Biz Markie, 57, an originally American born Marcel Theo Hall and a hip-hop personality who is larger than life, has died. Hall became a much-loved cultural icon in his latter life, known for his career from 1986 onward and hailed as a big success of “Just a Friend” in 1989, for his lively demeanor. Jenni D. Izumi, his director, confirmed his death.
Izumi said to NPR by email, “We are thankful for the multitude of calls and prayers that we got during this time of difficulty. “Biz has established an artistic legacy which his industry peers and devoted followers will always cherish, and which he has touched via music for over 35 years.
Hall has been medically unwell for months, but Izumi didn’t share any official statement on cause of death.
Biz was old while rap was still new. An era which appeared innocent, yet yet incredibly innovative, in terms of approach and style, free for everyone. Before he moved to Long Island in his younger years, he was born in Harlem.
The 1986 Dutch hip-hop documentary Big Fun in the Big Town finest caught an early introduction to people outside New York, at least on film. In it, we see a tall, flawless beatboxer with great lettering in a cap, which reads “Biz Markie.” His teammate, Roxanne Shanté, is exuberant on stage.
They do enthusiastic dances when the camera zooms towards Biz, showing the instinctive comfort of packaging a party and moving a crowd by his voice and the presence of the nature.
He was an early stand-out in the crew, a dazzling group lead by producer Marley Marl, a visionary who brought together a team so skilled and rich in character, that it was only the Otherworldliness of Wu-Tang Clan that equaled it in the current day.
The gang, the primarily Queensbridge-based membership of which were established by DJ Magic, was placed on the record label of Tyrone Williams, Cold Chillin’ Records. Marley produced their earliest single, ‘Roxanne’s Revenge, 1984, and starred Roxanne Shante, 15 years old. The flamboyant release was a smash, and Juice Crew’s early steps have been mainly responsible.
There were numerous eventual greats in the fledgling proto-supergroup: Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, MC Shan and others. They were the foremost in their day, a tremendous duo that embodied the new school in the booming popularity of rap in the mid-1980s.
Each member had different characteristics. Biz was a jester, the comedic relief in a group of serious rhyming specialists, if Kane was the dancing playboy and G Rap the hustling. His delivery was never as haphazard as the other, but he used props and costumes to take use of his stature; he put the mike on his neck when he was beatboxing.
His self-depeating was a pleasant, resolutely humble contrast in a braggadocian environment, a topic he never wandered so far for the remainder of his life. Many people call him lovingly the “clown prince” of hip hop.
Bits first official solo album was the 1988 Goin’ Off, Marley Marl’s debut, highlighted by some of his finest singles: “Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz,” “Nobody Beats the Biz,” and “Vapors,” which was a smash from a humorous, four-sided narrative of prosperity and jealousy. He laments deeply in the final stroke of the song: “I’m saying, “Master, may I be here?” They were saying “No!” and they were treating me like a wet food stamp.”
The Biz Never Sleeps not only produced Markie’s most famous song, but also the “Just A Friend” of rap. He sampled the “You Have What I Need” by Freddie Scott masterfully and finally was his biggest song on Billboard at No. 9. Biz gives a powdered wig in this song video and brilliantly portrays Mozart. This was a tale of continuous refusal supported by a chorus’ earworm. On the covers of the 12 inch record, Biz is shown sobbing; huge frown, handkerchief and all.
I Need A Haircut, follow-up to a ruling on copyright law by Biz Never Sleeps, is widely mentioned: For illegal use of his hit “Alone Again (naturally)” in 1972, Singer-songwriter Gilbert O’Sullivan has sued Biz and his record-label, Warner Bros.. As a result, it was an important judgement that strengthened sampling regulations later on to enforce strict requirements on licencing for all future releases of rap (and music).
Despite the brilliant moments, the leader among them, “Alone Again,” the song that made people feel troubled and left the whole business shaking, copies of I Need A Haircut were taken from the storage shelves. His second version, All Samples Cleared, was named impishly!
When the 1990s ended, it was evident that Biz was embedded in hip hop, but also beyond. He was admired by three projects, including the Beastie Boys; Check your Head, (1992) and Hello Nasty, Ill Communication (1994). (1998). The Rolling Stones sampled him on “Anybody Seen My Baby,” adding the tune to his voice. Songs such as Len’s “Beautiful Day” in 1999 also featured on reality television (Celebrité Fit Club).
Weekend Warrior, Biz’s finishing studio album, debuted in 2003. He saw 45, King and J-Zone working with him, but the bunch of bikes he did. P. Diddy validated his ennobled status with a major appearance. The CD features a beautiful late-era piece (“Chinese Food”), in which he praises Lopez and Aaliyah before naming in the choir all his favourite Chinese foods.
He featured in the films, and in Men In Black II he played an intercosmic version of himself. In television, he played a role in the show of Yo Gabba Gabba, the music-centered youngster! He provides short instructions on how to beat boxes, frequently in costumes, in a delightful section called “Biz’s Beat of the day.” On his No Apologies tour he also opened for Chris Rock.
There are popular t-shirts with his face, which are now known as the “Oh Snap!” When his fandom was ever strong, dolls were all collecting goods with their likeness, cereal boxes and action figures.
Biz might be seen in social media, uploading toys from his collection, or playing 45s in a one-story twin till he said his recent hospitalisation in late July 2020. He toured still and he appeared to have performances and guest appearances frequently.
He would put fliers, antique ones from tech conventions that felt historical or present. There are also photos of Slick Rick and Rakim and other luminaries. He was intact, as essential in the above-mentioned 1986 German documentary, his heart-breathing grin and comedy vitality.
During 2005, a freelance rapper named Edan forecast a track called “Funky Voltron,” that this horrible day will come, “‘What if the rhythms sound uncomfortably and the children bark live / It will become a sad day, like when the “Bizmark” dies!.” For more than 30 years Biz has simply planned to live joy through comedy which has always been healthy and happy. He wanted him to laugh, to enjoy his toys and record collection and beats, his songs, his witchcraft and his faces. His artwork seemed inclusive. And we have been.