SOME of the biggest names in hip hop are attending Biz Markie’s funeral service on Long Island today.
The Just A Friend hitmaker passed away age 57 on July 16 from complications with diabetes.
His celebration of life in Patchogue Theatre on Long Island 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 DJ Cool V and Montell Jordan, and eulogized by the Rev Al Sharpton.
Other celebrities such as Fat Joe and Ice-T attended the service for the legendary musician and heard his wife Tara Hall joyfully remember her husband.
She described his “toothy smile” and told the attendees, “he made me laugh every day. That is not hyperbole.”
The service which was live-streamed on BET was attended by so many people it had to be held at the Patchogue Theatre on Long Island.
“Biz was super special. He brought joy to everyone he encountered,” Tara told the crowd.
She also said he loved the TV show Matlock, their Yorkie dog, Major, cereal and especially loved dive-bombing his wife and her daughter, “out of nowhere” as he yelled, “from all angles!”
Biz’s “bonus” daughter Averi also emotionally addressed the service. While Averi was not his biological daughter, the rapper treated her as such, along with a niece of his.
“He used to say to me and my mother, ‘Christmas is all the time’,” she said/
“Christmas is about giving and receiving not only gifts but love, and I felt that every day. … I can’t explain to you all the love that I felt for him. I loved him so much.”
Rev Al Sharpton also delivered a powerful eulogy in memory of his friend.
“If you needed him, he was there,” Sharpton said.
“He was a cultural icon without us exaggerating that. He was a trendsetter. He was a humanitarian. He was somebody who deserved all of the accolades he gets and more because he was us.”
During the public memorial, the rapper’s casket was closed, crowned with a white floral arrangement.
On one side of the casket stood another arrangement spelling out the name “BIZ,” and on the other was an artist painting a portrait of the musician as the ceremony was being held.
The portrait ended up capturing Biz Markie’s mischievous exuberance, portraying him with his mouth agape in a tongue-baring smile.
After the service — at which Biz Markie laid in an open casket, draped in an outfit designed by fellow Harlemite Dapper Dan — the legendary artist was toasted in a public celebration of life live-streamed for fans worldwide.
The New York rapper suffered a stroke and was “in a hospice with significant brain damage,” according to reports on July 1.
But on July 16, TMZ confirmed the rapper’s passing, as a family source said he passed away in a Baltimore hospital.
His wife reportedly held his hand as he took his last breath.
Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, was an American rapper best known for his song Just A Friend.
He adopted his alias after he stepped onto the scene in 1985, at age fourteen, as the beat box backup for Roxanne Shanté of the “Juice Crew.”
His mother used to call him “Biz” because he was such a busybody.
“Markie” is short for Marcel which was his neighborhood nickname.
He starred in the 2002 movie Men In Black II, featuring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
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