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2 Live Crew Founding Member Brother Marquis Passes Away

The best-known lineup of 2 Live Crew poses for a promotional shoot. From left are Fresh Kid Ice, Mr. Mixx, Brother Marquis and Luke "Skywalker" Campbell.
Mark Ross, better known by his stage name Brother Marquis, a founding member of the iconic hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, has died at 58.

The news was announced through a social media post on the group's official page, which read: "Mark Ross AKA 'Brother Marquis' of the 2 Live Crew has went to the upper room #2livecrew..." TMZ subsequently confirmed the death with 2 Live Crew's manager. No cause or manner of death has been made public yet.

Born in Rochester, New York, in 1966, Brother Marquis emerged as a pivotal figure in Southern hip-hop, particularly the Miami bass scene. He rose to prominence in the mid-1980s with 2 Live Crew, the group known for its electrifying delivery and unapologetically raw lyrics that explored themes of sexuality and social commentary.

Their 1989 album, "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," became a cultural flashpoint after a legal battle that ultimately established a precedent for artistic expression in music. Beyond the controversy, Brother Marquis's rapping prowess and the group's innovative sound significantly influenced the evolution of Southern hip-hop.

Beyond 2 Live Crew

Brother Marquis showcased his musical versatility beyond 2 Live Crew in the early 1990s. He formed the duo 2 Nazty with DJ Toomp and released the album "Indecent Exposure" in 1993. That same year, he made a notable guest appearance on Ice-T's album "Home Invasion," contributing to the original version of the iconic track "99 Problems," later remade by Jay-Z into a chart-topping hit.
Brother Marquis remained active with 2 Live Crew reunions throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. In 1996, he rejoined 2 Live Crew with original members Fresh Kid Ice (Christopher Wong Won) and Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) and released the album "Shake a Lil' Somethin'." The group continued recording and performing until Fresh Kid Ice's passing in 2017. Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice released a final 2 Live Crew album "The Real One," in 1998.

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