Biz Markie’s Top Hit Treated Less Than ‘Just A Friend’ by Billboard

By: Kelton Brooks

The gravel in his voice, the infectious personality and an original smile that made a room cackle, Biz Markie was everyone’s friend.  

Sadly, Markie passed away on July 16 following his year-long battle from Type II diabetes. 

Related: Legendary Rapper Biz Markie Dead at 57

Despite his untimely passing, fans from all over were quick to shine a light on his impact on hip-hop. His hit single “Just A Friend” put a smile back on the industry.

However, the hook “Oh Baby you, you got what I need,” did not serenade Billboard.

“The sweetness comes in that we were able to perform it for almost 31 years,” said Cutmaster DJ Cool V. “And now comes the other side of it  we never made money off the record. I still haven’t got paid for that record.”

The hit single peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.  

Cool V spoke to HipHopdx and said there were a variety of factors at play, including: royalties from the song, the record label Cold Chillin’ Records, all on top of Markie’s unheard of signing with “an incredibly bad contract.” All of these contributed to the root causes in no monetary gain from the legendary track. 

Related: The life and legacy of hip hop legend DMX 

“It trickled down. So, we never made money off the record. But, we made the money off the shows and we had a great performing career,” Cool V said. “But now it gets back to the bittersweet because every time I hear it, it’s going to remind me of Biz, but it’s also going to remind me of how I can’t make more money off of it. Everybody’s feeding their family off our work and we’ve never made money off that record.” 

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