Biz Markie

Biz Markie (born Marcel Hall on 8th April 1964 in Brooklyn, New York; died 16 July 2021) was an American rapper known for his humorous singles like "Just a Friend". He began his career as a performer and human beatbox for *MC Shan* and *Roxanne Shante*. Signing to the Cold Chillin' record label in 1988, he released the underground hit album Goin' Off. The following year, his single "Just a Friend" became a mainstream success.

Despite being one of hip hop's biggest stars at the time, Biz faced challenges with his third album, I Need a Haircut. It suffered commercially due to a lawsuit from Gilbert O'Sullivan for sampling "Alone Again (Naturally)" in the song "Alone Again". This landmark case, *Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Brothers Records*, changed hip hop forever by requiring clearance of all samples with original artists before use.

In subsequent years, Biz continued his career with releases like All Samples Cleared! in 1993 but faced further commercial disappointments. He worked intermittently with the *Beastie Boys*, ventured into DJing, and maintained a low profile. Notably, he appeared in Men in Black II alongside Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in 2002 and participated in VH1's reality show "Celebrity Fit Club" in 2005.


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