2 Live Crew's Brother Marquis Passes Away at 58

Iconic rapper's legacy continues amidst legal battles

by Zain ul Abedin
2 Live Crew's Brother Marquis Passes Away at 58
© djvlad/Youtube

Mark D. Ross, better known by his stage name Brother Marquis, a pivotal figure in the legendary rap group 2 Live Crew, passed away at 58. The group announced his death through a heartfelt Instagram post, stating, "Mark Ross AKA Brother Marquis of the 2 Live Crew has passed away." His death occurred on Monday, though the cause has yet to be disclosed.

Brother Marquis's impact on music and culture was profound. Originating from Rochester and relocating to Miami, he joined 2 Live Crew at 19, contributing significantly to their 1986 debut album, "The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are." His career with the group was marked by controversy and acclaim, particularly surrounding their 1989 album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be." This album, famous for its explicit content and the hit "Me So Horny," sparked a significant legal battle over obscenity laws, culminating in a landmark federal case that highlighted issues of music censorship and artists' freedom of expression.

The controversy led to their 1990 anthem, "Banned in the U.S.A.," which voiced the struggles and triumphs of their legal battles and celebrated the ultimate victory for artistic freedom when the US Court of Appeals deemed their music not legally obscene.

Uncle Luke Remembers Marquis

Beyond the music and the courtrooms, Brother Marquis was remembered by fellow group member and frontman Luther Campbell, known as Uncle Luke. On the social platform X, Campbell expressed his deep condolences, noting their recent reunions and ongoing efforts to reclaim their music catalog.

"We will continue that fight in his name for his family," Campbell stated, emphasizing the group's resolve to honor Marquis's legacy. Brother Marquis's journey with 2 Live Crew was not just about hits and headlines but about breaking barriers and setting precedents in the music industry.

His contributions alongside Uncle Luke, Fresh Kid Ice, and Mr. Mixx earned them a permanent place in hip-hop history. As the group continues to tackle legal challenges over their music rights, Brother Marquis's bold spirit and musical genius memory remains a beacon for artists advocating for creative freedom.

His legacy, underscored by battles fought and boundaries pushed, will endure as a testament to the power of expression in shaping the cultural landscape.