Biz Markie
Biz Markie.jpg

Birth name

Marcel Theo Hall

Also known as

The Diabolical Biz Markie, The Human Orchestra


8 April 1964 (age 55)
Manhattan, New York City, NY


Long Island, New York, U.S.


Hip hop


Rapper, record producer, beatboxer, DJ

Years active



Cold Chillin'/Warner Bros., Tommy Boy

Associated acts

Beastie Boys, Big Daddy Kane, Juice Crew

Marcel Theo Hall (born 8 April 1964), better known by his stage name Biz Markie, is an American rapper, record producer, beatboxer, DJ and comedian. He is best known for his single "Just a Friend", an American Top 10 hit in 1989. Markie is known as "the Clown Prince of Hip Hop" for his humorous and lighthearted lyrics.

He began his career as a member of the Juice Crew and helped his friend Big Daddy Kane join the group with him. Kane, in return, wrote the majority of the lyrics on Biz Markie's debut album, Goin' Off, in 1988. Biz Markie's second album, The Biz Never Sleeps, was released the following year, and included the song "Just a Friend".

Biz Markie ran into controversy when his 1991 album I Need a Haircut was released, due to the song "Alone Again", which sampled the song "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan complained, and the case was taken to court, where it was decided that all future hip hop samples had to be cleared with the original artist before being used. This decision drastically altered the future of hip hop, as well as Biz Markie's career. His next album, titled All Samples Cleared!, was released in 1993, but his career had been hurt by the lawsuit and it would be another ten years until he released another album.

For the remainder of the 1990s, Markie occasionally made television appearances and appeared on songs by the Beastie Boys. In 2002, he made an appearance as an alien in Men in Black II. He currently makes regular appearances on the children's show Yo Gabba Gabba!, and performs DJ sets at shows.


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