Review Summary: Trying to do it all on his own, Biz hits sophomore slump.
There are several types of rappers, some don’t have great lyrics or flow but have a lot to say. Others don’t have much to say but are great lyricists and have a great flow. There are others who don’t have much to say and aren’t great lyricists but have a lot of emotion and passion. There is a very small group though that are the complete package: lyrics, flow, subject matter, emotion… and then, there’s Biz Markie. Biz is difficult to categorize, he got over mostly based on his personality and charisma but mostly with the help from his Juice Crew members on his debut.
Biz Markie’s debut Goin’ Off
succeeded in most part due to the contributions of Marley Marl(production) and Big Daddy Kane (lyrics). With that kind of help, it was difficult to NOT release a great album but on his sophomore effort The Biz Never Sleeps,
Biz Markie produces the album himself with some help from Cutmaster Cool V. Biz also pens all the lyrics himself, a noticeable downgrade from Kane’s raps.
The reason most people know Biz Markie is the song ‘Just A Friend’, a cautionary tale about girls who only have “friends”, even though Biz is pretty disengaged from this girl and you can tell what he really
: “I asked her her name, she said blah-blah-blah, she had 9/10 pants and a very big bra.”
Over a memorable piano loop and Biz’s “so bad it’s [s]good[/s] entertaining”-style of singing on the chorus, this track was a top 10 hit and unfairly got Biz labeled a one-hit wonder. It would be unfair to expect maturity from someone who had a song called ‘Pickin’ Boogers’ but ‘The Dragon’ is awful even by Biz’s standards, three verses that deal with body odor. Biz showcases his (slowed down) singing chops on ‘Spring Again’ which manages to succeed despite (because of?) it’s very cheesy chorus:
“It's spring again
Everybody know it's spring again
To the girls and boys and people above
This is the time to fall in love”
Although Biz has a legendary record collection, his production skills are very raw here as shown on ‘She's Not Just Another Woman (Monique)’ a full scale hijacking of The 8th Day’s track. Sampling is one thing but straight out taking
someone else’s song is totally different and this practice would eventually land Biz in hot water, effectively ended the “free-sampling” era.
The Biz Never Sleeps
may contain Biz’s biggest hit but without his Juice Crew cohorts, this is a huge drop-off from his debut. Goin’ Off
may not have had a song as memorable as ‘Just A Friend’ but top to bottom, it towers over The Biz Never Sleeps.
This album proves that charisma can only take you so far, even though there are a few good moments on here, it shows that without Marley Marl’s beats and Kane’s raps, Biz wasn’t much more than a gimmick.
Just A Friend
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