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Early 2 Live Crew Rapper Brother Marquis Dies at 58

Early 2 Live Crew Rapper Brother Marquis Dies at 58

Born in Miami, rapper Brother Marquis was a part of the hip-hop group 2 Live Crew. He died at the age of 58.

The group wrote on social media Monday, “Brother Marquis of the 2 Live crew has gone to the upper room.” DJ Debo, the group’s boss, told Rolling Stone that Marquis had died. The reason for death was unknown immediately.

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Brother Marquis made history with the swear-filled 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, which he made with Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx, and Uncle Luke as part of the group 2 Live Crew. The album sold more than a million copies, and a federal judge said a year after it came out that it was “an appeal to dirty thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.” It was the first obscene album ever. The record shop owner and two band members were arrested after a live event for refusing to cease selling the music. Two years later, a federal Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the court’s decision.

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How a Southern Rap Group Battled Legal Battles and Broke Barriers

It was the first album by a Southern rap group to sell a million copies. When Marquis first joined the band, his real name was Mark D. Ross, he was on their album Is What We Are, which had the song “We Want Some Pussy.” The group made records that were copies of other artists’ songs. Roy Orbison sued the group for changing the meaning of “Oh, Pretty Woman.” For the unapproved sample, that case went all the way to the Supreme Court and set the legal standard that business parody is acceptable as fair use.

Ross joined Ice-T on the Home Invasion song “99 Problems” after the group broke up in the 1990s. At the beginning of the 1993 song, Ice-T says, “Yeah, last year a lot of motherfuckers asked me/Why I didn’t do no old, sex, nasty shit.” “But this year I went to Miami and got my n—a from Brother Marquis and 2 Live.”

Uncle Luke, Fresh Kid Ice, and Ross got back together for a short trip in 2015. At the time, Ross talked to Rolling Stone about the group’s wild live shows and how he had to “jump out of the back window” of a hotel after kicking a fan onstage.

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