Remembering Brother Marquis Of 2 Live Crew

Per representatives of the 2 Live Crew, legendary rapper Brother Marquis passed away on June 3. This tragic loss is the latest of many for the hip-hop community. No details regarding Marquis’ passing were provided to the public. The Rochester, New York native was 58. Marquis and his surviving bandmates have already seen an outpouring of support from numerous rappers and public figures. In the wake of this loss, let’s examine the prolific MC’s life and understated impact on hip-hop.

Read More: Black Music Month: Revisiting 2 Live Crew’s Controversies

The Rapper Was An 80’s Icon

Brother Marquis was born Mark D. Ross in 1966. As a teenager, he and his family relocated to the West Coast from Rochester, New York, where he encountered other rising artists in the hip-hop underground such as Mr. Mixx, Fresh Kid Ice, and Uncle Luke. In the 1980s, these MCs formed the 2 Live Crew, quickly becoming known for their vulgar lyrics and brash styles. The Crew’s biggest hits consisted of sexually explicit material, proving to be controversial at the time. However, tracks such as “Throw The D,” “C’mon Babe,” “Me So Horny,” and “We Want Some P****” had an everlasting impact on hip-hop’s soundscape.

As a founding member of the group, Brother Marquis left a permanent mark on the history of hip-hop. He is even credited with originating the now-famous rap lyric “I got 99 problems but a b**** ain’t one.” Ice-T, Jay-Z, and numerous other hip-hop legends famously utilized this iconic bar over the years. Since the turn of the century, Brother Marquis has continued pushing his legacy. He has worked with such artists as Flo Rida, Chain Swangaz, and Wrong Won. For his contributions to the legacy of hip hop, Brother Marquis was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Yo ATL Raps in 2019.

Marquis Was Working To Get His Catalogue Back

While numerous condolences have continued pouring in, one of the most poignant and eye-opening tributes to Brother Marquis came from his 2 Live Crew bandmate Uncle Luke. While paying tribute to his fallen brother via X (formerly Twitter) Luke explained, “We took on so many fights for the culture made Great music together something I would never forget.” Luke continued to explain that the Crew had recently reunited for a new challenge, which will continue in Marquis’ stead. He stated, “We had recently got back together to take on another fight to get back our catalog that was stolen from us. We will continue that fight in his name for his Family. The Brother Marquis, that I know would want us to celebrate his life that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. R.I.P My Brother.”

According to a write-up in Copyright Lately, the 2 Live Crew have been entrenched in a legal battle with Skyywalker Records for several years. The Crew have teamed to fight against the theft of their discography by greedy executives, but seem to have forged little ground in the battle. Perhaps now, with the tragic passing of Brother Marquis, enough fans will raise awareness to push the copyright lawsuit along.

Read More: Uncle Luke Responds To Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Snubbing 2 Live Crew

Marquis Was Beloved In The Hip-Hop Community

Other rap pioneers such as Ice-T and Flavor Flav have noted Brother Marquis’ passing. Like many hip-hop heads, Ice-T acknowledged in his tweet that Marquis was “too young” and passed away “too soon.” Hopefully, Uncle Luke and company can clear 2 Live Crew’s music, regain their unearned royalties, and offer Brother Marquis’ portion to his family. As hip-hop ventures into a bold new future, Brother Marquis is one of many pioneers to leave us behind. His legacy lives on through his music and the many artists inspired by his work.


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Updated: June 7, 2024 — 3:01 am