Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Songoftheday 1/24/17 - Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait...

"Just A Friend" - Biz Markie
from the album The Biz Never Sleeps (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #9 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day comes from comic rapper Biz Markie, who was born in New Jersey but moved to Long Island as a child. He released his debut album in 1988, and from it had two minor but seminal R&B hits with "Make The Music With Your Mouth" (#84) and "Vapors" (#80). But it was the sample-heavy sophomore effort, The Biz Never Sleeps, that gave him his biggest success. "Just A Friend", a story-joke track about catching a love interest with someone supposedly "friendzoned", sampled the hook from a moderate soul hit from Freddie Scott in 1968, "(You) Got What I Need". And the video, having Biz dress up like Mozart, was one of the most memorable rap clips of the turn of the decade...


"Just A Friend" became Biz's sole pop hit, reaching the top ten in March of 1990. The single also climbed to #37 on Billboard's R&B chart, while it peaked at #5 on their rap singles list. The record was a minor hit in Canada (#66) and the UK (#55).

In 1991, Biz released his follow-up album, I Need A Haircut, but after a successful lawsuit for his samples caused the pulling of the record, with only single "What Comes Around Goes Around" reaching #84 on the R&B chart, his career after stalled. He continued to make appearances on other artist's singles, reaching the chart in 1995 on Funkmaster Flex's "Nuttin' But Flavor" (R&B #85), the Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby" (#3 rock),  and again in 1999 on Caron Wheeler's "Star" (R&B #82), but he never was able to recover from the "One-Hit Wonder" syndrome. In 2003, he appeared on the British charts for a couple of weeks with "Let Me See You Bounce" with reggae artist Elephant Man.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the song that "Just A Friend" uses as a melodic base, "(You) Got What I Need", which peaked at #27 on the R&B chart in 1968...


Here's Biz performing the song live on Showtime At The Apollo on TV in 1990...



Biz reprised his hit on the hit show Empire in 2016...


...and finally for shits and giggles, I've got Biz at Comic Con in 2014 promoting the animated movie The Book Of Life with Channing Tatum (unf)...


Up tomorrow: Big-time pop star gives in to charity.

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