About Biz Markie
Dubbed the “Clown Prince of Hip Hop,” rapper Biz Markie will forever be known for 1990’s “Just A Friend,” a playful song about romantic frustration that was among the first hip-hop singles to go platinum.
• Born in Harlem but raised on Long Island, Biz Markie began DJing around New York City and hitting the college circuit before proving himself as a rapper with his 1988 debut album, Goin’ Off.
• His career-making single “Just a Friend” interpolates Freddie Scott’s 1968 soul hit “(You) Got What I Need.” It reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Biz’s first (and only) appearance on that chart.
• The rapper’s 1991 album I Need a Haircut includes “Alone Again,” which samples Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1972 song “Alone Again (Naturally).” O’Sullivan successfully sued for copyright infringement, and the case changed the face of hip-hop.
• Biz referenced the copyright controversy in the title of his 1993 album All Samples Cleared!.
• He provides uncredited vocals on JAY-Z’s 2001 single “Girls, Girls, Girls” and makes a cameo in the music video.
• Beastie Boys were big Biz fans—they included the rapper on their albums Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994), and Hello Nasty (1998).
• A true hip-hop renaissance man, Biz has appeared in films like Men in Black II and TV series like Celebrity Fit Club. In 2008, he opened for comedian Chris Rock on his No Apologies Tour.
HOMETOWNNew York, NY [Harlem]
BORNApril 8, 1964