Don't believe everything you hear. Biz Markie is still alive despite online rumors that the rapper had died, but he's still "under medical care" for undisclosed reasons. Markie, who's sometimes referred to as the "Clown Prince of Hip Hop," was hospitalized for complications with Type II diabetes twice in 2020. There were recently rumors spreading on social media that Markie has since died, but his manager Jenni Izumi said in a statement on Thursday morning that this isn't the case.
"Biz is still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best healthcare possible," Izumi said. "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."
It's certainly good news to know that Markie is still with us, though it's apparent that he's still dealing with some health issues. Izumi didn't state why Markie is currently under medical care and the exact nature of his conditions are unclear. What we do know is that the family appreciates the support coming in from Markie's fans all over the world, so the best thing for fans to do is keep it going.
A rapper, singer, DJ, producer, actor, and writer, Biz Markie's real name is Marcel Theo Hall. He is perhaps best known for his 1989 single "Just a Friend," which was certified platinum after it reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. It was later listed at No. 100 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop special in 2008. Also known for songs like "Vapors," "What Comes Around Goes Around," and "Young Girl Bluez," the rapper would ultimately release five studio albums between 1988 and 2003.
Markie was also a big part of the children's educational series Yo Gabba Gabba!, which aired for four seasons between 2007 and 2015. The "Just a Friend" rapper was featured in a regular segment called Biz's Beat of the Day, with Markie demonstrating new beatboxing beats for young viewers. In 2013, Markie toured with the rest of the Yo Gabba Gabba! Team for a live show.
Last year, Markie started hosting a radio show on SiriusXM's LL Cool J's Rock the Bells Radio. His health took a turn in April of last year when he was hospitalized due to his Type II diabetes. His wife and family have not commented publicly on his condition since July 2020, but in December, it was reported that he was staying in a rehabilitation facility as he health problems continued to worsen.
In a 2014 interview with ABC News, Markie spoke about pursuing a healthier lifestyle, which helped him lose around 140 pounds. At the time, he was concerned about making his diabetes worse. He also expressed his frustration in having to take diabetes medication.
"I wanted to live," Markie said. "Since I have to be a diabetic, If I didn't make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I'm trying to get off [the diabetes meds]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I'm off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest. They said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen."
While his current status is unclear, here's to hoping things turn around for Markie and that he starts getting better soon. This news comes to us from NBC News.