Although his hit song “Just a Friend” was his first and only song to hit the top 10, Biz Markie was not just a one-hit-wonder. In fact, at some point in 1990, Biz Markie’s records were all over the radio. This was during the Golden Era of hip-hop, a time when Salt-n-Pepa and M.C. Hammer were rising through the ranks. In a top 40 list dominated by non-hip-hop stars of the 80’s such as Madonna, Luther Vandross, and Phil Collins, Biz Markie’s hits song “ Just a Friend” was among rap’s sole representatives in the list. Biz Markie has performed in numerous venues throughout his career, including; House of Blues, The Metropolitan, Ace of Spades, and The Fillmore. He is a certified hip-hop legend. Here is a list of 10 of his greatest tracks of all time.
10. Biz Is Goin’ Off
The single “Biz Is Goin’ Off” was released in 1988 from his album “Goin Off.” The track was produced by renowned producer Marley Marl and written by Big Daddy Kane. It is sampled from Dave and Ansel Collins song, “Double Barrel.” Biz Markey’s rap style stands out in this track over a simple mid-tempo instrumental. He mixes some comedy to his great rhymes in this track, making it decent. The track has been sampled in “We all over” by Masters of Illusion and Ted Talk by Jonwayne.
9. Pancakes and Syrup – Yo Gabba Gabba
Pancakes and Syrup was the second track from Biz Markie’s album “Fantastic Voyages.” The track was released on 12th December 2012. The song was featured in the American live-action, musical kids television series Yo Gabba Gabba in the episode “Shopping.”
8. Make the Music with Your Mouth
Still from his album “Goin Off,” this track was released from a great instrumental which samples Isaac Hayes’ “Ike’s Mood.” Marley Marl has sampled the same track over three times in the last 25 years. In this track Biz Markie spits some great vibes and throws in a rare beatbox. The track was released in March 1988 and has been sampled in several tracks, including Jay-z and Mya’s “Best of Me” (part 2), Changes I’ve been going through by Mary J Blige, and many others. The track has also been interpolated by Ice Cube and K-Dee in their hit song Make It Ruff, Make It Smooth.
7. Pickin Boogers
Pickin Boogers was initially released as a 12’ single in 1987 and was later included as the first track in Biz Markie’s album “Goin Off.” Biz spits the bars written by Big Daddy Kane in a unique flow that he is renowned for in this track. The whole song is about pickin boogers, and you can be sure that you will never look at spaghetti the same way after listening to this track. In addition, Big Daddy Kane could never have written such juvenile lyrics for himself. The track has been sampled by a couple of artists, including Nas in the song Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park) and Pete rock’s Verbal Murder 2.
6. This is Something for the Radio
The track was released on 1st March 1988, coming from the album “Goin Off.” With the ever-incredible instrumentals from Marley Marl, Biz Markie raps about just anything that comes to his mind. The track has been sampled from Marvin Gaye’s “Wherever I Lay My Hat,” “Change the Beat” by Fab 5 Freddy, and “New Position” by Prince.
5. Spring Again
The track was produced by Cool v and Biz Markie and was released in October 1989. The track was from his 1989 album “The Biz Never Sleeps.” In the track, Biz shows his outstanding rap skills, describing how spring feels like after winter. The track was sampled from “Now That We Found Love” by Third World, “Get Out of My Life Woman” by Lee Dorsey, and “Funky Drumer” by James Brown.
4. Albee Square Mall
From his album “Goin Off,” Albee Square Mall was a track that Biz Markie rapped to demonstrate his love for his favorite mall. The track was released in March of 1988, and it features TJ Swan, who serenade the Albee Square Mall (a mall in downtown Brooklyn) through the hook. Our only concern was whether the duo was compensated for the marketing they did for the mall.
3. Nobody Beats the Biz
This track was released on 1st March 1988 and was written and produced by Big Daddy Kane, Marley Marl, and Biz Markie. It is one of the famous tracks that Biz Markie featured TJ Swan on the chorus. The chorus of the track is inspired by The Wiz chain of electronics stores. The track is one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop, with over 100 vocal samples taken from this track. Some of the most famous artists to sample the song include A Tribe Called Quest, Large Professor, Janet Jackson, Hakeem Shakur, and Pete Rock.
After only three years in the game, releasing hit after hit, Vapors was the track that showed the world Biz Markie’s unique storytelling ability that gave us unforgettable verses like “Can you feel it, nothing can save ya.” The track is about the life of Biz Markie and other Juice Crew artists such as TJ Swan and Cutmaster Cool V. It depicts how they were hated and despised during their early lives. Still, the artists and people who hated them are now “catching the vapors” (trying to befriend them) now that they are finding success. In 1996, Snoop Dogg created his version of “Vapors” in his album “Tha Doggfather.”
1. Just a Friend
Coming from his album “The Biz Never Sleeps, “ Just a Friend was released in September 1989 as the album’s lead single. In the song, Biz Markie talks about his romantic frustrations after discovering that the lady she is romantically involved with is also involved with another guy she falsely claims to be “Just a Friend.” It is his most popular and successful single, having peaked at number 9 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1990. The track has been sampled from Freddie Scott’s “(You) Got What I Need.”