DEATH IS A LONELY BIZ-NESS
Rapper Biz Markie has died aged 57. He was best known for his song Just a Friend, which reached 9th place in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989. The song frequently made VH1’s interminably long lists of the 1980s. Markie inadvertently changed music history when 70s misery crooner Gilbert O’Sullivan sued him over a sample in a single and won, meaning from then on, all samples in rap had to be paid for with the songwriter in advance.
(Well, the songwriter credited, which is why Sting is still raking in millions from I’ll Be Missing You, but Stewart Copeland, who wrote the fucking riff that was sampled, gets sod all.)
Markie never saw the musical success of Just a Friend again, but regular TV appearances (and the Rolling Stones sampling him) kept him in the public eye. In the 21st Century, he appeared in the Men in Black and Sharknado film franchises, and his music was widely used in video games. In 2020, he gained a regular radio host slot, only to suffer a major stroke last December, the results of which have led to his premature death.
He was picked by three teams: The Sound of the Underground (Girls Aloud fan here too) and popular veterans The Misers were two of them. Who was the third? Oh yes, the Alvaro Recoba of the Derby Dead Pool, Cancel My Appointments. Their team runner assumed I would ignore this deft pick success, and to be fair, I never twigged Biz Markie was a hit originally, as I’d never heard of Marcel Hall (his real name). The creepy team (ahem) was the last team allowed into this years competition after it fell down the back of the sofa somewhere, but there is no denying the one hit wonder rapper is a hell of a pick for a side which frankly does not do as well in the DDP as their natural talent for deadpooling suggests.
8 April 1964 – 16 July 2021