DJ Biz Markie is still alive and in the hospital, says his manager Jenni Izumi, who denied rumors of his death that spread online late Wednesday.
The 57-year-old American rapper, born Marcel Theo Hall, is still under medical care. His manager confirmed his condition in a statement to Pitchfork as she wrote, "The news of Biz Markie's passing is not true." However, he is "still under medical care, surrounded by professionals who are working hard to provide the best health care possible."
Izumi shared that Markie's "wife and family are touched by the outpouring of love and admiration from his friends, peers, and fans alike." His family also asked for "continued thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
American journalist Roland Martin also confirmed that the rapper is still alive. In a series of tweets, he shared that he has sources who "are texting and talking to Markie's wife." He said his source even spoke to the DJ himself and that the family is asking the public "to stop responding to non-credible sources as "this hurts the family, friends, and fans."
Martin also got the chance to talk to Markie's wife who confirmed that her husband is still alive. She also admitted that the rumors of his death are "hurtful to all of his family."
Rumours of the "Just a Friend" rapper's death reportedly came after Revolt TV announced his passing online. It then became viral and led to fans sending their condolences to the family. Even fellow artists Pharrell and Talib Kweli reacted. The news site has since removed their initial announcement and updated it with a statement that he is still alive.
The Harlem-born rapper has reportedly been in hospice in Maryland since he suffered a stroke earlier this year. His friend and collaborator Big Daddy Kane said in April that the DJ is "in rehabilitation now." Kane remained optimistic and said that his friend is "getting better and stronger every day." He remembered Markie "got a real light voice" the last time they talked on the phone and believes that he is "coming along" because he "stuck his middle finger up at me."