Biz Markie: Make The Music

Internationally renowned and beloved, the Clown Prince of Hip-Hop, Biz Markie (born Marcel Theo Hall) has passed away at 57 years old. Best known for his massive hit “Just a Friend,” Biz Markie was a talented beatboxer (a talent he honed during his teens) and rapper, but embraced his goofiness with playful, self-deprecating lyrics and off-tune singing: “I’d rather have a smile than to be serious.” Growing up on Long Island, he DJ-ed at NYC nightclubs and joined the Queensbridge-based Juice Crew in the ’80s, before signing to Prism Records and releasing his debut record Goin’ Off in 1988. From that album, the lead single “Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz,” showcased his beatboxing skills. While Biz Markie never saw the same huge popularity of “Just A Friend” ever again, he worked alongside Marley Marl, Beastie Boys, Wu-Tang Clan and others, and appeared in TV and movies. He told Entertainment Weekly in 2019, “I don’t feel bad. I know what I did in hip-hop.”