pictured :Marcel Theo Hall know in Hip Hop around the world as Biz Markie
photo and story by A. Dorcely
During Quarantine a different platform for music appreciation was brought to light by Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. This platform was named Verzuz. It started out as a DJ battle.
As the battle went on the history of the music we were listening to was told. Verzuz didn’t end with the two producers previously named. In fact it was just the beginning of something special. After the initial battle between the two founders the series continued to put on some legendary battles that fans had clamored for over the years. Sometimes the artist involved were those that had feuded “on wax”. Feel free to Google “on wax” in the Urban Dictionary on your phone.
Hopefully, you’re all caught up now. Hip Hop though has been battling an abstract “artist.” That artist is Death. How ironic? When something was dope in Hip Hop growing up it was Def. The latest artist to lose a Verzuz to Death was one of my favorites growing up. “Meet Biz Markie!”
Also known as DJ Biz Markie or Marcel Theo Hall. Biz Markie died on Friday, July 16. He was 57 years old. In April we lost Earl “DMX” Simmons at 50 and Gregory Jacobs a.k.a. Shock G at 57. “And on, and on until the break of dawn”.
Some of these Hip Hop artist were able to make it through the trials and tribulations from the neighborhoods we grew up in and sometimes that we still reside in. But you never really escape because all it takes is one addiction or one wrong lifestyle choice and their lives are cut short while musicians from other genres continue to flourish.
Biz Markie had a slew of hits among his five albums and many compilations. Almost every news outlet will mention his biggest commercial hit Just A Friend first and foremost. But real “Hip Hop Heads” might say the Vapors, Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz or Nobody Beats the Biz were bigger.
It’s probably hard for some people to understand why the death of an entertainer can affect someone they didn’t know intimately on any level except for the music in this case.
That’s just it though. The music causes nostalgia that transcends us. The art that they were able to create became a tour guide through life’s emotions.
For that reason, we can mourn Hip Hop when it passes away. For that reason we can mourn a favorite artist like Biz Markie as if he were Just A Friend!!!