Scores of people who knew Marius, including Michael Bivins (New Edition & BBD), Dupre “DoItAll” Kelly (Lords of the Underground), Kurtis Blow, DJ Red Alert, and Assemblyman Keith Wright, filled Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church on Thursday (April 27) to pay their respects to the late visionary and his family.
A true influencer and culture creator, Marius built a long-lasting legacy through EBC, which he founded in Harlem back in 1982. He was the first to fuse hip-hop culture with the best-of-the-best in basketball.
A former entertainer himself, Marius was known as “Disco G” in the early hip-hop group, The Disco Four, and used his love of music and hoops as a unifier to bring people from his community closer to one another.
Through Marius’ vision, the EBC was responsible for turning several streetball and NBA players into icons, and visiting the EBC at Rucker Park during the summer quickly became a top destination to see-and-be-seen by entertainers, and the hustlers and “playas” who ran New York City’s social scene. (Yeah, people were legitimately buying whole outfits just to make a splash at Rucker Park.)
Ballers like the late Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, Stephon Marbury, Rafer “Skip To My Lou” Alston, Sebastian Telfair, Allen “The Answer” Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Steve “The Franchise” Francis, Vince “Half Man, Half Amazing” Carter (his nickname is controversial since streetball giant, Anthony Heyward, already owned it), Metta World Peace (neé Ron Artest), and Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson, along with a host of others, ruled the EBC.
Rucker Park was the ultimate stage for ball players to display their greatness on. Some would even argue, if you didn’t bring your game to the Rucker, then you weren’t truly a star.
As both a basketball and hip-hop fan, memorable moments of the EBC that will live infinitely in my memory’s hall of records include: Vince Carter’s complete on-court domination, Jay Z’s and Fat Joe’s off-court war (same day as the 2003 blackout that had me walking 70 NYC blocks Uptown to Harlem to stay with a friend, and listening to Hot 97 on a battery-operated radio), LL Cool J’s “Hey Lover” video, and Kevin Durant dropping double sixes (66 points) on everyone’s heads back in 2011.
My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.
Photos: Ernesto Guadalupe, Youtube/bugpowderdust27; Videos: YouTube/beastgamerkay