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Biz Markie Had Exactly What Hip-Hop Needed

The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop. The Inhuman Orchestra. Bizzy B Markie. The world knew him best as Biz Markie, but the man born Marcel Theo Hall had many nicknames, befitting a performer bestowed with oversize talent and an even bigger personality behind his skill. When the New York rap pioneer departed on July 16 at age 57, following complications from Type 2 diabetes, the gut punch hit hard and fast. No matter how you knew Biz — through his brand of self-deprecating, block-party hip-hop, the comedic genius of the “Just a Friend” video, his playfully instructional Yo Gabba Gabba! segment “Biz’s Beat of the Day,” or his VH1 countdown appearances — his infectious energy and sheer joie de vivre could win over the hardest gangster or jaded Gen X-er. That was Biz’s ultimate gift to the world and a trait that carried into his real life. By all accounts, he was impossible not to like.

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