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Happy Birthday, Biz Markie!

Biz Markie
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Somewhere in America, there’s a frat house or some teenager blasting “Just a Friend.” The song is just that timeless. We have its creator Biz Markie to thank for that. The rapper turns 51 today (April 8).

“Just a Friend” is undoubtedly the MC’s biggest song; no matter what he does, he’s always going to be attached to the friend zone. However, he has put together a decent body of work even though “Just A Friend” is his only true hit. Goin’ Off (1988) and The Biz Never Sleeps (1989) do deserve at least one listen. As the “Clown Prince of Hip-Hop,” he’s also become one of the genre’s most lovable figures.

Biz has also made multiple guest appearances on classic projects. He pulls beatboxing duties on “Stone Age,” the closing song on De La Soul’s under-appreciated Buhloone Mindstate album. He also lends his talents to three Beastie Boys projects: Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994) and Hello Nasty (1998). He even managed to find himself on the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon.

The man born Marcel Theo Hall has also been a presence outside of rap in recent years. It doesn’t really involve making new music, though (his last album, 2003’s Weekend Warrior, dropped with little fanfare). He recently made guest appearances on TV shows Yo Gabba Gabba! and SpongeBob SquarePants. Biz Markie also shed 140 pounds last year for the sake of his health. Good for him for doing so. And good for him for still sticking around after all these years.

Watch Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend” Video

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