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With news we’re sure no one will be happy to hear, hip-hop pioneer Biz Markie has unfortunately been pronounced dead after weeks of unconfirmed reports surrounding his health spanning from a long battle with diabetes.

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TMZ is exclusively confirming the news via a family source, who says Biz passed away in a Baltimore hospital earlier this evening at 6:25 PM. The outlet also says his wife, Tara Hall, was there to hold his hand for his final breath.

More via TMZ:

TMZ broke the story, Biz was hospitalized last summer for an ailment his rep told us was related to his Type II Diabetes. At the time, the rep said, “He is receiving the best care from an amazing team of medical professionals and we remain positive about the outcome.”

However, his condition remained somewhat of a mystery until April when Big Daddy Kane made an appearance on The Breakfast Club, telling the show’s hosts Biz was doing better, and in a physical rehab facility.
Throughout his hospital stay, rumors swirled Biz was in a coma, but our source says that was never the case.”

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Biz, the Harlem-born, Long Island-raised hitmaker during rap’s Golden Era, made a name for himself due to his unmistakeable skills as human beatbox icon. His place as the “Clown Prince Of Hip Hop” was cemented with Top 40 classics like “Just A Friend,” and he even went on to become a well-respected foodie by teaching a cooking class in Washington, D.C. It goes without saying that his talents were limitless, and we’ll surely miss his presence.

R.I.P. forever, Biz Markie. Reminisce on his classic hit “Just A Friend” below, which definitely afforded the late legend tons of  success decades after the song’s release:

 

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Rapper Biz Markie Passes Away At 57  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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