Mark “Prince Markie Dee” Morales, whose swagger and humor with The Fat Boys helped define early hip-hop, has died at 52.
The news was first announced by the SiriusXM radio channel Rock the Bells, where Morales hosted The Prince Markie Dee Show, and later confirmed by his longtime friend Louis “Uncle Louis” Gregory. AllHipHop reports the cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Morales was born on on Feb. 19th, 1968 in New York City. He formed The Fat Boys in the early eighties with Darren Robinson, aka The Human Beat Box, and Damon “Kool Rock Ski” Wimbley. Alongside fellow Golden Age pioneers like Doug E. Fresh, The Fat Boys brought beatboxing to mainstream audiences, piling up the hits with self-deprecating humor and riotous party anthems. The trio put out seven albums between 1984 and 1991, with their biggest commercial successes coming on a pair of novelty mashups: “The Twist (Yo, Twist!)” with Chubby Checker, and “Wipeout” featuring The Beach Boys. In the process, Morales became the first Latinx MC to go platinum.
After The Fat Boys broke up in 1991, Morales enjoyed a successful solo career. His 1992 LP Free spawned the No. 1 hit “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)”, and he followed that up with 1995’s Love Daddy. Dee began his radio career in 2008, appearing as a drive-time radio host on WMIB in Miami. In recent years, he’s helmedThe Prince Markie Dee Show for Rock the Bells on SiriusXM. Tomorrow would have been his 53rd birthday.
“Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper,” Gregory wrote on Twitter. “He was one of my very best and closest friends. 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.”
Listen to some of his music and read more tributes below.
The Rock The Bells family is heartbroken to learn of the passing of Mark “Prince Markie Dee” Morales earlier today. That voice and his presence can never be replaced. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. 🙏🏾🕊 pic.twitter.com/Tn6wSJ6soq
— Rock The Bells (@RockTheBells) February 18, 2021
Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends. 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. pic.twitter.com/XcIsHixOoc
— Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory (@UncleLouie) February 18, 2021
Wow I did a zoom interview with the legend a month ago R.I.P. Prince Markie Dee of The Fat Boys 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) February 19, 2021
rest in peace to the great Prince Markie Dee of the legendary FAT BOYS. 💔
— el-p (@therealelp) February 18, 2021
Fat Boys were everything!!!!#princemarkiedee
When they came out it was a huge PUSH for Hip Hop. pic.twitter.com/PeMV5Z75if
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) February 19, 2021