Prince Markie Dee, Founding Member of The Fat Boys, Dead at 52

Mark Morales, better known as Prince Markie Dee of the legendary 80’s rap group The Fat Boys, has died. He passed away Friday, February 19, a day before his 53rd birthday.

Formed in Brooklyn, New York, in 1982, the Fat Boys emerged from the trio’s first group, The Disco 3, becoming one of the earliest rap groups to gain supergroup status as true heavyweights of the rap game. Markie Dee, the late “Human Beat Box” Darren “Buffy” Robinson, and Damon “Kool Rock-Ski” Wimbley gained mainstream success with the creation of the Human Beatbox sound that led to future beatboxers such as Biz Markie. The Fat Boys released seven studio albums, four of which went Gold.

The Fat Boys in 1990. Left to right: Damon “Kool Rock-Ski” Wimbley, Darren “Buff Love” Robinson and Mark “Prince Markie Dee” Morales.

The Brooklyn-born Morales paved the way for future Latin rappers as one of the first hip-hop stars of Puerto Rican descent. His success  continued long after the Fat Boys broke up in 1991 as a rapper, actor, and music producer. His departure from the group led to a solo career, beginning with his debut album Free on Columbia, which included the hit “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way).” He would go on to produce music for Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige. Morales and Cory Rooney wrote and produced Blige’s mega-hit “Real Love” from her triple platinum-selling debut album What’s the 411?

The announcement of Morale’s death was confirmed via Twitter by his longtime manager and friend, Louie “Uncle Louie” Gregory.

 

In 1987, the Fat Boys, Morales, Robinson, and Wimbly collaborated with California surf rock icons The Beach Boys to release their version of the Surfaris 1963 hit “Wipe Out.” The single peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

The official reason for his passing has not been announced.

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