Biz Markie, the charismatic, Harlem-born rapper best known for his Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit, "Just A Friend," passed away at age 57 last week (July 16). In his honor, singer, friend and collaborator Mario reflects on his relationship with Markie, which began with the R&B singer's hit 2002 interpolation of Markie's "Just A Friend" -- breathing new life into the already-iconic track, and becoming a catalyst for Mario's own musical career.
To say life is short is an understatement.
It feels like just yesterday that Biz Markie, a.k.a. Uncle Biz, pulled up to my video shoot for “Just A Friend 2002,” my very first single and one of Biz’s biggest hits. I had no idea he would be there. He showed up and told me not to be nervous and to just have fun on set. It was one of the first times I realized music was about freedom and making people feel something bigger than me.