Another star of the American hip-hop scene has passed away. Biz Markie was only 57 years old. He is next in a line of rappers who shaped the genre and whose lives ended early.

New York (AP) – American rapper Biz Markie, who had his biggest hit in 1989 with “Just A Friend”, has passed away. The musician died Friday night at the age of 57 in Baltimore in the presence of his wife Tara, his confirmed director Jenni Izumi for CNN and other US media.

Information on the cause of death was initially not released.

Markie was nicknamed “The Diabolical” and was also known as the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop” because of his funny lyrics. He was born under his real name Marcel Theo Hall in 1964 in the Harlem neighborhood of New York and raised on Long Island just outside the city.

He was originally known as a beatbox artist and was part of the genre-defining Juice Crew. In 1998, he also made an appearance in the song “Will Smith, Meer Gayne” by German band Fünf Sterne Deluxe. He was hospitalized in 2020 with severe diabetes.

Biz Markie’s death marks the last in a long line of rap artists to die in recent months. The best known case: Earl Simmons, known as DMX and with tracks like “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” or “X Gon ‘Give It To Ya”, an industry superstar at the turn of the millennium. Her death at the age of 50 on April 9 after a heart attack and days of artificial respiration caused great consternation among fans and colleagues.

On April 17, rapper Black Rob (“Whoa”), who rose to fame alongside P. Diddy, passed away at the age of 51. Gift of Gab, born in 1971 and co-founder of the duo Blackalicious, died on June 18 of kidney problems.

In recent years, however, the violent deaths of stars of the genre have made headlines again and again: King Von (hit album: “Welcome to O’Block”), who died in November 2020 after a shooting in Atlanta, n ‘ was only 26 years old. old. In March 2019, Nipsey Hussle was gunned down outside his Los Angeles clothing store at the age of 33. These set dramas brought back memories of the 1990s, when the murders of Tupac Shakur, 25, and Notorious BIG, 24, held the music world in turmoil.

“We are mourning a real son of Harlem tonight,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter on the occasion of Biz Markie’s death. With a distinctly New York sense of humor, he turned hip-hop upside down.