Biz Markie: a let down

Biz fails to deliver a good set at M sur les Quais last week end

By  Jonathan Feist

 To close the Labour Day weekend party last Sunday, September 5, MforMontreal brought in New York hip hop performer Biz Markie to play les Quais du Vieux Port. This was the first time the festival brought in a non-Canadien performer.Biz Markie is most known for his hit single “Just a Friend,” released in 1989.

The song was ranked 81st on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in 2000.Biz took the stage at 10:00 p.m. and got on the decks with a hype man by his side.  After a bit of cutting, scratching, beat juggling and the usual DJ schpiel, his hype man assured us that Biz was “just getting warmed up.”The show consisted of Markie’s “Hip Hop 101,” where classic instrumentals and hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s were played in an attempt to educate the crowd on the roots of New York hip hop.

He played artists such as Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, Sugar Hill Gang, House of Pain and, of course, A Tribe Called Quest.Unfortunately Markie’s hype man was far from hype, and the crowd was at a bit of a stand-still.  His one and only hit, “Just a Friend,” was played for all of 15 seconds, without any chance for the audience to sing along.Markie looked completely bored and out of his element on the stage.

Barely making any crowd connection, and having to share a microphone with his hype man, the show was poorly planned out and was definitely not the right fit for MforMontreal.Finally Markie tried to sing Rick James’ “Mary Jane,” but it was painful to watch to say the least. 

Markie ended immediately on the 45th minute of his set with a sub-par attempt at beatboxing, something he used to be known for and what got him started in the rap game in the 80s.It seemed as if he was only there to get paid, and made no effort to please the crowd. He walked off the stage without an encore.Biz’s time as a performer is up. It’s  time for him to step aside and to let some new schoolers into the mix.


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