By DJ Suspence
The “Just A Friend” rapper Biz Markie has passed away, confirmed by his manager, Jenni Izumi, at the age of 57.
“Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music spanning over 35 years,” Izumi said in a written statement.
Once Biz Markie met hip hop producer Marley Marl in 1985, he then began rapping in local clubs. He also became known as a human beatbox via working with artists such as MC Shan and Roxanne Shanté.
Biz released his first album in 1988, “Goin’ Off”, and radio soon caught on due to hit singles “Vapors” and “Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz.” However, he would score his biggest hit a year later, “Just A Friend”, on his “The Biz Never Sleeps” album.
Biz would see a reemergence into the music world in 2002 when R&B newcomer, Mario, would score one of his biggest hits with a cover of Biz Markie’s “Just A Friend”. Mario would go on to record a remix to the record and include Biz Markie as a feature, reintroducing him to a newer younger audience.