Prince Markie Dee, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group the Fat Boys, died on Thursday, the group’s manager, Louis Gregory confirmed. He was 52. No cause of death has been given.
“Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends,” Gregory wrote on Twitter. “My heart breaks today because I lost a brother. I’ll always love you Mark and I’ll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro.”
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Born Mark Anthony Morales on February 19th, 1968, he teamed up with Darren Robinson (the Human Beatbox) and Damon Wimbley (Kool Rock Ski) and performed under the name The Disco 3 before later becoming the Fat Boys. The group launched their career in 1983 when they won a talent contest at Radio City Music Hall and by the end of the decade they had become one of rap’s premier pop culture ambassadors with the simultaneous release of their platinum-selling fourth album Crushin’ and their breakout comedy film Disorderlies in the summer of 1987. The trio popularized beatboxing and their goofy sense of humor and affable demeanors made them essential to bringing rap music to the mainstream.
Their first two albums — 1984’s self-titled debut and 1985’s The Fat Boys Are Back — were produced by rap legend Kurtis Blow and included hits, such as “Can You Feel It?,” “Jail House Rap,” and “The Fat Boys Are Back.”
I would be walking and all of a sudden I would hear music ricochet off the walls, it would go ‘huh huh huh ha huh Hu Hu ha Fat Fat Fat boys , Fat Fat Fat boys,’ this was the first song they would play at the block party to summon you to appear,” Fat Joe wrote on Instagram. “Today’s news is sad the last member of the Fat Boys’ Prince Markie D morales has passed on he was a great guy a Legend and pioneer God bless my fellow Boriqua brother till we meet again.”