Amerihave the right to rapper and also actor, Biz Markie, close to the workplaces Warner Bros. Records (owners of his record label, Cold Chillin’), Wlegal rights Lane, Kensington, London, sixth April 1988. (Picture by David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Have you ever met a girl you wanted to date, but a year to make love she wanted you to wait? Back in 1989, Biz Markie turned this acquainted scenario into among the most famous songs in rap history. The self-explained “Clvery own Prince of Hip-Hop” currently had actually a string of underground hit singles — consisting of “Nobody Beats the Biz” and also “Vapors” — as soon as his friend-zone anthem “Just a Friend” hit. A riff on Freddie Scott’s “You Got What I Need,” the track not just catapulted Biz to a level of fame, however assisted the genre break additionally into the mainstream.

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“Just a Friend” would ultimately go on to become one of rap’s enduring standards, showing up in television series, commercials, video games, and also talk shows. As njuniorg8.comly as 2017, it showed up in the seaboy 3 finale of Black-ish, wbelow Biz personalized the track to incorporate the names of the show’s characters. But also if his anguiburned, off-key chorus continues to make world laugh, the rapper njuniorg8.comly told Entertainment Weekly that he never before intended to sing it himself. Not just that, however the song, which turns 30 this month, was based upon a true story — one meant to be an earswarm expression of his feelings that, for much better or worse, fans have discovered hilarious for 3 decades and also counting.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What initially motivated you to create “Just a Friend?”BIZ MARKIE: I was talking to this girl — the initially girl I ever talked to. And eexceptionally time I would contact out to California, a dude would certainly pick up and hand her the phone. I’d be prefer, “Yo, what’s up ?” She’d say, “Oh, he’s just a frifinish. He’s nobody.” And I came out there a week at an early stage simply to surpclimb her, and she’s tongue kissing somebody — and also I captured her! So instead of me fighting, I put the pain into the pen and created it out.

How well did you know the Freddie Scott song “(You) Got What I Need” once you determined to sample it for “Just a Friend?” It’s impossible to hear it currently without reasoning of your rendition.What happened was I was trying to find these Lee Dorsey drums , and also I told T.J. Swan back in ‘86 if I ever before found them, I’m going platinum. So in ‘88 when I was doing the album, Grand also Wizard Theodore carried me over to Danny Dan ’s house, and he was playing documents, and also he played the beat. So I traded him a Barbra Streisand also document for the drums, and also he began playing one more 45, the Freddie Scott. I wasn’t placing them both together, however he played the Freddie Scott. So I gave him $200 for the 45s, even though the 45s were just worth a dollar. When I acquired to the studio, I had actually the beat and also I was trying to lock up the 45 of Freddie Scott via the drums, yet it wouldn’t lock up cause both of them were live. So a dude named Shane Favor, me and him had actually a key-board and also we stayed up until eight o’clock in the morning to discover the best sound of the piano. And once me and also him played the one time, it was over.

You’d currently had actually a string of hits, yet were you thinking of somepoint through even more mainstream appeal once you were creating the song?No, the record wasn’t done because it was commercial. I simply did the record because I did the document. I just wanted to make a story rap document, not to go pop or anypoint.

Did you immediately consider it as a single? I it was gonna be a single. But it’s not choose I’m looking for that record initially or last. I’m just doing the record.

When was the initially moment that you realized “Just a Friend” was not just a huge song, yet an actual crossover hit?When Howard Stern and Frankie Crocker and all the white stations approximately the country started playing it. Due to the fact that I went around with my own money and I went roughly the nation and promoted the record by myself.

Was it hard to get them to play the song?Yeah. But the thing is, it didn’t go pop — it’s simply that pop picked it up. I just came off of “Vapors,” a big hit. I just went both directions this time.

What were your feelings as soon as it up? Was tright here a reactivity from the hip-hop community?A lot of world didn’t favor the record at the start. They would certainly say, “Biz is trying to sing? Aw, the document is wack.” But I wasn’t supposed to sing the . I asked civilization to sing the component, and also nobody verified up at the studio, so I did it myself.



When did you shoot the music video via Lionel C. Martin?We did the video that fall. We did the video ideal before Labor Day. That was my principle. I aided write the storybook via him. Due to the fact that the document was intended to be major and it came out funny.

The song was meant to be significant, or the video?Just the song itself. I didn’t carry out it to be funny.

Was that frustrating that people assumed the song was funny?Naw, tbelow wasn’t no frustration. I was just happy. People look at me as the clown prince of rap anyway.

What are some of the the majority of offbeat or unmeant provides of “Just a Friend” that you’ve watched or heard in the years after it came out?They’ve offered it for commercials. And a lot of human being tried to perform it over. But, you understand, there’s nopoint prefer the original. Pepsi and also everybody supplied it.

How did its success change your career? It never before readjusted nopoint bereason I still perform whatever the very same. It never before readjusted nothin’.

You’ve had actually a lengthy career complete of hits. Does it bvarious other you that some human being think about you a one-hit wonder bereason of “Just a Friend?”I don’t feel negative. I recognize what I did in hip-hop.

Is tright here something around the heritage of this song or its success that stands out for you, or that you continue to hold on to?I’m just glad that people still know it 30 years later on. And it’s prefer a document eincredibly time.

What are the lessons that you’ve taken amethod from this type of success and being a luminary in the music industry?I look at it as you’ve got to treat hip-hop as a hobby, because I love what I perform. It keeps you on your toes and also it keeps the youth in you.

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Did “Just a Friend” aid you obtain over your heartbreak? Yes. I think all artists tell a story via their music, whether they competent it personally or someone they recognize went with it. It’s always therapeutic to talk around heartbreak whether it’s a conversation via a frifinish, or through music.