Catch the ‘Vapors’ With These Classic Biz Markie Tracks
Legendary rapper and beatbox master Biz Markie died on July 16, leaving behind a 30-year legacy in music. He was part of the Juice Crew along with Marley Marl, MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Mr. Magic, Masta Ace, and Roxanne Shante.
As a producer, rapper, DJ, and occasional actor, Biz Markie worked in television, music, and film. Though most are familiar with his song “Just a Friend,” the Harlem-bred “Clown Prince of Rap” had a string of other tracks that made people laugh, dance, or shout out lyrics at a party. Check out these other classics.
A record that’s a favorite among hip-hop artists and fans alike, “Vapors” is a song about hangers-on and clout chasers looking to ride the coattails of someone who recently found success. Each verse tells a story about how fame and money attract those didn’t support from jump. Add it to your playlist.
‘Nobody Beats the Biz’
“Nobody Beats the Biz” is probably one of Biz Markie’s top 5 most popular songs. A riff on the jingle for the now-defunct but popular Wiz electronics store, the track’s hook is one that fans still sing on cue, wherever, whenever.
This song is a prime example of Biz’s trademark silly style that still tells a story or two, including one about a lady at the famed Latin Quarters. He dropped “Pickin’ Boogers” on his debut album, a song that features a record-scratching beat and this classic line: “Hey, ma, what’s for dinner? Go up your nose and pick a winner!”
Biz once told Tim Westwood that the song came from his heart and “all the incidents really happened. You know — when I was in school, or on a train, or with a girl. I wanted to put it in a way it wasn’t nasty but it was still funny with a def beat.”
‘Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz’
An ode to his beatboxing skills, 1988’s “Make the Music With Your Mouth, Biz” sounds great blaring through speakers, but when he performed it in person, fans usually received an extra treat. Biz would often do an extended beatbox session when he did this song live on stage.
‘Something for the Radio’
Also part of his debut album, Goin’ Off, “Something for the Radio” borrows a sample from Marvin Gaye’s “Wherever I Lay My Hat.” Take it back to ’88 with this one.
Biz Markie gave instructions on how to do the dance named after him, immortalizing a move that’s been around since the ‘80s. “While you’re doing it, if you mess up your hair then you know party people that you’re halfway there…” Get into it and reminisce about doing the classic dance at all the house parties — or in your own room.
‘What Comes Around Goes Around’
This song is another commentary on gold-diggers, and the slow-tempo cut includes a sample from The Emotions’ “A Feeling Is.” It’s part of Biz Markie’s I Need a Haircut album and was released in 1991. Play it back to back with “Vapors” and it’s a whole mood.
‘I’m the Biz Markie’
Hip-hop heads recognize the opening of this one, “I’d like to introduce myself” and Biz’s ensuing rhymes about his rap persona. This track is part of his All Samples Cleared album, a reference to the sampling lawsuit he faced a few years prior. It’s classic New York, classic hip-hop, and classic Biz Markie.