DJ Mark The 45 King Dies at 62, Hip-Hop Community Remembers Iconic DJ
The hip-hop community is mourning the loss of DJ Mark The 45 King who has died at the age of 62.
Iconic DJ/Producer DJ Mark The 45 King Dies at 62
DJ Mark The 45 King, an iconic DJ and producer who has produced classic songs for Jay-Z, Queen Latifah, and Eminem, has passed away just days after celebrating his 62nd birthday, XXL has confirmed via 45 King's manager. The news of his death was first announced on Thursday (Oct. 19) by DJ Premier, who posted a statement on his Instagram account. No cause of death has been revealed but Premier did mention that Mark had been in the hospital.
"R.I.P. DJ Mark The 45 King who passed this morning. An ICON," Premier's statement began, which you can read below. "His 62nd Birthday was Monday."
"I never heard of Gang Starr until I heard DJ Red Alert play their 2nd single Produced by Mark on 98.7 Kiss in NYC while shopping my demos looking to get a record deal," he continued. "Red Alert was playing 'Bust A Move Boy' cutting it up crazy and I heard Guru's voice wondering who the f**k is Gang Starr?" I immediately went and bought the 12inch single to discover the label Wild Pitch Records. From there my friend Carlos Garza in Houston, TX. told Stu Fine who owned Wild Pitch about me and I connected with them in 1988 when Guru was looking for a new DJ and a permanent Producer."
"Mark is responsible for so many classics and was a member of the Iconic Crew FLAVOR UNIT (Queen Latifah, Latee, Chill Rob G., Lakim Shabazz, Double J, Lord Alibaski, DJ Cee Justice, Apache, Naughty By Nature, Freddie Foxxx, Markey Fresh, Rowdy Rahz, Storm P, Shakim and so many more members beyond whom I've mentioned please pardon me if I didn't post your name). Salute DJ BREAKOUT," he added.
Premier concluded: "Thanks Dave Lotwin (D&D) for Facetiming me Tuesday in the hospital to salute him 1 last time before he transitioned. I know he heard me loud and clear. Condolences to his brother Mike and his sister. It's so much more to say but I'll leave it here. Sleep Peacefully Mark thank you for all that you've done. You're such a special part of our culture that is chiseled in the stone of the greatest parts of us. LOVE YOU MARK [salute emoji] [prayer hands emoji] [heart emoji] [white dove emoji]."
Who is DJ Mark the 45 King?
Born in the Bronx, N.Y., DJ Mark The Mark King, born Mark Howard James, was a DJ and producer who went by the moniker the 45 King due to his ability to create beats using obscure 45 RPM records. The 45 King rose to prominence in 1987 with his classic breakbeat song "The 900 Number," which has been sampled numerous of times by DJs and rappers, most notably, DJ Kool in 1996 for "Let Me Clear My Throat."
The 45 King also formed the Flavor Unit, a group of talented rappers that included Queen Latifah, Lakim Shabazz, Chill Rob G, the late Apache and many others. His production work was prominently featured on Latifah's 1989 debut album, All Hail the Queen, including her classic hit, "Ladies First."
Additionally, The 45 King produced two of the most memorable tracks of the aughties: Eminem's 2000 fan-obsession ode "Stan" and Jay-Z's 2006 Annie-sampled tune "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)".
"His sound was unlike any other from his heavy drums and his horns were so distinct on every production," DJ Premier said in his IG post.
Condolences to DJ Mark The 45 King's friends and family. Take a look at DJ Premier's tribute and more below.