Prince Markie Dee, who as a member of the Fat Boys trio released some of hip-hop’s most successful albums of the 1980s and helped accelerate the genre’s absorption into pop culture, died in Miami on Thursday. He was 52 years old.
His death was confirmed by Rock the Bells, a SiriusXM station where he had been a host. No cause was given.
In the mid-1980s, the Fat Boys were among the most well-known hip-hop groups; their 1987 album “Crushin ‘” went platinum and featured a Beach Boys collaboration, “Wipeout,” which was their biggest hit, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. That year, the band went on to make starred in a full comedy, “Troubles.”
Hip-hop was only just beginning to be accepted into mainstream American pop culture, and the group’s light rhymes, accessible dance routines, and winning comedic approach made them effective ambassadors on hits such as “Jailhouse.” Rap, ”“ Stick ‘Em ”and“ Can You Feel It. ”Some of their songs were about food and played in their image of harmless heavyweights.
Prince Markie Dee was born Mark Anthony Morales on February 19, 1968. He formed Disco 3 in the early 1980s with Darren (the Human Beat Box) Robinson and Damon (Kool Rock Ski) Wimbley, friends of the East New York section from Brooklyn. They won a talent show in 1983 at Radio City Music Hall and were signed to a management contract by the show’s promoter, who suggested they change their name to Fat Boys.
Their size has become their gadget, their business card and their accelerator. Their manager once held a promotional contest in which fans could guess the group’s collective weight.
The group released seven full albums; in addition to their ‘crushin’ platinum, three went gold. In 1984, Fat Boys appeared on the Fresh Fest Tour, the first hip-hop arena tour. Four years later, the group recorded a new version of “The Twist” with Chubby Checker. The trio also appeared in the films “Krush Groove” and “Knights of the City” before going their separate ways in the early 1990s. Mr. Robinson died in 1995 at the age of 28 after falling from a chair. knocking for friends and losing consciousness.
Prince Markie Dee released a pair of solo albums in the 1990s, the first of which spawned the hit single “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)”. At the same time, he began working as a songwriter and producer for Uptown Records, working with Father MC and Mary J. Blige. He helped write and produce Ms. Blige’s 1992 hit “Real Love” and worked on her debut album, “What’s the 411?” He has also worked on songs and remixes for Destiny’s Child, Mariah Carey and others.
Information on the survivors was not immediately available.
Later in his career, Mr. Morales was a radio personality on WMIB-FM and WEDR-FM in Miami and on SiriusXM. But he was best known for being one of the Fat Boys when the band’s songs were seemingly everywhere.
“I was walking and all of a sudden I heard music ricocheting off the walls,” rapper Fat Joe wrote on Instagram, recalling how the Fat Boys beatboxing – “huh huh huh ha huh” – was “the first song they play at the block party to invite you to appear. “
He called Mr. Morales “a great guy, a legend and a pioneer”.