If you’re like me, one of your first introductions to Biz Markie was in the 2002 sample of his 80s hit Just a Friend when Mario did it. Put the calculator down. I was just a baby then.
The song was made an even bigger hit when Mario remade it. it topped the charts as the original at Number 9 but Mario’s made Number 4. He did admit to MTV back then he had never heard of it before going in the studio saying, “I didn’t know nothing about it, but when I first heard it I was like, ‘That joint is hot, I’m glad I remade it.’ That was a big hit for him back in the day, right?” The idea for the track came from its producer Wayne Campbell. He went on to say, “He played it for me over the phone. I didn’t really get a chance to get into it, but when I went into the studio to record the song, that’s when I [realized] this song would be real perfect for me. ‘You say I’m just a friend’ — a 15-year-old talking to an older girl, perfect song.”
Well Biz Markie, whose real name was Marcel Theo Hall passed away today in a Baltimore hospital after 6 pm EST with his wife Tara Hall by his side to witness his last breath. His rep told TMZ, “We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time. 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. He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.”