PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A funeral for New York rapper Biz Markie was held today on Long Island.
As CBS 2’s Nick Caloway reports, after a lifetime of making music and making people laugh, Biz Markie’s name was on the marquee one last time.READ MORE: NYC Congressional Representatives Call On President Biden To Intervene In Rikers Island Crisis
It was “Just A Friend,” his ode to a broken heart, that shot rapper Biz Markie to stardom in 1989. It was his biggest hit, reaching platinum status.
After a long career rapping and beatboxing, Biz Markie reinvented himself as a successful DJ, inspiring younger generations of artists all along the way.
“So I would use his beatboxing skills and I studied and studied and I would take that with me on tour,” said Clarence KD McNair.
“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.
Born in Harlem, Marcel Theo Hall grew up on Long Island. He died in July at the age of 57.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
His celebration of life in Patchogue was dubbed “The Final Show.” Inside, a private service was held for friends and family. followed by a public service streamed online, with appearances by LL Cool J and Montell Jordan, and eulogized by the Rev. Al Sharpton.
“I want us to remember a man that had given his life to making us feel better,” Sharpton said.
Biz Markie dubbed himself “The Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” but fellow artists remember him as much more.
“I got a chance to tour with Biz. I got a chance to pray with Biz. I’m so – that’s where you’ll see a multitude of emotions from different people throughout the day. I’m actually very joyous, because he and I kind of believed the same thing. And I know I’ll see him again,” Jordan said.
Outside, hundreds of fans came from all over to pay tribute to the late rapper.
“I made sure I got up early enough to be here because I wanted to make sure to be here to pay my respects,” said fan Tamara Branch.MORE NEWS: Man Wanted For Allegedly Touching Woman Inappropriately On Subway
Paying tribute, and playing his music, proving Biz Markie was never short on friends.