Rapper Biz Markie, known for his hit “Just a Friend,” has died. He was 57.
His death was confirmed by manager Jenni Izumi, The New York Times reported. The cause of death was not released.
The rapper, who was born Marcel Theo Hall, got the nickname Clown Prince of Hip-Hop for his irreverent rhymes and self-deprecating humor.
“When I felt that I was good enough, I went to Marley Marl’s house and sat on his stoop every day until he noticed me, and that’s how I got my start,” he said.
His single “Just a Friend” about being unlucky in love became a surprising smash hit in 1989. The song went platinum and reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart.
The off-tune chorus made the song memorable.
“Oh, baaaaby, you/You got what I neeeeeed/But you say he’s just a friend/But you say he’s just a friend.”
Biz Markie said later that he was not even supposed to sing that part of the song.
“I asked people to sing the part, and nobody showed up at the studio,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “So I did it myself.”
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