Not a lot of old-school rappers would be a good fit on a children's television show, but Biz Markie is definitely the exception to that rule. The popular rapper and beatboxer is probably best know for his hit "Just a Friend" as well as the song "Vapors" and his frequent collaborations with the Beastie Boys. While Biz's hip hop days aren't quite behind him yet, nowadays you're most likely to find him on the popular kids TV show Yo Gabba Gabba! teaching a whole new generation the art of beatboxing.
The show has become so popular with kids and
stoners young adults that the whole gang - DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, and Plex - are currently in the midst of a 60 city live tour with Biz tagging along and surprise guests at each stop. The Yo Gabba Gabba! live tour will perform four shows here in Phoenix at Comerica Theatre on December 4th and 5th.
Up on the Sun recently caught up with Biz Markie to discuss all things Biz. To be honest, Biz is not one of the most talkative people out there but that's okay, we still love him anyways.
Up on the Sun: How did you get hooked up with the guys from Yo Gabba Gabba in the first place?
Biz: Well, they were fans of mine and they asked me to come do the dancy dance, but my back was hurting and I made up Biz's Beat of the Day on the spot and I did Biz's Beat of the Day for the pilot and it stuck and it got an overwhelming response and I guess I got part of the staff.
UOTS: If you had it to do all over again what would have been your Dancy Dance?
Biz: The peanut butter stomp.
UOTS: How would you describe your performance for this show?
Biz: I can't tell you what I do, but whatever I do I guarantee you'll love and the whole crowd will love it.
UOTS: Now that you've been on the show for a while do you find that people recognize you more for being on the show than you just being Biz Markie the rapper?
Biz: Of course, especially the young ones. The parents, the young ones, everything.
UOTS: Do you have any kids?
Biz: No kids but I have a whole bunch of nieces and nephews.
UOTS: I read recently you'll be working on the Beastie Boys new album, right?
Biz: Yeah, we're probably going to work on that in the beginning part of January or February.
UOTS: Anything else you're working on at the moment?
Biz: I've been thinking of putting everything together. I wanna just put all my favorite people that I love and put them all together on one album. I want to do a half singing album and a half rapping album.
UOTS: Who are some of the people you have in mind for the record?
Biz: I'm still kinda working out but I can't tell you the people because I don't want them to say yea or nay I want them to be a surprise. UOTS: Talking about collaborations, it was kind of a big deal on the internet a while ago your collaboration with Jeff Goldblum on "Just a Friend" on the Jimmy Fallon show. What did you think of his performance of your song?
Biz: It was phenomenal. Just him knowing the words was phenomenal. He's a cool dude.
UOTS: How did that come about? Was that something planned or spontaneous?
Biz: It's something Jimmy Fallon and The Roots worked out.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.