Beastie Boys’ Mike D on Biz Markie: ‘Not Just a Rapper, But a True Entertainer’

Beastie Boys and Biz Markie were both New York hip-hop pioneers, so it’s natural their paths crossed often. The two artists shared a stage several times, including a 1988 Madison Square Garden show where Biz performed his inimitable version of Elton John’s “Bennie and The Jets.” (The song later ended up on the Beasties’ Sounds of Science anthology.)

As Rob Sheffield notes in his tribute to the rapper, who died Friday night at age 57, “Biz became a regular with the Beastie Boys, joining up for sure shots like “Do It” and “The Biz vs. the Nuge.” He gave them the name for their label and magazine: Grand Royal.” “I did not expect the Biz to be as Biz-like as he was,” Adam Horowitz admits in the Beastie Boys Book. “You better have the tape running when the Biz is around. He’s an all-freestyle, off-the-dome kind of artist.”

We are so grateful to have had so many unforgettable experiences with the truly unique and ridiculously talented Biz Markie. We will miss his presence deeply in so many ways. In the Nineties, Biz would often show up at our G Son studio in Atwater, CA.