Sadly another rap star has passed away. Brother Marquis (born Mark D. Ross) was only 58 years old. His greatest fame in the rap game came as a member of Miami rap group 2 Live Crew, although many fans may not have realized he was born in Rochester, NY and came of age in Los Angeles, CA. It was in his teens in California that he developed the Brother Marquis persona as one half of the The Caution Crew alongside Rodney O.

Marquis’ raps caught the attention of 2 Live Crew co-founder Mr. Mixx, and was subsequently recruited to join the growing group when he was 19 years old. This became the classic Crew lineup – Mixx, Luther “Luke” Campbell, Brother Marquis, and Fresh Kid Ice (RIP). His timing couldn’t have been better as 2 Live Crew gained national and even international notoriety from the album “The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are,” with fondly remembered raunchy rap songs like “We Want Some Pussy” and “Throw the D.” The album went gold and even got a record store clerk arrested for “corruption of a minor” for selling the album to a teenage girl, although said clerk was later acquitted. It only made their fame rise more.

When the classic 2 Live Crew lineup broke up in the early 1990’s, Marquis moved to Georgia to embark on a solo career. He and DJ Toomp formed a rap group called II Nazty and took that as far as it could have gone, but if I’m being honest I was completely unaware of its existence until just now. I did remember his appearance on Ice-T’s “Home Invasion” though for a song called “99 Problems,” though odds are at this point you’d know the remake/revisit done by Jay-Z better. As his solo career fizzled the original Crew reunited and began releasing singles and albums together, including the well remembered “Hoochie Mama” from the movie Friday.

The last of the renewed 2 Live albums came out in 1998 and though both Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice tried to reform the group in the 2000’s, their efforts were met with disinterest by Luke and Mr. Mixx. They also talked about releasing an album as a duo in the 2010’s that (if it exists) has never come out, although they did do some singles together such as “I’m 2 Live” with Mannie Fresh and “Boom” featuring E-40. He continued to pursue musical interests even after Ice passed away in 2017 until his passing this week. No cause of death has been announced at this time. On behalf of RapReviews I offer my condolences to his daughter as well as other family, friends and fans.