R.I.P. Biz Markie. The incredible emcee has passed away from complications of Type 2 Diabetes. One of the most marvelous and brilliant and phenomenal personalities the world has ever seen is no longer with us. We truly lost one but his memory will forever live on through his numerous contributions to the culture.
Marcel Theo Hall was born just in time for Hip Hop. Mid-Sixties to early-Seventies New York beginnings were the grounds that Biz grew Biz into the pioneer we know today. But Biz was different in almost every way. With his comedic demeanor, impeccable flow and quotable lyrics, he quickly saw stardom in the golden age of Hip Hop. His debut, 1988’s Goin Off, contained the instant classics “Make the Music With Your Mouth Biz”, “Vapors”, “Nobody Beats the Biz” and “Pickin’ Boogers”.
It’s difficult to imagine a Hip Hop without Biz. As a member of the influential Juice Crew, he managed to stay relatively distant from the pivotal beef with Boogie Down Productions. A beef that saw considerable back-and-forth attacks between the early Hip Hop crews. He was always known as the funny guy that could rock and while he was among the best emcees, he never fought to be in his own lane. R.I.P. Biz Markie.
On 1989’s The Biz Never Sleeps, he gave the world the indelible “Just A Friend”. The record was a smash. It’s Freddie Scott sample and off-key vocals detailing love lost went platinum, reaching number nine on the Hot 100. It was the biggest record of his career prompting the uninitiated to label him as a one-hit-wonder.
R.I.P Biz Markie
One summer day in LA around 2005 I was on the bus on my way home from work. As the bus stopped on Pico near Factors Famous Deli I saw the Biz standing and talking. I immediately exited the already stopping bus and approached Mr. Markie.
He expressed genuine appreciation towards my acknowledgment of his greatness. He was surprised at a young dude like myself giving him his flowers. I told him I got off the bus to say what’s up, to which he said thanks and he would’nt have gotten off for anybody. He asked if I rap to which I replied no. A car was pulling up for him and I think he would’ve asked me to spit some bars had I said yes but he just said thanks again and peace.
That five or so minutes was enough for me. The Biz had too much for the world and he fought the illness that takes so many. He was sorely missed on his show on Sirius XM’s Rock The Bells Radio after complications arose in 2020. In early 2021 there were reports of his death, prompting many to predict the end was near. While this is a true loss for the culture we must be strong for each other and accept that death is a part of life.
There will never be a replacement for the Biz. His name rings bells in the annals of Hip Hop hierarchy and we will never forget what he did for the culture. Long live the Clown Prince of Hip Hop. R.I.P Biz Markie.