Mark Ross, Brother Marquis of 2 Live Crew, dead at 58

Mark D. Ross, the rapper best known as Brother Marquis of the Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew, has died. He was 58.

Ross’ death was announced Monday on the group’s Instagram account, with no details about how or when he died.

“Mark Ross AKA Brother Marquis of the 2 Live crew has passed away,” the post said. The group’s manager DJ Debo confirmed Ross’ death to Rolling Stone and TMZ but did not immediately respond Tuesday to The Times’ request for comment.

Born Mark D. Ross in Rochester, N.Y., in April 1966, he moved to Los Angeles as a teen. He crossed paths with rapper Rodney-O in junior high and the two formed the Caution Crew, which yielded the singles “Westside Storie” and “Rhythm Rock.” He joined up with 2 Live Crew in 1986, when he was 19.

Along with Mr. Mixx, J.T. Money and Fresh Kid Ice, Brother Marquis comprised the influential hip-hop outfit that in the 1980s gained a reputation for its Miami bass sound, sexually explicit lyrics and legal issues. The group, founded by Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs), Fresh Kid Ice (Christopher Wong Won) and Amazing Vee (Yuri Vielot), became the first to receive a “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” label on an album due to the sexually explicit lyrics on “Banned in the U.S.A.” Their 1989 song “Me So Horny” was their biggest hit, and the album, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be,” bore the notorious honor of being declared legally obscene in the U.S. by a federal judge a year later.

2 Live Crew members J.T. Money, left, Brother Marquis, second from left, Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) and Fresh Kid Ice.

(Mike Groll / Associated Press)

In 1990, the group’s surreptitiously recorded nightclub concert was the subject of a court case over crude and graphic sexual language that was closely watched as a test of 1st Amendment rights, especially by the music industry and performers. The obscenity ruling was overturned in 1992, well after the album went platinum.

The group, also known for parodying Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” and Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” split in the 1990s but reunited in the 2000s. Ross also joined Ice-T on his “Home Invasion” track “99 Problems.”

Fresh Kid Ice (Wong Won) died in 2017.

This story is developing.


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