Biz Markie hasn’t been on social media nor has he appeared on his Sirius XM Rock The Bells radio show in over six months.
In July, it was reported he’d actually been hospitalized for weeks with a “serious illness” unrelated to the coronavirus but possibly linked to his Type II diabetes. As the weeks dragged on, rumors started to swirl on social media suggesting he’d slipped into a coma.
Donald D just posted that Biz Markie is in a coma. 🙁
— elektrosoundwav (@elektrosoundwav) September 17, 2020
HipHopDX reached out to Biz’s management team in September and was told he was absolutely “not in a coma” yet here it is December and the 56-year-old MC still hasn’t resurfaced. In the meantime, friends of Biz in the Hip Hop community grew increasingly concerned about his radio silence and began to think something nefarious was going on behind the scenes. Some even thought he could’ve quietly passed away.
I hope so. I haven’t heard anything recently. ??
— A_NYC_GAL?? (@nunnnnnyaaa) November 30, 2020
But DX can confirm that’s not the case. According to a source close to Biz and his situation, Biz suffered a stroke while in the hospital recovering from a diabetic episode.
“He’s not doing great, but it’s not as scandalous as it felt in the beginning,” the source tells DX. “Short story is Biz is diabetic, he had slipped into a diabetic coma, but that has happened to him in the past and it would only last a little while. He would go to the hospital, get discharged and get his meds under control. This particular time, he had a stroke while he was in the middle of the coma.”
While Biz is allegedly conscious and able to FaceTime with his family, the stroke affected his brain and it’s difficult for him to communicate. But he’s been in a rehab facility in the DMV area for months and is apparently in good hands.
Biz has been struggling with his health for quite some time but got his weight under control several years ago. In a 2014 interview with ABC News, Biz talked about adopting a healthier lifestyle and explained what led him to shed the extra 140 pounds he was carrying.
“I wanted to live,” Biz said. “Since I have to be a diabetic, If I didn’t make the changes, it was going to make the diabetes worse. I’m trying to get off [the Diabetes meds]. The way you gotta do it is lose the weight. I’m off half my meds, I just got to get off the rest. They said I could lose my feet. They said I could lose body parts. A lot of things could happen.”
Biz launched his Hip Hop career in the 1980s and rose to prominence following the release of his 1988 debut Goin’ Off, which included the underground hits “Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz,” “Vapors,” “Pickin’ Boogers” and “Nobody Beats The Biz.”
But it was the 1989 single “Just A Friend” that took him to another level. Released on his sophomore album The Biz Never Sleeps, the song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became his biggest hit to date.
Over the years, Biz — who’s often referred to as the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop” — has appeared in films and television shows such as 2002 Men In Black II with Will Smith, Celebrity Fit Club, Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out, Empire and Black-ish. In 2008, he started touring with Chris Rock as the comedian’s opening act on the No Apologies Tour and then linked up with the kids program Yo Gabba Gabba! for its 2013 live tour.
In terms of music, Biz hasn’t put out an official solo album since 2003’s Weekend Warrior but has released several compilation albums, including 2009’s Yo Gabba Gabba and 2010’s The Aquabats Radio Down! In 2018, he contributed to Cut Chemist’s album Die Cut on the song “Moonlightin.”
For now, Biz isn’t out of the woods. HipHopDX sends our well wishes to the rap legend.