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Biz Markie

Background information
Birth name Marcel Hall
Also known as The Diabolical Biz Markie, The Clown Prince God of the Southwest Atlantic
Born April 8, 1964 (1964-04-08) (age 45)[1]
Origin Savage, Maryland,
United States
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1982–present
Labels Cold Chillin', Warner Brothers
Associated acts Juice Crew, Beastie Boys

Marcel Theo Hall (born April 8, 1964[1] in Savage, Maryland) better known by his stage name Biz Markie, is a rapper, DJ, comedian, actor, reality television personality and commercial spokesperson, best known for the single "Just a Friend", an American top-10 hit in 1989.



Biz Markie's career began in the Benning Hills neighborhood of Columbus, GA in the early 1980s, where he established his reputation as a beat-box and rapper. MC Shan and Roxanne Shante were Marley Marl's and Cold Chillin' Records first acts. Biz beatboxed on Roxanne Shante's underground hit "Def Fresh Crew" (1986), which lent credibility to his recording career and put Cold Chillin' on the map. In the same year, Biz Markie's 'coming out' single, "Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz", was released on Prism Records. He released his debut album, Goin' Off, which attracted a fair amount of attention, largely due to the lead single, "Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz". The album also featured the underground hit singles "Nobody Beats The Biz", "The Vapors" and "Pickin' Boogers".[2]

I Need a Haircut

As one of the most prominent hip-hop stars of a still low-key musical scene, expectations were high for Biz's next album, I Need a Haircut. Sales were already disappointing when Biz was served a lawsuit by Gilbert O'Sullivan, who claimed that the album's Alone Again featured an unauthorized sample from his hit Alone Again (Naturally). O'Sullivan's claim was upheld in a landmark ruling, Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records, Inc.,[3] that altered the landscape of hip-hop, finding that all samples must be cleared with the original artist before being used. In accordance with 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 with the samples' creators before releasing the records. This development reflected the increasing popularity of hip-hop and the financial stakes over which releases were set. Biz responded in 1993 with the mischievously titled All Samples Cleared!, but his career had been hurt by the publicity emanating from the lawsuit, and the record suffered accordingly. For the remainder of the decade, he stayed out of the spotlight, occasionally doing work like his 1996 freestyle rap commercial on MTV2 and many guest appearances with the Beastie Boys, "Check Your Head" (1992), "Ill Communication" (1994), "Hello Nasty" (1998), and their anthology The Sounds of Science (1999). He also rapped on the song "Schizo Jam", on Don Byron's 1998 release, "Nu Blaxploitation" (Blue Note/Capitol) and worked with Canibus on the first track on the Office Space soundtrack (1999).

Other work

In 2002, he appeared as an alien in Men in Black II with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, essentially playing an alien parody of himself, whose native language sounded exactly like beatboxing. Between 2002 and 2003 he appeared in episode 5 of the TV series Fastlane playing himself as a nightclub DJ. In 2003 he appeared in the international television series titled Kung Faux performing a series of voice over characters featured in a variety of episodes. In 2004, his song The Vapors appeared on the soundtrack of Rockstar's popular videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which featured a old school hip hop radio station, Playback FM. In 2005, Biz detoured from his recording duties to appear on the first season of the television show Celebrity Fit Club which challenged celebrities to lose weight by a combination of diet and exercise. Biz Markie lost more weight than anybody else in the competition. That year, he was also in an episode of The Andy Milonakis Show. He appeared as the Rap Fairy, and said, "I'm the Biz Markie, and it's about that time I grant you the powers of rap and rhyme." He granted Milonakis "rap powers", and demanded $35 from Milonakis, who paid him with potato chips and beef jerky.

Biz Markie was a cast member on Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out, seasons 1 and 3. Biz also does the beatboxing segment, Biz's Beat of the Day on the Nick Jr. show Yo Gabba Gabba!.

Biz Markie ended 2007 and began 2008 opening for Chris Rock's No Apologies" tour. Biz Markie's act includes spinning records ranging from old school hip hop to Lynyrd Skynyrd and then performing "Just a Friend" [4]. Biz Markie's play list includes the following: "Children's Story" by Slick Rick, "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang, "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, "Holiday" by Madonna, "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" by Wham!, "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, "The Breaks" by Kurtis Blow and "Robot Rock" by Daft Punk.

In December of 2009, Biz Markie appeared in a RadioShack commercial, repeating the line: "Oh Snap! Guess what I saw!" from his song "Just A Friend".[5] That same year saw his debut with Andy Milonakis in television commercials for the commercial Internet service, Tune Up.[6]



Studio albums



Year Song Chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
1987 "Make the Music with Your Mouth" 84 Goin' Off
1988 "Vapors" 80
1989 "Just a Friend" 9 37 5 The Biz Never Sleeps
1991 "What Comes Around Goes Around" 84 4 I Need a Haircut
1993 "Let Me Turn You On" 7 All Samples Cleared!
1993 "Young Girl Bluez" 4


External links


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