On Monday, Aug. 2, family, fans and friends made up the hundreds who attended going home services for hip hop legend, Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hall, 57), at the Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts in Patchogue, Long Island, N.Y. He joined the ancestors on July 16 after having complications from diabetes. Attendees displayed mixed emotions while recounting his life and legacy as some of his classic tracks played in the background.
“The thing I’m going to miss the most about him was every time he would see me, his face would just light up with that Chiclet, toothy smile,” recalled his widow, Tara Hall. “He made me laugh every day. That is not hyperbole. That is a fact.”
Initially, the multi-talented Diabolical Biz Markie was primarily known as an MC/beatboxer, beginning in 1984, until his 1989 platinum-plus hit “Just a Friend” which reached VH1’s “100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time.”
As one of the pillars of pioneering hip hop radio deejays Mr. Magic & Marley Marl’s legendary Juice Crew, he inspired many of his contemporaries, and raised the bar for hip hop’s “Golden Era” artists.
“Biz Markie was a legend like before we even came out 30 years ago. He was an entrepreneur. It was somebody who broke barriers down, did things other people wouldn’t do,” said Treach of Naughty by Nature.
Reportedly, a private ceremony was conducted for relatives and close friends prior to the public one, which was also live-streamed. Al B. Sure, Ice T, Fat Joe, Montel Jordan, LL Cool J and Big Daddy Kane were among those who contributed to the “The Final Show.”
“He cared for people, he had a way of making us laugh through our pain,” noted the Rev. Al Sharpton while eulogizing Biz Markie, standing before his black coffin topped with white flowers. “He’d come in a room and his presence didn’t have to be announced, it was felt.”
During the waning years of his career as an on-stage performer, the diabolical one reinvented his career as a popular club DJ.
“I want us to remember a man that had given his life to making us feel better,” Sharpton concluded.