The late rapper Biz Markie has a day of his own in New York City. Every Aug. 31 will officially be recognized as Biz Markie Day. The Amsterdam News New York reported on Oct. 10 a ceremony at Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater was held to mark the proclamation. Fittingly, those whom Biz Markie inspired were featured performers at the event, including DJ Hollywood, D. Cross, and Oran Juice Jones. Jones paused to briefly his set to reflect on Biz Markie’s influence on Hip-Hop, telling the crowd, “In life, it’s not the journey or destiny that’s important…what’s important is the people you bump into along the way, and I didn’t grow up with him. I bumped into Biz along the way, and every time I bumped into him, he was a beautiful cat.”
Biz Markie was born in Harlem, New York City, and raised on Long Island.
Laurie Cumbo, New York City’s Commissioner of Public Affairs, read the city’s official proclamation of Biz Markie Day, shortly before giving the stage to Biz Markie ‘s widow, Tara Hall. Hall addressed the crowd gathered for the occasion, “I’m so touched right now, I almost was in tears because of the love he’s receiving.”
Hall was at Biz Markie’s side when he passed in 2021. Often referred to as the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop,” struggled with health issues related to a decade-long battle with Type 2 diabetes.
Best known for his 1989 song “Just A Friend,” Biz Markie embodied the best parts of Hip-Hop through his often jovial manner and endorsement of acts like Roxanne Shante. The illness promoted his hospitalization in April 2020. In December 2020, it was reported that Markie in a rehabilitation facility as a result of a stroke he had suffered after going into a diabetic coma. He died at a Baltimore hospital on July 16, 2021, at age 57.
Prior to his death, the rapper had spoken about the mismanagement of his type 2 diabetes. He told USA Today what his doctor informed him could happen as a result.
“They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen,” he said.
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