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Biz Markie

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Bio

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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Albums by
Biz Markie

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    18 songs

    On Air

    Weekend Warrior

    12 songs

    On Air

    All Samples Cleared!

    5 songs

    On Air

    Chinese Food/Do Your Thang

    5 songs

    On Air

    Just a Friend EP

    15 songs

    On Air

    Biz's Baddest Beats: The Best of Biz Markie

    12 songs

    On Air

    I Need a Haircut

    10 songs

    On Air

    Goin' Off

    40 songs

    On Air

    Goin' Off [Bonus Disc]

    4 songs

    On Air

    Chinese Food/Do Your Thang

    17 songs

    On Air

    The Best of Cold Chillin'

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Biz Never Sleeps

    18 songs

    On Air

    The Biz Never Sleeps

    13 songs

    On Air

    The Biz Never Sleeps [Japan Bonus Track]

    24 songs

    On Air

    On the Turntable


Top Songs by
Biz Markie

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Just a Friend
  3.   Nobody Beats the Biz
  4.   Vapors
  5.   Biz Is Goin' Off
  6.   Spring Again
  7.   Return of the Biz Dance
  8.   Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz
  9.   Friends
  10.   Studda Step
  11.   Beat Box Freestyle
  12.   Pickin' Boogers
  13.   This Is Something for the Radio
  14.   Albee Square Mall
  15.   Just Rhymin' With Biz
  16.   Not a Freak
  17.   Biz in Harmony
  18.   Mudd Foot
  19.   T.S.R. (Toilet Stool Rap)
  20.   Nobody
  21.   Spring Againjust a Friend
  22.   Pancakes & Syrup
  23.   Biz Intro
  24.   Biz's Beat of the Day #1
  25.   Throw Back
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Biz Markie

    On Air

    One-Hit Wonders

    On Air

    Old School Rap

    On Air

    66 Songs That Changed The '80s

    On Air

    A Great Big World: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    '90s Hip Hop

    On Air

    Dr. Dre: DNA

    On Air

    Singing In The Shower

    On Air

    Sing-A-Long Songs

    On Air

    2Pac: DNA

    On Air

    Family Road Trip

    On Air

    Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch Tribute

    On Air

    Party Hits

    On Air

    The Notorious B.I.G.: DNA

    On Air

    N.W.A.: DNA

    On Air

    Beastie Boys: DNA

    On Air

    James Brown: DNA

    On Air

    The Current


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