Friday, June 14, 2024

Brother Marquis of Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew has died at 58

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The rapper Brother Marquis, who joined the Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew in the ’80s and was featured on Ice-T’s song “99 Problems,” has died.

He was 58, according to TMZ, who first reported the news. 2 Live Crew’s manager confirmed Brother Marquis’ passing in an email to USA TODAY Monday.

The group shared he “went to the upper room” in an Instagram post. A cause of death was not immediately clear.

2 Live Crew’s Uncle Luke (aka Luther Campbell) paid tribute to Brother Marquis on social media, writing on X, “My Condolence goes out to the Family of Brother Marquis and so many of his Fans from around the World after learning his passing.

“We took on so many fights for the culture (and) made Great music together something I would never forget. 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 group is currently in a legal battle with Lil Joe Records over ownership of their work.

He added, “The Brother Marquis that I know would want us to celebrate his life (and) that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. R.I.P My Brother.”

Brother Marquis, whose real name was Mark Ross, was one of 2 Live Crew’s most notable members, alongside Uncle Luke, Fresh Kid Ice and Mr. Mixx. He joined In 2017, founding member Fresh Kid Ice (born Chris Wong Won) died at 53.

In a 2022 interview with VladTV, Brother Marquis reminisced on 2 Live Crew’s heyday.

“The shows were ridiculous. The shows were so fun. I used to look forward to doing them because it gave me a sense of happiness from being around what Luke and all of his people had going on. Doing the shows were more of a way of escape for me,” he said.

“I used to love doing the shows, man. The shows were awesome. That was some of the great times I ever had in my life. Those were highlights. Just by being on the stage and performing those songs at that time, when they were very, very popular.”

Brother Marquis, 2 Live Crew took their fair use fight to the Supreme Court

2 Live Crew’s 1989 song “Me So Horny” was not only a commercial hit but also changed the legal landscape.

In 1990, a federal court declared the album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” history’s first legally obscene album and made it illegal for retailers in the southern Florida area to sell the album, a ruling that was overturned two years later.

The clean version of the album, “As Clean as They Wanna Be,” included the track “Pretty Woman,” which took the group to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case often cited in copyright law.

Though 2 Live Crew did not obtain the license to use the tune for Roy Orbison’s 1964 ballad “Oh, Pretty Woman,” they went ahead and recorded and released a parody.

After the song’s publisher sued the group for copyright infringement, the case made its way through the courts. In the 1994 case Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., the Supreme Court sided with 2 Live Crew, ruling “Pretty Woman” qualified as fair use.

The controversial hip-hop group’s fourth album, “Banned in the U.S.A.,” became the first rap album to feature the black-and-white “parental advisory explicit content” label.

Contributing: Maeve McDermott

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