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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
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Stations Featuring
Biz Markie

    1-Hit Wonders

    1-Hit Wonders
    1 song

    '80s Hip-Hop

    '80s Hip-Hop
    6 songs

    '80s Urban Music

    '80s Urban Music
    6 songs

    '90s Hip-Hop

    '90s Hip-Hop
    2 songs

Albums by
Biz Markie

Top Songs by
Biz Markie

  1.   Song
  2.   Just a Friend
  3.   Nobody Beats the Biz
  4.   Vapors
  5.   Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz
  6.   Return of the Biz Dance
  7.   Biz Is Goin' Off
  8.   Spring Again
  9.   Friends
  10.   Pickin' Boogers
  11.   To My Boys
  12.   For the DJ'z
  13.   I Hear Music
  14.   The Doo Doo
  15.   One Two
  16.   This Is Something for the Radio
  17.   Let Me Turn You On
  18.   Albee Square Mall
  19.   Kung Fu
  20.   Busy Doing Nuthin'
  21.   Pancakes & Syrup
  22.   Biz's Beat of the Day #1
  23.   The Do Do
  24.   Not a Freak
  25.   Games
  26.   Turn Back the Hands of Time
  27.   Country (Interlude)
  28.   Do Your Thang
  29.   Throw Back
  30.   Biz Clownin' (Interlude)
  31.   Like a Dream
  32.   Chinese Food
  33.   Tear S**t Up
  34.   The Gator (Dance)
  35.   Thanks
  36.   Funk Is Back
  37.   Bad by Myself
  38.   Hooker Got a Boyfriend
  39.   I'm Singin'
  40.   I'm the Biz Markie
  41.   Young Girl Bluez
  42.   Just Rhymin' With Biz
  43.   Star Spangled Banner/Nobody Beats the Biz
  44.   Cool V's Tribute to Scratching
  45.   Biz Dance, Pt. 1
  46.   Take It From the Top
  47.   I Told You
  48.   Road Block
  49.   Do Your Thing by P. Diddy
  50.   Ei Ya
  51.   Get Down
  52.   Beatbox (Interlude)
  53.   Party to the Break-A-Day
  54.   Let Me See U Bounce
  55.   Intro
  56.   Groovin'
  57.   Family Tree
  58.   I'm a Ugly Nigga (So What)
  59.   On and On
  60.   Let Go My Eggo
  61.   What Comes Around Goes Around
  62.   Romeo and Juliet
  63.   T.S.R. (Toilet Stool Rap)
  64.   The Energy Blues

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