Ten Highly Entertaining Videos By Biz Markie
Biz Markie is hip-hop's most brilliant buffoon. An adept beatboxer, endearingly entertaining rapper, and deliberately awful singer, Biz coined classics during hip-hop's late-'80s golden era and rolled with Marley Marl's almighty Juice Crew. Then he pulled his biggest prank: sampling and getting sued by Gilbert O'Sullivan for illegal use of the song "Alone Again (Naturally)," and therein scuppering many a creative thought about sampling someone else's music without applying (and paying) for permission.
In honor of Biz's appearance at the Brooklyn Bowl tonightwhere he'll be spinning records from his vast vinyl crateshere are ten clips starring the man and his antics.
10. "Bennie And The Jets"
One of the grandest ever examples of rappers singing badly), here Biz covers Elton John (an early version featured the Beastie Boys on backup duty). Crucially, Biz's live rendition includes the bits where he clearly does not know the lyrics to the song.
Featuring the whole darn familyand a woman in a bikini playing a saxophone on a speedboatBiz's tale of duplicitous types who only want to hang around when your stock is sky-rocketing is a fine excuse for cohorts TJ Swann and Big Daddy Kane to dress up in slick suits and lounge around on a yacht. This was common practice in the '80s.
8. "Turn Tha Party Out"
Saturday morning-style animation illustrates Biz's 2001 sort-of tribute to tracking down the ultimate breakbeat. As Biz rifles through a crate of records, the video throws up some decent puns on hip-hop groups (The Bratty Boys; Big Daddy Fade), not to mention rap's second-best-worst Austin Powers impression after Jigga's "Oh, behave."
7. "Michael Jackson Tribute"
As the title cryptically hints, this is live footage of Biz beat-boxing a short tribute to the deceased King of Pop. Apparently, the Michael Jackson segment is now a staple in Biz's live shows. (Expect him to drop "Somebody's Watching Me" on Thursday.)
6. "Def Fresh Crew"
Cats! No, seriously, 1986's "Def Fresh Crew" may have helped announce Roxanne Shante as one of rap's all-time great female rappers, but it also includes the very important declaration, "Talk to the girls, you know they are wack/ Tell those crabs they sound like cats." Cue Biz making cat noises. This happens. (Note: Live video footage contains abridged lyrics.)