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The 1st Clown Prince of Hip Hop?

 The one and only Biz Markie


Yeap I’ve jump into my record box again. Well it is 2015 to be fair and I haven't done for such a long time. Only this time I have pulled out an album that just made me smile just at looking at the album cover. The album in question is called “Goin off” by Biz Markie


It was released during the year of 1988. 28 years old ago would you believe! Wow, I remember buying this like yesterday. Another factor about this album was that it was released during Hip hop's golden age.


The tag name of the Golden age refers to a period of time within mainstream HipHop Music, during the late 1980s to the mid 1990s which is said to be characterized by its diversity, quality, innovation and influence within the music gender its self.


Biz Markie is the stage name of this larger then life Hip Hop personality. However, his real name is Marcel Theo Hall, who was born on the April 8, 1964, within Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, USA


The album that is “Goin off doesn’t get the respect in my opinion that it truly deserves. At the time Hip Hop music was really taking on really serious issues of the day such as Race relations, Police brutality, the Unfairness within American society.Then all of a sudden this album gets released right in the middle of it and it just makes you smile.




The album gave us various funny situations, great story telling tales which was all bound together with the use of great music samples and beats. It is because of this and Biz Markie’s remarkable “witty” encounters and the vision to put that into his "Raps" that he eventually became known as the “1st Clown of Hip Hop”.


The album in question was produced Hip Hop beats wizard and sample king that is Marley Marl (who’s Real Name -Marlon Williams (born September 30, 1962, New York, USA).He himself is often noted as one of Hip Hop greatest producers within the world of Hip Hop.


That title alone should make you curious enough to give this long player a listen. However added to the album credence, the 5 of the first songs on the albums lyrics were written by Big Daddy Kane.


Big Daddy Kane who's real name being Antonio Hall; was born on the (10th September, 1968, New York City, USA) is also credited as being one World’s top 25 wordsmith’s and lyricists within the music its self.  As I have mentioned already that he wrote most of the lyrics on this ground breaking album.


So already we have two of Hip Hop’s royalty helping out in order to produce the debut album release for the artist that is Biz Markie!

Since its release it is often found within underground Hip Hop fans top 10 best ever albums ever made from that gender; and that fact surprises a number of normal, run of the mill music critics.


It falls down the pecking order as it is not serious enough. In fact it is too comical with its outlook on life. However, if you are Hip Hop music fan from the late 1980’s to early 1990’s you would have heard of this album.The first single to be released from this album was “Make Music with your mouth Biz”- which showcased Biz Markie huge talent that he had for the technique that is known within Hip Hop circles as “Human Beat boxing”.


The second single to be released from the album and was and still is my own personal favourite of mine that is Nobody Beats the Biz”.

Biz MARKIE - Nobody beats the Biz



When I heard this for the first time on a Mix tape that some one had done for me in 1987, I just could not believe it. It sounded so fresh and funky all at the time. I made a mental note of the single because the artist name was not given on the Cassette tape. In fact at the end of the song I made sure to write down the title of the track on a scrape of paper, so that I would not forget it. Wow is all I could remember when I had finished listening to it. It was an ingenious use at the time of a music sample that used a James Brown track within the same single.


However, myself and many of friends who bought the same album straight out after just hearing those two songs mentioned above. Many were even more amazed by the track called the " VAPOURS"

Biz Markie - The Vapours


The story telling lyricism of “The Vapours” is so, so true to life; and even plays a part in modern living today. He also brings forth a tale about one of his cousins was looked down as a no hoper by everyone in the neighbourhood.. But now that he made it within the music business everybody wants to know him.


Biz also tells the story of himself asking to be given a chance with the “Mic” at a local party. But he was basically laughed down. Now that he is making it within the Music industry everybody wants to know him. “Biz” then uses the catch phrase that these types of peoples as Having caught the vapours in reference to them now wanting to know him now.

The album featured another killer track. Want to catch someone out if they are boasting saying that are from New York City? Ask them about the Mall called “Albee Square Mall” and where it was situatied within New York City, USA at the time.

Biz Markies’ lyrics over his love for the Mall; and the area in general at the time.Just makes you smile to ones self.

He paints a mental picture of the Mall and Brooklyn area before it became an area gentrified for the rich via his rich rapping tone of his.

The beats and music supplied by Marley Marl along with the lyrics created by Big Daddy Kane are truly first class. Please take a bow here you guys

This album which was released on the label called Cold Chillin; is in my opinion a stone cold classic.


Throughout the 1990s, Biz’s reputation transcended that of a mere rapper he had become a pop-culture figure. He was making appearances on other rappers records. For instance the Beastie Boys were fans of his, and now were asking him to appear on projects such as Check Your Head (1992)Ill Communication (1994), and Hello Nasty (1998). Biz at this point was a novelty act but also a living legend, a beloved figure. He was even sampled on Anybody Seen My Baby,” a 1997 single by, of all people, the Rolling Stones.




However, its a shame that Biz Markie hasn’t got the credit today that I feel he truly deserves, He will always be remembered for the track called "Just a friend". However, he has done more then that over his life time. If you ever get to read this Biz Markie well done my friend. You made alot of people happy and put a smile on their faces via your music and this album. 


If you were around at the time to hear this album. Or you have since bought the album. What are your thoughts about the album? Have you ever met Biz Markie in person before? Have you ever worked with Biz Markie? Please tell us.

 Well that all folks for me now anyway.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show ©