Biz Markie’s Life Story Is Being Told In A New Documentary

Two years ago this month, Hip-Hop lost a legend in Biz Markie, who succumbed to a longtime bout with type 2 diabetes. The New York artist born Marcel Hall was a famed MC, DJ, producer, actor, and avid collector of artifacts from the culture. A member of the Juice Crew (as well as the Flip Squad DJs), Biz represented a 35-plus-year career with ties to Big Daddy Kane, Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Roxanne Shanté, Redman, and more.

Biz’s life and times is the subject of a new documentary directed by Hip-Hop journalist-turned-filmmaker Sacha Jenkins. All Up In The Biz: The Life And Rhymes Of Biz Markie has a new trailer that unveils what to expect from the August 11 film.

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The 120-second trailer shows Biz’s trajectory. Tracy Morgan, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Hurricane, Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels, Doug E. Fresh, and Biz’s family are among those who reflect. The preview alludes to Biz’s complicated upbringing, including losing close family. It suggests the artist’s sober lifestyle and infatuation with collecting things. Archival footage shows Biz performing with Roxanne Shanté, on tour with De La, and taking fans to the building where he grew up.

The commentary also points out that Biz Markie made history, as a Warner Bros. Records artist, with his 1989 single “Just A Friend.” Years before Hip-Hop artists found success through melodic deliveries and singing, B-I-Z struck RIAA gold when he paid homage to a 1960s Freddie Scott single about the complications of the friend zone. The song delivered Biz to the mainstream years before he was a featured player on In Living Color, appearing in Men In Black II, or working in children’s television programming. However, as Hip-Hop Heads know, Biz’s discography runs much deeper than his cross-over hit; the MC delivered seminal albums, including Goin’ Off.

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Sacha Jenkins, a founding editor of ego trip, has also directed Wu-Tang: Of Mics and Men, Cypress Hill: Insane In The Brain, and You’re Watching Video Music Box.

In addition to Showtime, the film will be available on Paramount Plus.

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#BonusBeat: Shortly after Biz’s passing, Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast paid tribute to the life and music of Biz Markie (at 6:34):