Ever See JAY-Z, Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie & Jaz-O Freestyle On The Same Stage? (Video)
In 1993, the Mario Van Peebles film Posse hit theaters. At its release party, some of Brooklyn’s finest showed up, along with Biz Markie. One of the film’s stars, Big Daddy Kane, hosted the New York City event. He appeared in the Western alongside Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin, Tone-Loc, Tiny Lister, and Blair Underwood.
At the event, Kane brought out some of the homies, including Jaz-O and JAY-Z. While the three had worked together on an underground mixtape five years earlier, it was still ahead of 1994’s “Show & Prove.” The same month as Posse, Kane released his final Cold Chillin’ Records LP, Looks Like A Job For… With his BK buddies (also including Busta Rhymes, Sauce Money, and DJ Mister Cee), fellow Juice Crew star and label-mate Biz Markie took the stage.
In the opening part of the sequence from the “Video Music Box Library” video on AFH TV (available for a free 30-day trial), the crowd is cold. Jay steps to the front of the stage and kicks the opening bars from his “I Can’t Get With That” verse without a beat. He uses syncopated rhyming to demonstrate a cash-counter and machine gun. A year later, this DJ Clark Kent-produced song would be the B-Side of “In My Lifetime.” However, on this night, a 24-year-old shouts out Kane (not Dame Dash as the 12″ version lyrics would) for “makin’ his ass rich.”
Later in the vid’, Jay kicks his “Greatest MC” routine, another Clark-laced cut. Again, he does it a capella. He hands the mic to Jaz, who follows with a play on their “Originators” motif (which they would do to bookend the 1990s). In the background, Cee plays the same breakbeat that Tupac, Biggie, Kane, and company would use in their famed live freestyle.
However, it is Busta Rhymes, who Jaz hands the mic to, that seems to get the greatest crowd reaction. Busta was then a part of Leaders Of The New School, between the crew’s two albums. Busa’ kicks a boisterous freestyle with didactic lyrics. The audience erupts as the concert progresses. Busta shouts out Lil Shawn, Dante (presumably his Elektra Records A&R Dante Ross), and others, including his burgeoning Flipmode Entertainment as well as L.O.N.S.
As Busta kicks more rhymes, the B-I-Z paces back-and-forth behind him. Meanwhile, Jay booms background lyrics. Finally, Biz stands beside B.R. As the two briefly dap it up, the Biz won’t start until he has Busta’s mic too. Once in his hand, he begins with a “can I kick it?” routine, building up the crowd.
Although he was gearing up to drop his fourth LP, All Samples Cleared, Biz freestyles before the hometown audience. The MC/DJ/producer kicks an unusually raunchy verse, but the crowd seems to love it. The Cold Chillin’ star who was then a featured cast member on In Living Color, references the “Men On Film” sketch in one of his biggest punchlines.
This video and others from the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s, are available on AFH TV. Subscribe to watch in full. We are currently offering free 30-day trials.