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Biz Markie

Biz Markie's inclination toward juvenile humor and his fondness for goofy, tuneless, half-sung choruses camouflaged his true talents as a freestyle rhymer. The Biz may not have been able to translate his wild rhyming talents to tape, but what he did record was worthwhile in its own way. With his silly humor and inventive, sample-laden productions, he proved that hip-hop could be funny and melodic, without sacrificing its street credibility. His distinctive style made his second album, The Biz Never Sleeps, a gold hit and its single, "Just a Friend," into a Top Ten pop single. While its success made Markie a semistar, it also cursed him. Not only was he consigned as a novelty act, but it brought enough attention that Gilbert O'Sullivan sued him over the unauthorized sample of "Alone Again (Naturally)" on Biz's 1991 album I Need a Haircut. The lawsuit severely cut into Markie's career, and 1993's All Samples Cleared! was the last record he released during the '90s. However, his reputation was restored somewhat in the mid-'90s as the Beastie Boys championed him and other alternative rap groups showed some debt to his wild, careening music.

A native of New York, Biz (born Marcel Hall) first came to prominence in the early '80s, when he began rapping at Manhattan nightclubs like the Funhouse and the Roxy. Biz met producer Marley Marl in 1985, and began working as a human beatbox for Marl-connected acts MC Shan and, later, Roxanne Shanté. He also recorded his first set of demos, and by 1988, had signed with Cold Chillin'. Later that year, he released his debut, Goin' Off, which became a word-of-mouth hit based on the underground hit singles "Vapors," "Pickin' Boogers," and "Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz." A year later, he broke into the mainstream when "Just a Friend," a single featuring rapped verses and out-of-tune sang choruses, reached the pop Top Ten, and its accompanying album, The Biz Never Sleeps, went gold.

The Biz Never Sleeps put him near the top of the hip-hop world, but he fell from grace as quickly as he achieved it. Biz's third album, I Need a Haircut, was already shaping up to be a considerable sales disappointment when he was served a lawsuit from Gilbert O'Sullivan, who claimed that the album's "Alone Again" featured an unauthorized sample of his hit "Alone Again (Naturally)." O'Sullivan won the case in a ruling that drastically changed the rules of hip-hop. According to the ruling, Warner Bros., the parent company of Cold Chillin', had to pull I Need a Haircut from circulation, and all companies had to clear samples fully before releasing a hip-hop record. Biz countered with his 1993 album, All Samples Cleared!, but his career had already been hurt by the lawsuit, and the record bombed.

For the remainder of the decade, he kept a low profile, occasionally guesting on records by the Beastie Boys and filming a freestyle television commercial for MTV2 in 1996. The alliance with the Beasties raised his profile considerably, but Biz began DJing instead of continuing to record. Finally, in 2003, he released Weekend Warrior for Tommy Boy, though it was his appearance (and victory) in 2005 on VH1' s Celebrity Fit Club that brought him more attention than the actual record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Lol
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Lol miss that song
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Would like to hear some from biz and rizel, and doggie fresh if they haven't done it yet
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Classic! Much respect to Biz Markie
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Promise he's just a friend!
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Biz markie rocks��
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Ooh baby you got what i need,,i remember those days...
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Biz is the wiz of the Hip-hop biz.
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caity_e2
Bryn loves this song and i love him
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Ohhh snap
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It'sgot thatdaystill J a m e s f r o m F r i
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I Luisstoryofc h a m c h m a s k don't now......ido
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Despite me having the flu my nose hearted been close to north have issued a answer life in all to my son .good is gone take me to safe ty s
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You got what I need but you say he's just a friend
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And she's says she's just w friend
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Don't listen when she says your just a friend
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Cool rap song
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Luv!
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True cat
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So true
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I had a friend a friend...... .

My hubby now
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Bumped into Biz at the Adidas store last week- real down to earth cat,
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teeroyjones. c o m
Hhh
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That happend to my mom and dad my my just had a friend hint hint
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True that
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Biz Markie's "just a friend?"
Hmmm...guess you just tripped & yer dick fell into someone's vagina?!?!?
WHOOPS!
Oh, but hey, 'you're just friends!'
Uh-HUH!
Good for you!
Got it!
Sweet!
(....7 months later: WTF?!?!?.... )
Thanks, Prince Charming!
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This confirms that Rap Artists shouldn't (try to) sing.
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Awesome song, this is the first song about the friend zone
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Such a chill song.
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Thee 80's ������....
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oldschool fa life
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I loved herr
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Blas Blah Blah. .,Just a FRIEND. ..
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all biz s**t rock u no!
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I love just a friend. but that chorus makes my f**king ears bleed
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Hell yeah some good old school rap finilly.
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He put in hat off hands down
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My mom used to go to high school with him up in Patchougue, New York. I heard he was the bomb.
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F U Busters
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I like this song
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Pure hip hop
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that was funny but true
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But you say he just a friend, but you say he just a friend. Oooohhh baby yoouuu
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nicko252008
Haha all the haters in here probably weren't even BORN yet.
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Ooo baby u
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You. You got what I need
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Follow mee(:
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And you say shes just a friend he sounds white
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YOUUUUUUUUUU U U YOUUUUUUUUUU GOT WHAT I NEED BUT YOU SAY HE IS JUST A FRIEND!
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This dude f**king sucks
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