Biz Markie’s 30-Year-Old Springtime Anthem Is Still Fresh (Video)
Across the globe, temperatures are rising this week. In less than seven days, spring is officially here (March 20). While for many Mid-Atlantic and northerners, that is no guarantee that snowfall is done for the time being, it is a reminder that the coats, gloves, and scarves can usually go to the back of the closet.
In Hip-Hop, many songs reflect the changing seasons, usually at a symbolic level. When it comes to the month of March and what many Heads are experiencing this week, few made an anthem better than the Diabolical Biz Markie. While B-I-Z’s gold-certified sophomore LP, The Biz Never Sleeps may be best remembered for containing his crossover hit “Just A Friend,” the song right before it on the Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros. Records LP is also a jewel from the nearly 30-year-old release.
“Spring Again” is a whimsical nod to this time of year. “Don’t you like when the winter’s gone / And all of a sudden it starts gettin’ warm / The trees and the grass start lookin’ fresh / And the sun and sky be lookin’ their best / Birds be singin’, flowers be bloomin’ / A lot of brand new cars be zoomin’ / Fly girls lookin’ the best they can be,” Biz begins in the song. The MC/producer/DJ utilizes his cadence on a simple but effective rhyme. By the second and third verses, the artist born Marcel Hall uses the idea of spring to address renewal as it applies to love and broken hearts. As spring is the time of year where people are outside, enjoying scenery and nature, so should hurt lovers, looking for the next apple of attraction. Moving away from children’s nursery rhymes, Biz references STDs, prostitutes, and drug peddlers without getting heavy-handed. He does it all with his unique charms, making the kind of Hip-Hop that seemingly possesses something for everybody.
Produced by Biz and DJ Cool V, the song involves multiple, far-reaching samples from the ’60s and ’70s. As the Juice Crew member was stepping beyond Marley Marl’s creations, he pulled from Third World, James Brown, Manzel, Lee Dorsey, and Roberta Flack records. This, of course, was pre-All Samples Cleared Biz, and some of his best work.
Like the lyrics, the video is fun, colorful, and imaginative. The Biz and Cool V hit the links, perhaps inspired by Caddyshack. There is a DJ coffin connected to a golf-cart, a drag race down the fairway, and some cheap animations of the Diabolical doing his best John Daly impersonation with the driver. As the sequence unfolds, the Long Island, New York representative and his sidekick take on personas that pull from pirates, Little Richard, and Lou Rawls—who Biz mimics with his baritone chorus.
Along with the fun, Biz flosses with gold chains on a plush estate and in a 1920s kit car. One of the more successful-yet-respected MCs of 1989 is still enjoying the good life, while haters continue to catch the vapors. Meanwhile, Cool V (who recently authored a book inspired, in part, by this album) does some impressive turntable tricks. Biz Markie’s music videos age well, just like this message.
As spring is in the air, put some overlooked Biz in your speakers with some enduring vibes.