Mark Anthony Morales, often called Prince Markie Dee of early rap group the Fat Boys and a success songwriter and producer for Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and others, has died, based on his supervisor, Louie “Uncle Louie” Gregory. He was 52.While the Fat Boys have been usually thought of a novelty act of early hip-hop, they racked up a sequence of hit albums all through the Eighties and appeared within the in style movies “Krush Groove” and “Disorderlies.” Morales was one of many group’s key rappers, songwriters and producers, and went on to a profitable solo profession, releasing the 1992 album “Free” on Columbia, which included the hit “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way),” and “Love Daddy” on Motown three years later.Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was greater than a rapper; he was certainly one of my best possible and closest pals. My coronary heart breaks immediately as a result of I misplaced a brother. I’ll at all times love you Mark and I’ll cherish every part you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my manner large bro.— Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory (@UncleLouie) February 18, 2021 The Brookyn-spawned group — Morales, Darren Robinson (The Human Beat Box) and Damon Wimbley (Kool Rock Ski) — got here up beneath the tutelage of Kurtis Blow and benefitted from his affiliation with Russell Simmons, one of many key executives of the early hip-hop world (though phrase on the time had it that Madonna initially needed the Fat Boys to open her 1985 “Like a Virgin” tour however Simmons hustled in his new act the Beastie Boys as an alternative).Originally often called the Disco 3, they embraced their plus-sized physiques and made a direct splash with their self-titled debut album. The group was a spotlight of the legendary “Fresh Fest” excursions of 1984 and ’85, which additionally featured Blow, Run-DMC, Whodini and, on the second tour, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. Far from a one-hit marvel, the group had a gradual string of gold albums, with 1987’s “Crushin’” (their debut for the PolyGram-affiliated label Tin Pan Apple) going platinum. Morales was additionally one of many first hip-hop stars of Latin descent.RelatedAs Questlove stated in an Instagram publish paying tribute to Morales on Thursday, “They have been figuratively (no weight jokes) the most important act in hip hop in some unspecified time in the future in time. Like the primary act that confirmed this tradition may need some actual worldwide legs to it. Like they have been so dope we simply took them with no consideration. They did dope routines & dancesteps, albums went gold & platinum. Did motion pictures & television & commercials. They explored territories for the primary time that immediately simply looks like *yawn* a Tuesday.”After the group cut up within the early ’90s, Morales went on to provide early hits for Blige — together with her first hit, “Real Love” — Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Craig Mack and Marc Anthony. From 2008 on, he labored as a preferred radio DJ in Miami.Follow NBCBLK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.