The tragic story of Sporty Thievs’ Marlon Brando
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The tragic story of Sporty Thievs' Marlon Brando

Sporty Thievs was a short-lived trio comprised of King Kirk, Big Dubezand, and the late Marlon Brando, who rose out of Yonkers in the 1990s. The collective was mainly known for their male rebuttal to TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’. Entitled ‘No Pigeons’, the song was a popular parody and got a reasonable amount of airplay on local radio. However, it was still considered a gimmick track.

In 1998, the crew released their debut albumStreet Cinema, and were riding high from the success of ‘Cheapskate (You Ain’t Getting’ Nada)’ and ‘No Pigeons.’ In April 2000, Sporty Thievs released the single ‘La La,’ which became a hip-hop radio hit in its own right and appeared on their independent album, In Stores Now!

However, for the release of their sophomore project, the trio decided to throw an album release party. Having originally come out of Yonkers, the trio lived in the Bronx during this period.

Unfortunately, this is where things took a turn for the worse because while exiting a deli in the Bronx at 3am, a reckless minivan driver ran a red light, swerved onto the sidewalk and hit Marlon Brando.

According to the trio’s DJ Gehai, the collision crushed both of his legs and sent his blood pressure plummeting. He was pronounced dead by a spokesperson for the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the South Bronx, later that day.

At the time of his death, the rapper was only 22 years old and had just become a father to a newborn baby. The emcee (real name Marlon Bryant) was one of the main contributors to ‘No Pigeons’ and was at the centre of the group.

Following his death, in an interview with MTV News, DJ Gehai explained, “He basically came up with the idea for all the hooks, the concepts for the song. Bran was the comedian of the group. He’d been through a lot of sh*t, like everybody else, but you’d always see Bran smiling and cracking a joke.”

The Yonkers-based group, whose other members are King Kirk and Big Dubez, planned on staying together. However, following Bryant’s death, the collective faded into obscurity. You can hear more about his death in the video below.