Rapper Biz Markie has been hospitalized for several weeks with complications from Type 2 diabetes, according to multiple news reports.
The 56-year-old Markie, whose real name is Marcel Theo Hall, is being treated in the Maryland area for a serious illness related to his diabetes, TMZ reported, clarifying the musician did not have the coronavirus.
His current condition was unclear.
“He is receiving the best care from an amazing team of medical professionals and we remain positive about the outcome,” said a representative for the musician, according to TMZ.
“We are grateful for the concern from his fans and industry peers but respectfully request privacy for Biz and his family at this time,” Markie’s manager Jenni Izumi said in a statement to WUSA9′s Delia Goncalves.
A pioneer rapper, Markie rose to fame in the 1980s during the early days of hip-hop music.
In 2014, Markie revealed his diabetes diagnosis and how he slimmed down from 385 pounds to 244 to improve his health.
Markie hasn’t made a studio album since “Weekend Warrior” in 2003, but he has made numerous television appearances, performed voice acting and made special guest appearances in recent years. Most recently, Markie was serving as a guest host on SiriusXM’s channel 43 — called LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells Radio — which plays old-school hip hop.
Known as the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” Markie had a clever-but-comedic approach to his rhymes, which alternated between rapping, singing and beat-boxing. His most famous song “Just a Friend” appears on his second studio album “The Biz Never Sleeps,” and it reached No. 9 on the Billboard charts in 1989. Through the years, the song has been used in countless TV commercials, shows and movies.