, who came to fame during hip-hop's golden era as the beatboxing rapper with a sharp wit & comedic streak, initially won fans with such records as "Just A Friend," "Vapors," Pickin' Boogers," and "Make The Music WIth Your Mouth, Biz." But these days he is better known for his movie and TV roles, including playing the beatboxing alien in Men In Black II
or his ongoing entertaining part in the Nickelodeon TV
kids show Yo Gabba Gabba!
where he does his short but fun "Beat of The Day" segment.
Along with the Fat Boys
and Doug E Fresh,
Biz Markie ranks as one of the early ambassadors of beatboxing, credited with bringing the hip-hop art form to the masses. In the music history books the Biz will also be immortalized in the early 1990's landmark sampling court case with Gilbert O'Sullivan
which would forever alter (read: stifle) the direction that hip-hop production would thereafter take.
Born Marcel Hall
in Harlem, and later living in Long Island, Biz Markie started out beatboxing and rhyming in the early eighties while just barely into his teens. But it would be his beatboxing skills specifically that would first get him noticed. Thanks to crossing paths with then up-and-coming producer Marley Marl
in the mid-eighties, he got a break doing his human beatbox routine for Marl related Juice Crew
acts like MC Shan
and Roxanne Shante,
with whom he would make his rap world debut, appearing on her 1986 record "Def Fresh Crew." That same year he released his debut 12", the EP "Make The Music With Your Mouth, Biz" on Prism Records.
Two years later this Marley Marl produced record would be followed by his debut (and best) album, 1988's Goin' Off.
His consequent three albums, 1989's The Biz Never Sleeps
, 1991's I Need a Haircut
, and 1993's All Samples Cleared!
were not produced by Marley Marl and consequently never reached the pinnacle of greatness that his debut did.