On Thursday (Feb. 18), news surfaced about the passing of 52-year-old hip hop legend, Mark “Prince Markie Dee” Morales.
As one of three members of the legendary group The Fat Boys, Morales had a huge impact on the hip hop world. The Brooklyn-based trio took off in the early 80s and sprung into fame using their beatboxing skills. They are credited with opening doors for other hip hop artists, such as Doug E. Fresh and Biz Markie.
After The Fat Boys, Morales began a solo career and signed with Columbia Records. He released his debut album Free in 1992, which spawned the No. 1 hit single, “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way).” The emcee also wrote and produced hits for many artists, including Destiny’s Child, Mary J. Blige, Craig Mack, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Coolio, Drake, Ariana Grande, Frank Ocean and Macy Gray. Most recently, Morales hosted the “Prince Markie Dee Show” on LL COOL J’s Rock The Bells Radio.
Fat Joe paid his condolences by sharing a touching message on Instagram. “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,” he wrote. “This was the first song they would play at the block party to summon you to appear. 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 a pioneer. God bless my fellow Boriqua brother. Till we meet again.”
“Wowwwwwww. It has been brought to our attention that the legend Prince Markie Dee from The Fat Boys has passed away,” the Universal Hip Hop Museum tweeted. “May you forever Rest In Peace. (Do not know the specifics). We need to make this museum happen so we can preserve stories like Prince for years to come.”
Rock The Bells sent their condolences on Twitter. “The Rock The Bells family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mark ‘Prince Markie Dee’ Morales earlier today,” they tweeted. “That voice and his presence can never be replaced. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.”
Questlove penned a lengthy Instagram caption celebrating the contributions Morales and the other two members of The Fat Boys brought to hip hop. “Like they were so dope. We just took them for granted. They did dope routines & dance steps, albums went gold & platinum. Did movies & TV & commercials. They explored territories for the first time that today just seems like *yawn* a Tuesday,” The Roots frontrunner wrote.
He continued, “I mean — man…I dunno what I mean anymore. This hurts to see the mass exodus of people that helped shape my/our lives like this. Rest In Peace to Mark Morales, the Puerto Rican Prince, the Fat Boy….#PrinceMarkieDee.”
Check out more Twitter reactions below.