A few months ago I was contacted by a customer in Canada about the possibility of doing a Biz Markie music series bag. I was excited, to say the least, because I absolutely love the music series in general, and understanding peoples' connections to their favorite musicians, I am completely open to fashioning bags of all sorts with inspiration from all genres of music. But I have to admit, I was even more excited on this particular occasion because the artist that they wanted on the bag was Biz Markie. Biz Markie's debut LP "Going Off" was actually the very first cassette tape I personally owned (along with Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew), and I instantly remembered being in 8th grade and hearing "Pickin' Boogers" for the first time. The year was '88 (yes I'm old).
Biz was the original clown of hip hop in my mind, and moreover I love the fact that his music references a time when you could listen to songs about simple stuff....like going to the mall, or going to a party. When a video was basically filming you and your crew, beginning on a stoop and maybe ending in a park. His cut "Nobody Beats the Biz" is a classic no doubt, but especially for NYC kids it was extra nice because it parodied the "Wiz" electronics store chain's commercial jingle.
I can't go on without mentioning that Biz was part of The Juice Crew, a classic group of emcee's and dj's featuring himself, Marley Marl (one of the pioneers of hip hop in radio and production), Craig G, Roxanne Shante, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Masta Ace, MC Shan, and others. Red Alert's weekly radio show was completely inundated with Juice Crew tracks, and "The Vapors" was maybe one of my favorites. Check out a young Marley and Kane...and also peep TJ Swan's fresh dipped gear. This was the era of suits, chains, Travel Fox, Troop, MCM, and Gucci and Louis Vouitton velour, and Biz represented it well.
The song that made him famous as far as the mainstream goes was "Just a Friend", a single from his sophomore release ("The Biz Never Sleeps") in 1989
Biz's future albums never again really reached the peaks of the first couple, but since then he has switched his focus to dj'ing and is actually extremely successful at it. Not to mention the various appearances on television on everything from kiddie shows (teaching the youngsters how to beat box) to VH1. Biz is definitely a living legend and I'm happy to have a Biz bag out there.