-ish, Empire, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Hip-Hop Squares and Celebrity Fit Club. Biz Markie also had a solid voiceover work resume, with his vocal performances being heard on Crank Yankers, Adventure Time and SpongeBob SquarePants.