Biz Markie (born Marcel Hall April 8, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York) is an African American East Coast hip hop artist best known for humorous singles like "Just a Friend".
Markie's career began in the early 1980s as a performer, then a human beatbox for MC Shan and Roxanne Shante, among others. He signed to the Cold Chillin' record label in 1988 and released Goin' Off, an underground hit. "Just a Friend" (from The Biz Never Sleeps) was released the following year, and it became a mainstream hit in the United States.
As one of hip hop's biggest stars of the time, Biz had a lot of pressure for his third album, I Need a Haircut. The album was a commercial disaster, exacerbated by a lawsuit from Gilbert O'Sullivan for sampling "Alone Again (Naturally)" in the song "Alone Again". The lawsuit, Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Brothers Records, Inc., changed hip hop forever, as afterwards, all samples were cleared with the original artist before they could be used.
Biz continued his career in 1993, releasing All Samples Cleared!, but the record was another commercial disappointment. For the next few years, Biz worked with the Beastie Boys occasionally, began DJing and kept a low profile.
Within the last few years, Biz appeared in Men in Black II with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
In 2005, Biz was featured on the VH1 television reality show, "Celebrity Fit Club", where overweight celebrities are shown attempting to lose weight.
He has also made a career as a DJ, giving performances where he uses his somewhat voluminous gut to move a record on a turntable and thus scratch.
Biz Markie is an East Coast hip hop artist, DJ and world-renowned Human Beat Boxer, best known for humorous singles like "Just a Friend" and "Pickin' Boogers." and his pre-MTV hit "Vapors". He has been labeled The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop. His career began in the 1980s. In 1992, Biz recorded a song called "Alone Again," but Gilbert O'Sullivan claimed the track featured an unauthorized sample of his hit "Alone Again (Naturally)," and served Biz papers. His career was quite damaged from the lawsuit, and Biz ducked out of the harshest glare of the limelight for the remainder of the 1990s. He did do a bit of work with Len, Will Smith and the Beastie Boys. During this time he developed his DJ skills. He could scratch using his prodigious stomach. In 2003, Biz began recording again. As of 2008, Biz can be seen on the popular children's' show "Yo Gabba Gabba" performing various beat box segments known as "Biz's Beat of the Day" where he encourages the kids at home to beat box with him. He has appeared on numerous tv shows and movies including Men in Black II, The Andy Milonakis Show, Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out, In Living Color, Fastlane and a RadioShack commercial. In 2005, Biz appeared on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, and won. Read more on Last.fm. last.fm