Of all my music purchases last week in Los Angeles, this 12″ vinyl single of Just a Friend — in pristine condition — is perhaps the standout gem.
Whether or not you’re a hip-hop fan, everyone has heard this song, and it’s almost impossible to say you don’t like it. The piano loop is classic and Biz’s off-tune singing in the chorus is almost laughable, if the song weren’t so damn good.
Listening to it now (I was 12 in 1989 when it was released) I can appreciate the song for more than its nostalgic value. I really like Biz Markie’s story-telling ability; that just seems to be a really underrated style of rap. (Slick Rick was the ruler, of course.) But I think it’s safe to say Just a Friend made it OK — even cool? — to rap about relationships (see also, The Pharcyde’s Passin’ Me By).
Biz Markie | Just a Friend (LP version)
Biz Markie | Just a Friend (instrumental)
One thought on “Flashback Friday: Nobody beats the Biz”
That is a sweet find. I can’t remember anything about 1989 anymore except singing this song with an annoying group of kids in the back of the school bus. Or maybe the Simpsons debut. That was 1989 too, wasn’t it?