The âClown Prince of Hiphopâ is best known for his hit âJust A Friendâ.
Biz Markie passed away on Friday July 16 at the age of 57 from complications from type 2 diabetes. The rapper is best known for his 1989 hit “Just A Friend”.
Biz Markie will be remembered for the raw and soulful style he brought to hip hop. A style he perfectly illustrated on “Just A Friend” that fans and his peers have loved about him ever since.
According to Rolling Stone, Biz Markie received the title Clown Prince of Hip hop for his “half-sung and intentionally wrong choruses, captivating beatbox, and silly humor.”
Born April 8, 1964 in Harlem, New York, Biz Markie, real name Marcel Theo Hall, started in the late 1970s as a disc jockey and released mixtapes. Peers credit Biz Markie with the status of an influential artist who was there in the heyday of hip hop and who was among the first artists to break into the mainstream in the early days of the genre.
He released his first album titled “Goin ‘Off” in 1988 and got quite a buzz with the single “Make Music with Your Mouth, Biz” as well as some underground hit singles such as “Pickin’ Boogers”, “Nobody Beats The Biz “and” Vapors “.
But it’s his 1989 album “The Biz Never Sleeps” released on the Cold Chillin ‘label under Warner Bros. Records which earned him wide success. “Just A Friend” saw Biz Markie alternate rap and sing on the 1968 song “You Got What I Need” by Freddie Scott. The track became Biz Markie’s most successful single.
The song is included in VH1’s 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of All Time, as well as VH1’s Greatest Wonders list.
Although he only had one hit, Biz Markie was a respected figure in hip hop and has remained culturally significant ever since.
He appeared in Men in Black II, playing as an alien parody of himself whose language is the beatbox, along with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. His song “Vapors” was used in the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas video game, as was “Pickin ‘Boogers” in the Saints Row video game. He has also appeared on several TV shows including Celebrity Fit Club, Nick Cannon’s Wild n ‘Out and Nick Jr.’s show Yo Gabba Gabba !, as well as reciting his famous âOh Snap! Guess what I saw! line from “Just A Friend” on a Radio Shack commercial. Biz Markie has also appeared in an episode of Spongebob Square Pants, Sharknado 2: The Second One, as well as an episode of Empire as himself.
An official statement from his representative said: âIt is with deep sadness that we announce, tonight, with his wife Tara by his side, hip hop pioneer Biz Marke has passed away peacefully. We are grateful for the many supportive calls and prayers we have received during this difficult time. Biz has created an artistic legacy that will be forever celebrated by his industry peers and beloved fans whose lives he has been able to touch through music spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many of his family and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent jokes. We respectfully ask for the privacy of his family as they mourn their loved one. “
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