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Biz Markie was a top trending topic early Thursday morning after false reports of his death flooded social media timelines across the internet. A couple of media outlets even went so far as to publish their own news article declaring the rap legend had died at around the same time journalists were reporting he was alive.

HipHopWired later reported that “Biz Markie Is NOT Dead.”

The false reports were so widespread that Biz Markie’s wife was compelled to speak out and confirm that her husband had not died while also acknowledging the pain that such reports can cause.

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However, it wasn’t all good news about the pioneering hip-hopper. He’s been battling health problems following complications from diabetes since at least last year. Now, it’s being reported that the 57-year-old is in hospice care, suggesting his death was imminent. WebMD defines hospice care as “end-of-life care” that “simply focuses on the quality of your life instead of trying to cure a disease.”

Sportswriter Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson tweeted shortly after midnight Thursday that Biz Markie’s family said the rapper was suffering from “significant brain damage.”

Journalist Roland Martin also did some reporting to confirm Biz Markie had not died as of Thursday morning.

Folks, @BizMarkie has NOT died,” Martin tweeted early Thursday morning. “I have been in contact with sources who are texting and talking to his wife. My source talked to Biz TODAY. Per his wife, Biz HAS NOT passed away. Please stop responding to non-credible sources. This hurts the family, friends and fans.”

It was unclear where the reports originated, but at least two websites published separate news articles with headlines stating Biz Markie had died. They both tweeted links to their respective stories, too. One of them quickly unpublished their story and later republished the article with a revised headline and copy about how Biz Markie was still alive. The other kept the headline as-is while burying in the story that sources said Biz Markie was in hospice care.

Known for iconic rap hits such as “Just A Friend” and “Nobody Beats The Biz,” Biz Markie — also known as “Clown Prince of Hip Hop” — holds a revered place in the hearts of rap purists and historians alike.

His poor health was first reported nearly a year ago in the throes of the pandemic.

And while there were not any credible reports that Biz Markie had ever contracted COVID-19, diabetes — which has already proven itself to be a killer of Black people and especially Black men — a recent report found that Black diabetics who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus have shown an increased risk for complications.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists type I diabetes as one of several medical conditions that might lead to an increased risk for severe illness arising from COVID-19. With new variants spreading around the country and vaccine distribution lagging, people with pre-existing conditions like type I diabetes need to be extra careful.

Prayers up for Biz Markie.

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Biz Markie’s Family Debunks False Reports That Hip-Hop Legend Died  was originally published on newsone.com