This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
April 8th, 2012
April 8th – Biz Markie was born Marcel Theo Hall in Harlem, New York, on this day in 1964.
Biz Markie who is often-times known as “The Clown Prince Of Rap” or the “Rufus Thomas of Hip-Hop”, began his career as one of New York City’s most respected beat-boxers.
Biz Markie shared that talent with Roxanne Shante of The Juice Crew, appearing on her 1986 recording “Def Fresh Crew.”
Biz Markie would then become part of the legendary Juice Crew which at the time consisted of founder, producer and DJ Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo, MC Shan, Craig G as well as Shante.
Later in the year Biz released his debut single, “Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz” on Prism Records.
Biz Markie’s debut album “Goin’ Off” was released in 1988 on Marl’s Cold Chillin Records. “Goin’ Off” contained “Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz” as well as other Biz classics like “Vapors”, “Nobody Beats The Biz”, “Pickin’ Boogers”, “Biz Is Going Off” and “This Is Something For The Radio.”
Biz Markie released his sophomore joint “The Biz Never Sleeps” in 1989 which spawned the classic hit “Just A Friend.”
In 1991, Biz Markie’s career would forever be changed as well as that of hip-hop recordings with the release of his third album “I Need A Haircut”. “I Need A Haircut” contained a track called “Alone Again” which sampled Gilbert O’Sullivan’s 1970’s hit “Alone Again (Naturally).” O’Sullivan sued, and Warner Bros. which distributed Cold Chillin, was forced to remove the album from retail. Cold Chillin would later re-release “I Need A Haircut” minus the controversial song in question. Hip-hop records using samples would now have to be cleared in “Special Markets Departments.”
Biz Markie’s next album released in 1993 would be ironically and jokingly entitled “All Samples Cleared”, a clear sign that the Biz had not lost his signature sense of humor despite the legal wrangling of his previous album. “All Samples Cleared” would be his last album for Cold Chillin.
Markie’s most recent album was 2003’s “Weekend Warrior” on Tommy Boy Records and featured guest appearances by P Diddy , Elephant Man, Erick Sermon and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Over the years Biz Markie has collaborated with rock legends The Rolling Stones, Slick Rick, Will Smith, The Beastie Boys and Canibus to name just a few.
Biz Markie also appeared in the 2002 Columbia Pictures sci-fi hit film “Men In Black II”, alongside Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
Biz Markie has also done extensive television work as well, appearing on “In Living Color”, Fastlane”, “Celebrity Fit Club” and “Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out” to name a mere few.
Biz Markie has also one of the world’s biggest collections of old-school hip-hop parties and concert fliers, which he keeps in mint condition.
Biz Markie is one of the most recognizable figures in hip-hop history.