February 23, 2021

Biz Markie "Press Kit" (1988)

Biz Markie is hot! His vocal delivery is different and unusual. His lyrics are enjoyable, funny, and occasionally outrageous. He loves an audience and will do anything to please them. This shows in his lyrics, "When it comes to partying I'm a nymphomaniac." Known as the "Inhuman Orchestra," Markie is an expert human beat box virtuoso, literally making the music with his mouth. He has been using his body as an instrument since he was a kid, doing the hambone on the streets of Harlem, NY. In addition to being a helluva hamboner, Biz Markie is also quite adept at the lost Southern art of "beating the spoons." Born Marcel Hall in Harlem (April 8, 1964), Biz Markie seems to be the creation of a mad B-movie scientist, with a weird sense of genetics and humor. It is actually quite easy imagining George Clinton as Dr. Funkenstein making up Biz Markie in his electro-funk laboratory aboard the Mothership. He takes elements of the street urchin, the Artful Dodger, from Dickens' Oliver Twist, and mixes them with the old limey medicine show tradition and the satchelmouthed tomfoolery of Louis Armstrong. The good Doctor then gives his creation the gift of rap gab, the ability to rock the house with rhythmic rhymes over a funky beat. Combine all this with the experience of living in the streets on his own for a number of years, and you have the Biz Markie...

Biz worked the rap circuit for a couple of years, playing the Roxy, the Fun House, and other venues; sharing the bill with Doug E. Fresh, Dana Dane, Fresh 3, Lovebug Starsky, and other rap contenders. But his big break came when he ran into producer Marley Marl in a hallway in the Queensbridge Projects in 1995. Marl has a studio in the Queens housing projects, out of which has come Roxanne Shante's classic "Roxanne's Revenge" and other rap hits. According to Biz, "Marley and I met up and went into his studio and did some stuff." This stuff included some of the hippest, freshest rap records to come out in a long time. With Marley Marl at the production helm, Biz Markie signed with Len Fichtelberg's Prism Records and brought out a number of wonderful recordings that have further established him as something of a cult hero among the hip-hop hardcore. The success of tunes like "Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz," "Nobody Beats The Biz" and "Pickin' Boogers," prompted Fichtelberg to go into partnership with Biz's manager, Tyrone Williams, and launch Cold Chillin' Records as an exclusive rap label, with Marley Marl producing all of the releases by the likes of Biz Markie, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, T.J. Swan, and Kool G Rap, and other Cold Chillin' artists. Future product by Biz Markie on Cold Chillin' promises to build on his reputation as one of the newest and most innovative rap artists on the scene today. - Press Kit, 01/88.  Biz Markie's debut album, Goin' Off, was released on this day in 1988. It features the tracks "Pickin' Boogers," "Biz Is Goin' Off," "Vapors," "Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz," "Nobody Beats the Biz" and "This Is Something For The Radio," among others. While the album isn't available to stream through Spotify, the compilation, "Biz's Baddest Beats" is, which features all the singles from the album. Ironically, I borrowed this album from the Tower Records in the Village back in the day, lol. I remember it like it was yesterday. The masterful art-piece below is by TKO Sato. Much respect, Biz!