Brother Marquis Cause of Death: Remembering a Hip-Hop Legend

Brother Marquis Cause of Death: Remembering a Hip-Hop Legend

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Written By Joe Martin

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The cause of 2 Live Crew rapper Brother Marquis’ death has been revealed, days after his passing was announced. According to Chief Deputy Coroner Dantez Robinson at Etowah County Coroner’s Office, Marquis, whose real name was Mark Ross, suffered a massive heart attack. This confirmation indicated that there were no foul play or substances involved.

Mark Ross’ death was announced on Monday, June 3, by the official 2 Live Crew Instagram account. The announcement read, “Mark Ross AKA Brother Marquis of the 2 Live Crew has passed away.” Tributes to Brother

Marquis soon poured in from other hip-hop luminaries, including his bandmate Luther Campbell, also known as Uncle Luke. Luke wrote, “My Condolence goes out to the Family of Brother Marquis and so many of his Fans from around the World after learning his passing. We took on so many fights for the culture, made great music together—something I would never forget.”

The Legacy of 2 Live Crew

Brother Marquis was a member of the Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, which became famous in the 1980s and ’90s for their explicit lyrics and legal battles over artistic freedom.

Their third album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, was declared obscene in court, only to have this verdict overturned on appeal. Another notable legal battle involved their song “Pretty Woman,” a parody of Roy Orbison’s hit “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The Supreme Court ultimately ruled in 2 Live Crew’s favor, setting a precedent for parody in copyright law.

Brother Marquis: A Crucial Member of 2 Live Crew

Born in Rochester, NY, Mark Ross joined 2 Live Crew after the group moved from California to Miami, replacing a former member. He quickly became integral to the group, contributing to some of their most well-known songs.

Despite his initial discomfort with the group’s explicit content, the positive community reaction persuaded him to embrace it. In a 2022 interview with Vlad TV, Ross said, “I really wasn’t comfortable with all the profanity that we were putting into the music, but when you see the reaction in the community and everyone’s loving it, you know, you kind of go with it.”

Legal Battles and Cultural Impact

In 1990, a Florida court deemed As Nasty as They Wanna Be legally obscene, making it the first album in U.S. history to receive such a designation. Ross and his bandmates faced obscenity charges over a performance of the album’s songs, risking a year in prison and fines. However, they were found not guilty, and the album’s obscenity ruling was overturned in 1992.

2 Live Crew also faced a lawsuit over their 1989 track “Pretty Woman.” Acuff-Rose Music, the copyright holder for Orbison’s song, sued for infringement. After years of legal battles, the Supreme Court ruled in 2 Live Crew’s favor, establishing a legal precedent for parody in copyright law.

Tributes and Final Moments

Brother Marquis’ death was announced by 2 Live Crew’s social media accounts. The posts didn’t specify the cause or location of death. There are conflicting reports about whether he was 57 or 58 years old. The group’s manager confirmed to TMZ that there was no suspicion of foul play.

Uncle Luke paid tribute to Brother Marquis on social media, expressing his condolences and remembering their time together. He highlighted their recent efforts to reclaim their catalog, which had been stolen. Campbell vowed to continue this fight in Marquis’ name, emphasizing that Marquis would want his life to be celebrated.

A Lasting Impact

Born in Rochester, Brother Marquis joined 2 Live Crew at 19 in 1986, the year they released their debut album, The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are. He became one of the group’s most notable members, alongside Uncle Luke, Fresh Kid Ice, and Mr. Mixx. Their 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be became the center of a landmark obscenity case.

The album’s lead track, “Me So Horny,” sampled dialogue from Stanley Kubrick’s film Full Metal Jacket, which led to legal issues. Despite a ruling that threatened to criminalize the album’s distribution, the decision was overturned, and the group members were acquitted after being arrested for performing songs from the album in concert.

The controversy inspired their 1990 hit “Banned in the U.S.A.,” which defended freedom of expression. Currently, 2 Live Crew is in a legal battle with Lil Joe Records over music rights and ownership.


Brother Marquis, born Mark D. Ross, was a pivotal figure in the world of hip-hop. His contributions to 2 Live Crew and the group’s battles for artistic freedom have left an indelible mark on the industry. As fans and fellow artists remember his legacy, Brother Marquis’ influence on music and culture will continue to resonate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the cause of Brother Marquis’ death?
Brother Marquis, whose real name was Mark Ross, died from a massive heart attack. There was no foul play or involvement of substances.

How did Brother Marquis contribute to 2 Live Crew?
Brother Marquis was a crucial member of 2 Live Crew, contributing to the group’s most well-known songs and participating in their significant legal battles over artistic freedom and parody rights.

What legal battles was 2 Live Crew involved in?
2 Live Crew faced multiple legal battles, including an obscenity trial for their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be and a copyright infringement case for their song “Pretty Woman.” Both cases were landmark decisions that impacted the music industry.

What is the significance of the album As Nasty As They Wanna Be?
As Nasty As They Wanna Be was the first album in U.S. history to be legally declared obscene. This ruling was later overturned, making it a significant case for artistic freedom.

How is Brother Marquis remembered by his peers?
Brother Marquis is remembered fondly by his peers, particularly Uncle Luke, who highlighted their musical achievements and ongoing efforts to reclaim their stolen catalog. His impact on hip-hop and culture is celebrated by fans and fellow artists alike.

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