2 Live Crew Rapper, Brother Marquis Dies at 58

CEDAR PARK, TX - JULY 22: Rapper Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew performs onstage as part of '(Baby Got) Back to the 90's ' at the HEB Center on July 22, 2016 in Cedar Park, Texas.
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Another hip-hop legend has died far too young. Mark Ross, best known as Brother Marquis, a member of the hip-hop group 2 Live Crew has passed away. He was 58 years old. The official 2 Live Crew Instagram account confirmed the news but did not share any details or cause of death. Ross, along with Luke Skyywalker (Luther Campbell), Fresh Kid Ice (Christopher Wong Won) and Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) achieved success in the ’80s and ’90s.

***May contain offensive language***

Prior to hitting it big in Miami with songs such as “Me So Horny,” the group was formed in Riverside, California. Ross was accepted into the group in 1986 when he was just 19 after achieving some solo success as a teen in Los Angeles. The same year they relocated to Miami and released their debut album titled The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are and became controversial for their sexually explicit lyrics. Their next albums were hits as Move Somethin’ (1988) went Gold and As Nasty as They Wanna Be (1989) hit Platinum.

DJ Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs), Fresh Kid Ice (Chris Wong Won), Brother Marquis (Mark Ross), Luke Skyywalker (Luther Campbell) of the rap group "2 Live Crew" pose for a portrait session on January 30, 1989

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Despite some negative feedback, their music was hugely popular and led the way for many hip-hop artists to come. Ross once said, “I’m grateful and honored to be a pioneer as far as explicit lyrics, First Amendment rights, fighting censorship, and naked women on the stage. We were responsible for securing a lot of that freedom of speech for everybody.” They released four more studio albums in the ’80s and ’90s and Banned in the U.S.A. was one of the first albums to receive a RIAA-standard Parental Advisory warning sticker.

Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew poses for a portrait during the Rock The Vote 25th Anniversary Concert at The Black Cat on October 22, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Kris Connor/Getty Images

Ultimately, the group split in 1992, and Ross worked as a rap duo with DJ Toomp called 2 Nasty and tried his hand at a standup comedy career. He continued to work as a solo artist and reunited with the 2 Live Crew various times for tours. Most recently, Ross and Hobbs came together for a national tour and released the single One Horse Sleigh in 2016. Ross is preceded in death by member Wong Won.

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