Busta Rhymes, Ice-T, Fat Joe, Busy Bee, LL Cool J, and Al B. Sure! were among those who paid tribute to the late rapper Biz Markie, real name Marcel Theo Hall, at a memorial service in Long Island, New York on Monday 2nd August.

Dubbed ‘The Final Show’, a private service was held at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. This was followed by a public memorial to honour the legendary hip hop pioneer. His anthems ‘Vapors’ (1988) and ‘Just A Friend’ (1989) are widely considered genre landmarks. 

The artist tragically died from diabetes complications on 16th July, aged 57, after being hospitalised in April 2020. He also suffered a stroke the same year while in a coma. 

“He was more than just a friend. He was our icon. He was more than just a friend. He was our example! He was more than just a friend! He was our star! He was more than just a friend,” said Reverend Al Sharpton in Markie’s eulogy, referencing the artist’s best-known track. 

“I believe in Marcel’s case, nobody — and I mean nobody — could have rocked the chorus like the iconic, charismatic, signature Biz Markie,” said R&B vocalist Al B. Sure!, who sang on ‘Just A Friend’. 

“Biz was an icon. He is what we call hip-hop,” said Busy Bee, whose name inspired Markie’s moniker, according to a report on Page Six. “He was peace, love, unity, and having fun. That was Biz. Remember, Biz didn’t get killed, he didn’t die in some tragedy. He died in peace.”

“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,” said Markie’s widow, Tara Hall. “Seeing him smile made me smile. He made me laugh every day. That is not hyperbole. That is a fact.”